Dr. Skowron is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and is a research scientist in the Center for Translational Neuroscience. She studied family systems and the process of family therapy while obtaining her Ph.D. at SUNY Albany. After a pre-doctoral internship at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in child clinical psychology at the University of California, San Francisco's Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, including the Irving B. Harris-funded Child Trauma Project at San Francisco General Hospital (Dr. Alicia Lieberman; Director) evaluating attachment-based child-parent psychotherapy for mothers and preschool children from violent families. A former Fulbright Scholar (Ireland, 2009-2010), she is on the editorial boards of several journals and serves on a standing NIH scientific review panel. Her current research investigates the efficacy of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in strengthening biological and behavioral markers of emotion regulation and self-control in parents and their children, for family violence prevention.
Dr. Skowron's research focuses on clarifying the individual and joint contributions of neurobiology and environment to the development of self-regulation and school readiness in young children. Her research also focuses on understanding the neurobiology of positive, responsive parenting and mechanisms of action in effective family interventions. Her core interests lie in discovering the neurobiological bases of behavioral change in family interventions, and translating findings into behavioral interventions that support healthy child development and family preservation. In the Family Biobehavioral Health Lab, Dr. Skowron and her research team use neural, physiological, behavioral, and micro-analytic coding approaches to model data streams in individual and dyadic parent-child processes associated with healthy development, and intervention outcomes. Her lab is currently completing a clinical trial of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy to investigate the behavioral, neural, and physiological mechanisms of action in PCIT that support positive changes in parenting, improve parent and child self-regulation and social perceptions, and reduce child abuse and neglect in child welfare-involved families.