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  • Susan Dickstein, PhD

  • Susan Dickstein, PhD

    • Director of the Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center

    • Associate Professor, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

    • Associate Professor, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Pediatrics

    Background Information

    Susan Dickstein, Ph.D. is an associate professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, department of psychiatry and director of the Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center (part of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center). The center is devoted to the integration of clinical service delivery and research practice to promote optimal mental health care for young children (birth to five years old) and their families. Dickstein has pursued a thematic line of research focused on the importance of multiple levels of the family context for understanding early childhood development. Her work applies a family-focused perspective to examine processes that explain optimal and non-optimal development in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who develop in risk contexts. 

    Dickstein supervises early childhood training for clinical psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows in the Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium, including community-based mental health consultation in settings that serve high-risk children and their families. She is a founding member and current president of the Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health.

    An honors graduate of the University of Michigan, Dickstein earned her master's degree and doctorate, both in clinical psychology, from the University of Illinois.

    Research Interests

    Dickstein has collaborated on several NIH grants within the realm of developmental psychopathology, attachment theory, family risk, maternal depression, and early childhood mental health issues, and assessment of child outcomes in Head Start.  Most recently, Dickstein is co-PI on a SAMHSA systems initiative, Project RI LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health), aimed at building social-behavioral capacities into community-based early childhood systems of care in order to promote and integrate physical and behavioral health wellness.  In addition, Dickstein conducts program evaluation for a variety of state-funded contracts and private foundation grants that provide community-based early childhood mental health consultation, and  evidence-based parent and teacher training workshops, within child care settings serving high risk infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families. 

    Selected Publications

    Dickstein, S., Seifer, R., Albus, K.E. (2004).  Attachment patterns across multiple family relationships in adulthood: Associations with maternal depression. Development and Psychopathology, 16 (3), 735-752.

    McHale, J., Fivaz-Depeursinge, E., Dickstein, S., Robertson, J., & Daley, M (2008) New Evidence for the Social Embededness of Infants Early Triangular Capacities. Family Process, 47, 445-463.

    Dickstein, S., Seifer, R., & Albus, K.E. (2009).  Maternal Adult Attachment Representations across Relationship Domains and Infant Outcomes:  The Importance of Family and Couple Functioning. Attachment and Human Behavior, 11 (1), 5-27.

    Shepard, S.A., & Dickstein, S. (2009). Preventive Intervention for Early Childhood Behavioral Problems: An Ecological Perspective. In Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America (H. Triveti, Ed.), Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (M. Gleason & D. Schecter, Guest Eds.), 18 (3), 687-706.

    Gleason, M.M., Zeanah, C.H., & Dickstein,S. (2010). Recognizing young children in need of mental health assessment: Development and preliminary validity of the Early Childhood Screening Assessment. Infant Mental Health Journal, 31 (3), 1-22.

    Salisbury, A.L., High, P., Chapman, H., Dickstein, S., Twomey, J., Liu, J., & Lester, B. (in press). A randomized control trial of integrated care for families managing infant colic. Infant Mental Health Journal.

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