Affective Development and Psychopathology Team

Research Overview

The Affective Development and Psychopathology Team (ADAPT) is a network of researchers investigating the environmental, interpersonal and biological processes that influence emotional reactivity and emotion regulation across the lifespan. We are especially interested in these developmental processes during childhood and adolescence, and in the role that these processes play in vulnerability to the onset of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorders.

Ultimately, we aim to not only shed light on the underlying causes of mental health and ill-health during these stages of life, but also to inform innovative approaches to early intervention and prevention by utilising this knowledge to generate and test novel, developmentally-targeted clinical and public health interventions.

Lab Members


Research Publications

2019 and In Press

  1. Simpson, C.A., Mu, Andre, Haslam, N, Schwartz, O.S., & Simmons, J.G. (In Press). Feeling down? A systematic review of the gut microbiota in anxiety/depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of Affective Disorders, (Accepted January 2020). doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.01.124.
  2. Whittle, S., Barendse, M., Pozzi, E., Vijayakumar, N., & Simmons, J.G. (In Press). Pubertal hormones predict sex-specific trajectories of pituitary gland volume during the transition from childhood to adolescence. Neuroimage, 204, (Accepted October 2019).
  3. Barendse, M., Simmons, J.G., Patton, G., Mundy, L., Byrne, M.L., Seal, M.L., AllenN.B., & Whittle, S. (In Press). Adrenarcheal Timing Longitudinally Predicts Anxiety Symptoms via Amygdala Connectivity During Emotion Processing. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, (Accepted April 2019).
  4. Whittle, S., Vijayakumar, N., Simmons, J.G., & Allen, N. (In Press). Internalizing and externalizing symptoms are associated with different trajectories of cortical development during late childhood. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, (Accepted April 2019).
  5. Pozzi, E., Simmons, J.G., Bousman, C.A., Vijayakumar, N., Bray, K.O., Dandash, O., Richmond, S., Schwartz, O., Seal, M., Sheeber, L., Yap, M.B.H., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S. (In Press). The influence of maternal parenting behaviors on the neural correlates of emotion processing in children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, (Accepted February 2019).
  6. Latham, M.D., Dudgeon, P., Yap, M.B.H., Simmons, J.G., Byrne, M., Schwartz, O.S., Ivie, E., Whittle, S., & Allen, N.B. (2019). Factor structure of the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire – Revised. Assessment, (Accepted Feb 2019).
  7. Ogeil, R., Cheetham, A., Mooney, A., Allen, N.B., Schwartz, O., Byrne, M.L., Simmons, J.G., Whittle, S. & Lubman, D.I. (In Press). Early adolescent drinking and cannabis use predicts later sleep quality problems. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (Accepted January 2019).
  8. Schwartz, O.S., Rowell, V., Whittle, S., Byrne, M.L., Simmons, J.G., Sheeber, L., McKenzie, V., & Allen, N.B. (In Press). Family meta-emotion and the onset of Major Depressive Disorder in adolescence: A prospective longitudinal study. Social Development. (Accepted February 2018).
  9. Deane, C., Vijayakumar, N., Allen, N.B., Schwartz, O., Simmons, J.G., Bousman, C.A., Pantelis, C., Whittle, S. (2020). Parenting-by-Brain-Development Interactions as Predictors of Adolescent Depressive Symptoms and Well-being: Differential Susceptibility or Diathesis-Stress? Development and Psychopathology, 32(1), 139-150.
  10. Little, K., Olsson, C., Whittle., S., MacDonald, J.A., Sheeber, L.B., Youssef, G., Simmons, J.G., Sanson, A.V., Foley, D. & Allen, N.B. (2019). Sometimes it’s good to be short: The serotonin transporter gene, positive parenting and adolescent depression. Child Development, 90(4), 1061-1079. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12987.
  11. Pozzi, E., Bousman, C.A., Simmons, J.G., Vijayakumar, N., Schwartz, O., Seal, M., Yap, M.B.H., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S. (2019). Interaction between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genetic variation and maternal behavior in the prediction of amygdala connectivity in children. Neuroimage, 197, 493-501.
  12. Smith, J., Johnson, K., Allen, N.B. & Simmons, J.G. (2019). Measurement of cortisol, DHEA and testosterone in the hair of children: Preliminary results and promising indications. Developmental Psychobiology, 61(6), 962-970.
  13. Simmons, J.G., Azpitarte, F., Roost, F.D., Dommers, E., Havighurst, S., AllenN.B., & Haslam, N. (2019). Correlates of hair cortisol concentrations in disadvantaged young children. Stress and Health, 35(1), 104-111. doi: 10.1002/smi.2842.
  14. Vijayakumar, N., Allen, N., Youssef, G.J., Simmons, J.G., Byrne, M.L., & Whittle, S. (2019). Neurodevelopmental trajectories related to attention problems predict driving-related risk behaviors. Journal of Attention Disorders, 23(11), 1346-1355.
  15. Ellis, R., Fernandes, A., Simmons, J.G., Mundy, L., Patton, G., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S. (2019). Relationships between adrenarcheal hormones, hippocampal volumes and depressive symptoms in children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 104, 55-63.
  16. Shirtcliff, E.A., Wang, W., Moody, S.N., Smith, J.D., & Simmons, J.G. (2019). Letter to the Editor: A call for transparency in immunoassay techniques to enhance Rigor and Reproducibility. Developmental Psychobiology, 61(6), 971-973.


  1. Kaess, M., Whittle, S., O’Brien-Simpson, L., AllenN.B., & Simmons, J.G. (2018). Childhood maltreatment, pituitary volume and adolescent hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis – Evidence for a maltreatment-related attenuation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 98, 39-45. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.08.004
  2. Barendse, M., Simmons, J.G., Byrne, M.L., Patton, G., Mundy, L., Olsson, C.A., Seal, M.L., AllenN.B., Whittle, S. (2018). Associations between adrenarcheal hormones, amygdala functional connectivity and anxiety symptoms in children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 97, 156-163. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.07.020
  3. Barbosa, C., Simmons, J.G., Vijayakumar, N., Dudgeon, P., Patton, G., Mundy, L., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S. (2018). Interaction between parenting styles and adrenarcheal timing associated with affective brain function in late childhood. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(9), 678-686. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.05.016.
  4. Blake, M.J., Blake, L.J., Schwartz, O., Raniti, M., Waloszek, J.M., Murray, G., Simmons, J., Landau, E., Dahl, R.E., McMakin, D.L., Dudgeon, P., Trinder, J.A., & Allen, N.B. (2018).Who benefits from adolescent sleep interventions? Moderators of treatment efficacy in a randomized controlled trial of a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based group sleep intervention for at-risk adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59(6), 637-649.
  5. Cheetham, A., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S.L., Simmons, J.G., Yucel, M, & Lubman, D. (2018). Amygdala volume mediates the relationship between externalizing symptoms and daily smoking in adolescence: a prospective study. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 276, 46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2018.03.007
  6. Landau, E.R., Trinder, J., Simmons, J.G., Raniti, M., Blake, M., Waloszek, J.M., Blake, L., Schwartz, O., Murray, G., Allen, N.B., & Byrne, M.L. (2018). Salivary C-reactive protein among at-risk adolescents: A methods investigation of out of range immunoassay data. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 99, 104-111.
  7. Byrne, M.L., Schwartz, O.S., Simmons, J.G., Sheeber, L., Whittle, S., & Allen, N.B. (2018). Duration of breastfeeding and subsequent adolescent obesity: Effects of maternal behavior and socio-economic status. Journal of Adolescent Health, 62(4), 471-479.
  8. Barendse, M.E.A., Simmons, J.G., Byrne, M.B., Seal, M.L., Patton, G., Mundy, L., Wood, S.J., Olsson, C., & Allen, N.B. & Whittle, S. (2018). Brain structural connectivity during adrenarche: Associations between hormone levels and white matter microstructure. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 88, 70-77.
  9. Nelson, B.W., Byrne, M., Simmons, J. G., Whittle, S., Schwartz, O.S., O’Brien-Simpson, N.M., Walsh, K.A., Reynolds, E.C., & Allen, N.B. (2018). Adolescent temperament dimensions as stable prospective risk and protective factors for salivary C-reactive protein. British Journal of Health Psychology, 23(1), 186-207.