Dr. Trentacosta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University and Affiliate Faculty of the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute. Dr. Trentacosta is also a Co-Leader for the Community Engagement Core of the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES).
Research interest(s)/area of expertise
- Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychopathology, and Emotional Development
Dr. Trentacosta's research examines self-regulatory skills and emotion competence among parents and their young children. He is especially interested in the roles of emotion competence and self-regulation in children's risk for behavior problems during early childhood and their adjustment to school. His research interests fall into three broad categories: (1) examinations of the correlates and outcomes of emotion competence and self-regulation from a developmental psychopathology perspective, (2) longitudinal investigations of transmission mechanisms (genetic factors, environmental exposures to toxicants, parent-child interaction patterns) that contribute to emotion regulation difficulties and behavior problems, and (3) evaluations of programs to promote emotion competence, self-regulatory skills, and school adjustment and to prevent conduct problems. He has expertise in conducting longitudinal research with low-income families and other populations that face significant life stressors.
- Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Delaware, 2006
- M.A., Psychology, University of Delaware, 2003
- B.A., Psychology, Loyola College (Maryland), 2000
Awards and grants
Title: From the Womb to the Classroom: Linking Perinatal Micronutrients and Toxicants to Neural and Behavioral Development In Utero and In Childhood
Funding Mechanism: NIEHS R01
Role: Multi-PI with Moriah Thomason and Christine Austin
Funding Period: 8/26/2020-5/31/2025
Title: Examining Prenatal Inflammation and Neurodevelopment in a Longitudinal Fetal-to-Age 9 Imaging Study
Funding Mechanism: NIMH R01
Role: Multi-PI with Moriah Thomason
Funding Period: 5/14/2020-2/28/2025
Title: In Utero Assessment of the Human Neural Connectome and Later Child Behavior
Funding Mechanism: NIMH BRAINS Award
Role: Co-Investigator (2016-2018) and Site PI (2018-present) (Principal Investigator: Moriah Thomason)
Funding Period: 7/15/2016-4/30/2021
Title: Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES)
Funding Mechanism: NIEHS P30 Center
Role: Community Engagement Core Co-Leader (2019-present) (Principal Investigator: Melissa Runge-Morris)
Funding Period: 6/5/2014-3/31/2022
Title: Prenatal Temporal Dynamics in Heavy Metal Exposure and Longitudinal Fetal and Child Neurodevelopment
Funding Mechanism: CURES Pilot Project Program
Role: Principal Investigator with Moriah Thomason
Funding Period: 11/1/2017-3/31/2019
Title: Contextual Risk, Oxytocin, and Resilience in Everyday Life
Funding Mechanism: Wayne State University President’s Research Enhancement Program
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Period: 9/4/2015-9/7/2017
Title: Schools and Families Empowering Learning Intervention Project (SAFE-Learning Program)
Funding Mechanism: Detroit Public Schools/Children’s Center
Role: Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: Douglas Barnett)
Funding Period: 2/15/2015-12/31/2016
Title: Transmission Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation and Externalizing Problems
Funding Mechanism: NIMH K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Period: 8/15/2009-04/30/2015
Title: Gene-Environment Interplay and Young Children’s Executive Functioning
Funding Mechanism: Michigan Bloodspot Environmental Epidemiology Project (BLEEP)
Role: Principal Investigator (sub-contract from University of Michigan
Funding Period: 9/8/2012-4/30/2015
Title: At-Risk Young Adult Parents
Funding Mechanism: Children’s Research Center of Michigan New Investigator Award
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Period: 1/1/2012-12/31/2014
Wilhoit, S. A., Trentacosta, C. J., Beeghly, M., Boeve, J. L., Lewis, T., & Thomason, M. E. (in press). Household chaos and early childhood behavior problems: The moderating role of parent-child reciprocity in lower-income families. Family Relations.
Trentacosta, C. J., & Mulligan, D. J. (2020). New directions in understanding the role of environmental contaminants in child development: Four themes. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2020(172), 39-51.
Crespo, L. M., Trentacosta, C. J., Udo-Inyang, I., Northerner, L., Chaudhry, K., & Williams, A. (2019). Self-regulation mitigates the association between household chaos and children’s behavior problems. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 60, 56-64.
Thomason, M., Hect, J. L., Rauh, V. A., Trentacosta, C., Wheelock, M. D., Eggebrecht, A. T., Espinoza-Heredia, C., & Burt, S. A. (2019). Prenatal lead exposure impacts cross-hemispheric and long-range connectivity in the human fetal brain. NeuroImage, 191, 186-192.
Trentacosta, C. J., Waller, R., Neiderhiser, J.M., Shaw, D. S., Natsuaki, M. N., Ganiban, J. M., Reiss, D., Leve, L. D., & Hyde, L. W. (2019). Callous-unemotional behaviors and harsh parenting: Reciprocal associations across early childhood and moderation by inherited risk. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 811-823.
Sparks, L. A., Trentacosta, C. J., Owusu, E., McLear, C., & Smith-Darden, J. (2018). Family cumulative risk and at-risk kindergarteners’ social competence: The mediating role of parent representations of the attachment relationship. Attachment and Human Development, 20, 406-422.
Crespo, L. M., Trentacosta, C. J., Aikins, D., & Wargo-Aikins, J. (2017). Maternal emotion regulation and children's behavior problems: The mediating role of child emotion regulation. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, 2797-2809.
Goodlett, B. D., Trentacosta, C. J., McLear, C., Crespo, L., Wheeler, R., Williams, A., Chaudhry, K., & Smith-Darden J. (2017). Maternal depressive symptoms and at-risk young children's internalizing problems: The moderating role of mothers' positivity. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 63, 77-104.
Trentacosta, C. J., Davis-Kean, P., Mitchell, C., Hyde, L., & Dolinoy, D. (2016). Environmental contaminants and child development. Child Development Perspectives, 10, 228-233.
Trentacosta, C. J., Harper, F. W. K., Albrecht, T. L., Taub, J. W., Phipps, S., & Penner, L. A. (2016). Pediatric cancer patients' treatment-related distress and longer-term anxiety: An individual differences perspective. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 37, 753-761.
Trentacosta, C. J., McLear, C. M., Ziadni, M. S., Lumley, M. A., & Arfken, C. L.. (2016). Potentially traumatic events and mental health problems among children of Iraqi refugees: The roles of relationships with parents and feelings about school. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 86, 384-392.
McLear, C. M., Trentacosta, C. J., & Smith-Darden, J. (2016). Child self-regulation, parental secure base scripts, and at-risk kindergarteners' academic achievement. Early Education and Development, 27, 440-456.
Northerner, L. M., Trentacosta, C. J., & McLear, C. M. (2016). Negative affectivity moderates associations between cumulative risk and at-risk toddlers’ behavior problems. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 691-699.
Trentacosta, C. J., Hyde, L. W., Goodlett, B. D., & Shaw, D. S. (2013). Longitudinal prediction of disruptive behavior disorders in adolescent males from multiple risk domains. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 44, 561-572.
Slatcher, R. B., & Trentacosta, C. J. (2012). Influences of parent and child negative emotionality on young children’s everyday behaviors. Emotion, 12, 932-942.
Trentacosta, C. J., Criss, M.M., Shaw, D. S., Lacourse, E., Hyde, L. W., & Dishion, T. J. (2011). Antecedents and outcomes of joint trajectories of mother-son conflict and warmth during middle childhood and adolescence. Child Development, 82, 1676-1690.
Trentacosta, C. J., Neppl, T. K., Donnellan, M. B., Scaramella, L. V., Shaw, D. S., & Conger, R. D. (2010). Adolescent personality as a prospective predictor of parenting: An interactionist perspective. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 721-730.
Trentacosta, C. J. & Fine, S. E. (2010). Emotion knowledge, social competence, and behavior problems in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic review. Social Development, 19, 1-29.
Trentacosta, C. J., Hyde, L. W., Shaw, D. S., & Cheong, J. (2009). Adolescent dispositions for antisocial behavior in context: The roles of neighborhood dangerousness and parental knowledge. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 564-575.
Trentacosta, C. J. & Shaw, D. S. (2009). Emotional self-regulation, peer rejection, and antisocial behavior: Associations from early childhood to early adolescence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 356-365.
Izard, C. E., King, K. A., Trentacosta, C. J., Morgan, J. K., Laurenceau, J. P., Krauthamer-Ewing, E. S., & Finlon, K. J. (2008). Accelerating the development of emotion competence in Head Start children: Effects on adaptive and maladaptive behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 369-397.
Trentacosta, C. J., Hyde, L. W., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., Gardner, F., & Wilson, M. (2008). The relations among cumulative risk, parenting, and behavior problems during early childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 1211-1219.
Trentacosta, C. J., & Izard, C. E. (2007). Kindergarten children’s emotion competence as a predictor of their academic competence in first grade. Emotion, 7, 77-88.
PSY 7370, Psychological Interventions I (co-taught with Dr. Mark Lumley), 3 credit hours, Fall 2021
PSY 4320, Introduction to Clinical Psychology, 3 credit hours, Winter 2021
PSY 7380, Psychological Interventions II (co-taught with Dr. Paul Toro), 3 credit hours, Winter 2021