Erika Manczak

Assistant Professor

What I do

I am an Assistant Professor studying the interplay between biological and environmental processes in the development of depression in children and parents.


Clinical psychology, immunology, child development; depression

Professional Biography

I joined the Department of Psychology in 2018 as an Assistant Professor and I am affiliated with the clinical child psychology Ph.D. program and the Stress, Early Experience, and Development (SEED) Research Center. I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University.


  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University, 2017
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University, 2013
  • BA, College Scholar Program: "Psychonarrative Application", Cornell University, 2007

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Licensed Psychologist


My program of research examines the biological and psychological mechanisms through which experiences during childhood and adolescence confer risk for mental and physical health disorders. I am especially interested in how important social relationships affect immune processes that in turn increase risk for depression in adolescence; however, my work also examines risk across other developmental periods (e.g., adulthood, prenatal) and considers a variety of additional biological pathways (e.g., epigenetic modifications, somatic fitness).

Featured Publications

Manczak, E. M., Basu, D., & Chen, E. (2016). The Price of Perspective Taking: Child Depressive Symptoms Interact with Parental Empathy to Predict Immune Functioning in Parents. Clinical psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 4(3), 485-492.
Manczak, E. M., DeLongis, A., & Chen, E. (2016). Does empathy have a cost? Diverging psychological and physiological effects within families. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 35(3), 211-8.
Manczak, E. M., Ordaz, S. J., Singh, M. K., Goyer, M. S., & Gotlib, I. H. (2019). Time Spent with Parents Predicts Change in Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of abnormal child psychology.
Manczak, E. M., Dougherty, B., & Chen, E. (2019). Parental Depressive Symptoms Potentiate the Effect of Youth Negative Mood Symptoms on Gene Expression in Children with Asthma. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 47(1), 99-108.
Manczak, E. M., Miller, J. G., & Gotlib, I. H. (2019). Water Contaminant Levels Interact with Parenting Environment to Predict Development of Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents. Developmental science, e12838.