Jennifer Mize Nelson, Ph.D Program Site Director, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory Office of Research Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Jennifer Nelson’s current research interests reside at the intersection of clinical, developmental and cognitive neuroscience approaches. She has longstanding interest in child and adolescent peer relationships, with particular focus on the coping and mental health of youth involved in bullying and/or peer victimization and on the role of peer status in adolescent engagement in risk behaviors. She also has experience in the evaluation of school-based anti-bullying interventions.

More recently, as part of her postdoctoral training, Nelson has acquired interests in the development of higher-order cognitive functions such as executive control in childhood, with an eye towards how such development may relate to social cognition and important outcomes such as social skills, the quality of peer relationships, and mental health. She currently serves as the site director for an NIMH-funded longitudinal study, which examines how the development of executive control during the preschool years relates to behavioral, social and academic outcomes as children transition into and progress through elementary school. Nelson additionally serves as co-mentor for a related graduate student project, which examines the adaptation of executive control measures among Latino preschool children.

Nelson received her doctorate in clinical child psychology, with a minor in quantitative psychology, from the University of Kansas in 2009. As part of her training, she completed a pre-doctoral clinical internship in clinical child and pediatric psychology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Children’s Health Council consortium. She then completed a National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011.