UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Dr. Esther Leerkes

Photo of Dr. Esther LeerkesDr. Esther Leerkes (Human Development and Family Studies) received additional funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for the project “Identifying Genetic Risk for Maternal Insensitivity and Infant Dysregulation.” Leerkes will work to (1) identify specific emotion-related genotypes that predispose mothers to have more negative physiological, emotional and behavioral responses to infant distress; and to (2) examine the extent to which specific emotion-related genotypes make mothers and infants more or less susceptible to the effect of positive and negative environmental experiences. The abstract notes that identifying the processes that influence how mothers respond to their distressed infants and the origins of these processes will inform the development of screening tools to identify mothers at risk for parenting difficulties and the design of individually tailored intervention efforts to foster sensitive maternal behavior and positive social emotional functioning early in life.