My research examines the developmental consequences of child abuse and neglect from an ecological perspective. This approach takes into consideration: 1) the environment in which maltreatment is occurring, and 2) the individual factors (e.g. gender, race, and genes) that may influence outcomes for maltreated children. One of my goals is to understand how poverty at the family and neighborhood levels contributes to mental and physical illness, substance abuse, academic achievement, and antisocial behavior among neglected children. A related goal of my research is to examine the developmental pathways linking maltreatment and poverty to long-term negative outcomes. To that aim, I have been studying how neuropsychological deficits resulting from child abuse and neglect contribute to antisocial behavior, mental illness, and substance abuse. I am particularly interested in applying longitudinal approaches to the study of these research problems. The overarching goal of my work is to add to the field’s knowledge of childhood maltreatment in ways that can lead to more effective interventions.
Nikulina, V., & Widom, C.S. (2013). Do race, neglect, and childhood poverty predict physical health in adulthood? A multilevel prospective analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect, online available.
Nikulina, V., & Widom, C.S. (2013). Child maltreatment and executive functioning in middle adulthood: A prospective examination. Neuropsychology, 27 (4), 417-427.
Nikulina, V., Widom, C.S. & Brzustowicz, L.M. (2012). Child abuse and neglect, MAOA, and mental health outcomes: A prospective examination. Biological Psychiatry, 15, 350-357.
Nikulina, V.,Widom, C. S. & Czaja, S. (2011). The role of childhood neglect and childhood poverty in predicting mental health, academic achievement and crime in adulthood. American Journal of Community Psychology, 48 (3), 309-321.
Nikulina, V., Hergenrother, J.M., Brown, E. J., Doyle, M.E., Filton, B.J., & Carson, G. S. (2008). From efficacy to effectiveness: the trajectory of the treatment literature for children with PTSD. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 8, 1233-1246.
Yoshikawa, H., Lowe, E. D., Bos, J.H., Weisner, T., Nikulina, V., & Hsueh, J. (2006). Pathways through low-wage work: Do they matter for children's development? In H. Yoshikawa, T.S. Weisner, & E.Lowe (Eds.). Making It Work: Low-Wage Employment, Family Life and Child Development. New York: Russell Sage.