Margaret Briggs-Gowan, PhD (Affiliate)

Associate Professor, Psychiatry (Affiliate)

Research Overview

I am a developmental psychologist with specific interests in the development of psychopathology beginning in early childhood. (1) I am interested in topics pertaining to normal and abnormal development, particularly biobehavioral indicators of risk for maladaptive outcomes, as well as family factors that buffer the impact of stress on these systems (e.g., responsive parenting). (2) My current research investigating early indicators of risk in young children exposed to violence can ultimately be used to inform efforts at early identification and intervention. (3) Since joining UConn in 2006, I have been involved in many different NIH and Foundation studies all aimed at understanding the mental health of young children towards improving long term outcomes. These have included studies on early screening and intervention in primary care, epidemiological studies to demonstrate mental health problems in young children, and intensive lab based studies of young children from high risk environments. My research is further rounded out by my role as program evaluator of a family-based intervention for high risk families with young children, Child FIRST.


Ph.D., Yale University 1996
MS, Yale University 1992
MPhil, Yale University 1991

Recent Publications


1. Briggs-Gowan MJ, Carter AS. Social-emotional screening status in early childhood predicts elementary school outcomes. Pediatrics. 2008;121(5):957-962. PMCID: PMC3088107
2. Briggs-Gowan MJ, Carter AS, Irwin J, Wachtel K, & Cicchetti D (2004). The Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment: Screening for social-emotional problems and delays in competence, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29(2), 143-155.
3. Weitzman CC, Edmonds D, Davagnino J, Briggs-Gowan M. The association between parent worry and young children’s social-emotional functioning. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.. 2011;32(9):660-667.
4. Wakschlag L, Choi S, Carter AS, Hullsiek H, McCarthy K, Leibenluft E, Briggs-Gowan MJ, (2012). Defining the developmental parameters of temper loss in early childhood: Implications for developmental psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 1099-1108. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02595.x PMCID: PMC3633202
5. Briggs-Gowan MJ, Carter AS, McCarthy K, Augustyn M, Caronna E, Clark R. Clinical validity of a brief measure of early childhood social-emotional/behavioral problems. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2013;38(5):577-587. PMCID: PMC3666122
6. Wiggins JL, Briggs-Gowan MJ, Brotman MA, Leibenluft E, Wakschlag LS (In Press). Don’t miss the boat: Towards a developmental nosology for disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) in early childhood. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

7. O’Dor SL, Grasso DJ, Forbes D, Bates JE, McCarthy KJ, Wakschlag LS, & *Briggs-Gowan MJ. The Family Socialization Interview-Revised (FSI-R): a comprehensive assessment of parental disciplinary behaviors. Prevention Science. 2017; 18(3):292-304. PMCID: PMC5568657.
8. Grasso DJ, Wakschlag LS, McCarthy KM, & Henry DB & Briggs-Gowan MJ. Profiles of exposure to partner- and child-directed violence among preschool children: A latent class approach. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2016;29(6):491-499, PMCID: PMC5140743.
9. Briggs-Gowan MJ, Estabrook R, Henry D, Grasso DJ, Burns J, McCarthy KJ, Pollak SJ, & Wakschlag LS. Parsing dimensions of family violence exposure in early childhood: Shared and specific contributions to emergent psychopathology and impairment, Child Abuse and Neglect. In Press.

10. Greene CA, McCarthy KJ, Estabrook R, Wakschlag LS, & Briggs-Gowan MJ (In Press). Responsive Parenting Buffers the Impact of Maternal PTSD on Young Children, Parenting Science and Practice.
11. Greene CA, Chan G, McCarthy K, Wakschlag LS, & Briggs-Gowan MJ (2018). Psychological and physical intimate partner violence and young children’s mental health: The role of maternal posttraumatic stress symptoms and parenting behaviors, Child Abuse and Neglect. 2018; 77, 168-179.
12. Gray SAO, Forbes D, Briggs-Gowan MJ, & Carter AS (2015). Caregiver insightfulness and young children’s violence exposure: Testing a relational model of risk and resilience, Attachment and Human Development, 17(6), 615-34.
13. Carter AS, Garrity-Rokous FE, Chazan-Cohen R, Little C, & Briggs-Gowan MJ (2001). Maternal depression and comorbidity: Predicting early parenting, attachment security, and toddler social-emotional problems and competencies. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(1), 18-26.
14. Lowell DI, Carter AS, Godoy L, Paulicin B, *Briggs-Gowan MJ (2011). A randomized controlled trial of Child FIRST: A comprehensive home-based intervention translating research into early childhood practice. Child Development, 82(1), 193-208.

Contact Information
Mailing Address65 Kane street West Hartford, CT 06119
CampusUConn Health