Child Health and Development Lab

In the Child Health & Development (CHaD) Lab, we study factors that influence children’s health and development. As part of the Stress, Early Experiences, and Development (SEED) Research Center, we work to understand how risk and protective factors become embedded in a child’s body using biologic measures, observations in normative settings, in-depth interviews and assessments, and in-depth analysis of the inequities impacting families.

Our scientific findings inform policy and practice decisions for and with families as part of our commitment to science in service of public good.

Learn more about our research into childhood stress and adversity.



We study the ways risk and protective factors influence children's health and development, and what interventions can support that development.

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Our research team is committed to research that improves our understanding of the ways cortisol patterns and reactivity may affect later development.

About our Team



We frequently publish our findings in academic journals to contribute to knowledge in psychology.

Recent Publications

Campus view.

Looking for More Information About How Your Child Can Participate in Our Research?

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Join the Lab

We are currently open to new postdoctoral, graduate student and undergraduate trainees. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions or would like to come by the lab to meet us.

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Interested postdoctoral trainees can apply to the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group T32. Sarah Watamura, PhD, is also open to supporting individual postdoctoral fellowship applications.

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Graduate Students

Our lab is accepting applications for developmental and clinical PhD students planning to matriculate in the 2021–2022 academic year. Find out more about our PhD programs and application process on the Department of Psychology website.

Student Research Assistants

Our lab is accepting applications for student research assistants (RAs). RAs assist with many key lab functions, including helping to collect data in the field and helping to process interview, observational, physiologic and evaluation data. Many students grow toward independent projects and stay in the lab for many quarters, building relationships with graduate students and postdocs and enriching their education with hands-on experience. Learn more about the position and how to apply below.

Student Research Assistant Positions

If you are a student interested in working or volunteering in the lab, the first step is to complete this application, and return it to After we have received it, we will reach out to have you come in for a meeting. We look forward to reviewing your application!

Download the Application

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you pay RAs?

    We are looking for volunteers or students interested in doing research for course credit. Unfortunately, we do not have any paid positions at this time.

  • Can I get course credit?

    Yes you can get course credit if you are a student at DU. 

  • If I’m a student, can I do work-study? 

    Yes you can get work-study payment for working in the lab if you are a student with a work-study award.

  • How long will I be working with you?

    We are currently reviewing applications for summer and fall volunteers. As training can be a time consuming investment for us, we traditionally ask that students who would like to work with the families commit to more than one quarter (e.g. more than 3 months).

  • What kind of tasks would I be doing as a research assistant?

    We work with high-risk families investigating paths to the best child physical and mental health outcomes. Our research involves home visits (parent interview/ child testing), as well as handling biological samples and data entry. The nature of the work is diverse and the time commitment will vary by your interests and availability. If this sounds like a good fit, please apply!

  • What can I do if I have more questions?

    Email us at