Heidemarie Kaiser Laurent

Research Interests

What separates people who can thrive in the face of stress from those who succumb to mood disorders? How do early and later relationships buffer or exacerbate stress vulnerabilities, and how can people learn to respond more adaptively to daily stressors? Dr. Laurent’s research focuses on (1) defining what we mean by stress “regulation” by relating multiple biological (i.e., neural, neuroendocrine, autonomic) and behavioral stress response facets to psychological symptoms and well-being; (2) identifying developmental paths shaping stress regulation, including prenatal and postnatal influences of parental depression; and (3) determining how practices such as mindfulness can improve stress regulation, and whom such practices are most likely to benefit. Her work combines stress physiology monitoring, neuroimaging, and/or behavioral observation as people respond to naturalistic stressors that arise within close interpersonal relationships, toward the ultimate goal of interrupting intergenerational cycles of stress dysregulation and depression.


, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Additional Campus Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Psychology
Institute Affiliate, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Creative/Performing Interests

Stress regulation; Mindfulness; Depression; Close relationships

Recent Publications

Khan, F., & Laurent, H. K. (2019). Assessing the Impact of Mindfulness and Life Stress on Maternal Well-Being. Mindfulness, 10(1), 26-35. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0943-y

Lipscomb, S. T., Becker, D. R., Laurent, H. K., Neiderhiser, J. M., Shaw, D. S., Natsuaki, M. N., ... Leve, L. D. (2018). Examining morning HPA axis activity as a moderator of hostile, over-reactive parenting on children's skills for success in school. Infant and Child Development, 27(4), [e2083]. https://doi.org/10.1002/icd.2083

Laurent, H. K., Goodman, S. H., Stowe, Z. N., Halperin, M., Khan, F., Wright, D., ... Knight, B. (2018). Course of ante-and postnatal depressive symptoms related to mothers' HPA axis regulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 127(4), 404-416. https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000348

Laurent, H. K., Wright, D., & Finnegan, M. (2018). Mindfulness-related differences in neural response to own infant negative versus positive emotion contexts. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 30, 70-76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2018.01.002

Delker, B. C., Bernstein, R. E., & Laurent, H. K. (2018). Out of harm's way: Secure versus insecure-disorganized attachment predicts less adolescent risk taking related to childhood poverty. Development and Psychopathology, 30(1), 283-296. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579417000621

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