Edna Bennet Pierce Professor of Compassion and Caring
- Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
- Graduate Program
- Undergraduate Program
Laurent's work aims to discern what allows some people to thrive in the face of stress while others succumb to mental or physical disorder, and to help people learn to respond with greater resilience to stressors in their lives and relationships. As head of the Personal Relationships, Interpersonal Stress, and Mindfulness (PRISM) lab she investigates (1) what constitutes stress “regulation” by relating multiple biological (i.e., neural, neuroendocrine, autonomic) and behavioral stress response facets to psychological symptoms and well-being; (2) developmental paths shaping stress regulation, including prenatal and postnatal influences of parental stress and mental health; and (3) how practices such as mindfulness and compassion can improve stress regulation, and whom such practices are most likely to benefit. Her work combines stress physiology monitoring, neuroimaging, and/or behavioral observation as people respond to naturalistic stressors that arise within close interpersonal relationships, toward the ultimate goal of interrupting intergenerational cycles of stress dysregulation and disorder.