Nicki Bush, PhD - Contact Information

Nicki Bush, PhD

Title: Assistant Adjunct Professor

Education:

University of Washington, Seattle, PhD

Postgraduate Training:

Robert Wood Johnson Health and Science Scholar, University of California, San Francisco (School of Medicine) and Berkeley (Public Health);  Postdoctoral Fellowship, Developmental Psychobiology and Health Psychology, University of California, San Francisco (School of Medicine) and Berkeley (Public Health).

Biography Summary:

Nicole (Nicki) Bush joined the faculty after completing a postdoctoral fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the UCSF/UCB site. Prior to that, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in children’s physiologic stress reactivity at UC Berkeley. She received her PhD in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington and completed her child clinical training internship at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She has a background in basic research as well as clinical and community intervention with families from high-stress contexts, and she is actively involved in policy-oriented projects.

Her research has examined relations among biobehavioral predispositions (e.g., temperament and physiology) and stressful life circumstances (e.g., poverty, parenting, and neighborhood) in the prediction of a broad range of children's mental health outcomes. In recent years, Dr. Bush has expanded her examination of contextual risk effects by infusing her models with a new understanding of biology (physiology, genetics, epigenetics) throughout early development, including the prenatal period. Her work integrates insights from social epidemiology, sociology, clinical psychology, and developmental psychobiology to elucidate the interplay of biology and context in youth development, as physiological systems mature and social environments change. Her examinations of how social disadvantage interacts with and alters children’s biological stress response systems aim to clarify the etiology of children’s mental and physical health outcomes and subsequent adult health.



Clinical Expertise:

Disruptive behaviors in early childhood; adolescent mood and anxiety; adolescent delinquency; family therapy; dialectical behavioral therapy; individual adult therapy; community intervention in high-risk neighborhoods and schools.

Research Areas:

Dr. Bush’s research focuses on the manner in which early social contexts interface with individual differences to affect developmental trajectories across the life course. She examines how socioeconomic, parental, and environmental risks for maladaptive behavior and developmental psychopathology are modulated by individual differences in children’s temperamental, neurobiological, and genetic reactivity to stress. She also investigates the ways in which contextual experiences of adversity become biologically embedded by changing children’s developing physiologic systems and epigenetic processes, thereby shaping individual differences that mediate and moderate the effects of context on trajectories of development and mental health.

Keywords:

Child, adolescent, and family mental health; preschool behavior disorders; community intervention; temperament; stress reactivity; stress physiology; social determinants of health; childhood obesity; early life adversity; biology-context interactions; genetics; epigenetics; prenatal programming; youth mental health policy.

Campus Location: Laurel Heights


 

Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service