Dr. Elizabeth Kiel

Teaching Interests:

I am interested in teaching courses that cover topics of both clinical issues and normal developmental processes in children, such as Child Psychopathology and Developmental Psychology.

Research Interests:

My research focuses on understanding the etiology of childhood anxiety disorders within a developmental psychopathology framework. My work has aimed to clarify how early fearful/inhibited temperament predicts risk for anxiety-spectrum problems, with a particular focus on emotion processes (awareness, reactivity, regulation) involved in transactional influences occurring between anxiety-prone children and their parents. Much of this work has focused on early childhood, from toddlerhood to early school-age, which is a fascinating time for the emergence of children’s independent behavior and emotion regulation and an important developmental period for the influence of parents. I use multi-method assessments, including observation of temperament, parenting, and emotion processes; surveys; and psychophysiological techniques, such as analyzing both children’s and parents’ hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity when children encounter novel, uncertain situations. This research was recently awarded an R15 AREA grant from NICHD to examine how maternal emotion processes determine when temperamentally fearful children elicit overcontrolling parenting behavior. This basic research will inform the development of prevention efforts that consider anxiety development as occurring through transactional interactions between children and their environments.

Professional Recognition:

  • NICHD R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellowship
  • APA Dissertation Award
  • University of Missouri Mark H. Thelen Outstanding Clinical Graduate Student Award
  • Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Representative Publications:

Kiel, E. J., & Buss, K. A. (2013). Toddler inhibited temperament, maternal cortisol reactivity and embarrassment, and intrusive parenting. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 512-517.

Kiel, E. J., & Buss, K. A. (2012). Associations among toddler fearful temperament, context-specific maternal protective behavior, and maternal accuracy. Social Development, 21, 742-760.

Kiel, E.J., & Maack, D. J. (2012). Maternal BIS sensitivity, overprotective parenting, and children’s internalizing problems. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 257-262.

Kiel, E. J., & Buss, K. A. (2011). Prospective relations among fearful temperament, protective parenting, and social withdrawal: The role of maternal accuracy in a moderated mediation framework. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 953-966.

Kiel, E. J., & Buss, K. A. (2011). Toddlers’ duration of attention towards putative threat. Infancy, 16, 198-210.

Kiel, E. J., & Buss, K. A. (2010). Maternal expectations for toddlers’ responses to novelty: Relations of maternal internalizing symptoms and parenting dimensions to expectations and accuracy of expectations. Parenting: Science and Practice, 10, 202-218.

Kiel, E.J., & Buss, K.A. (2006). Maternal accuracy in predicting toddlers’ behaviors and associations with toddlers’ fearful temperament. Child Development, 77, 355-370.