The Stress Physiology Investigative Team (SPIT) laboratory was established in 2008. The SPIT lab seeks to understand the development of psychopathology by enhancing our understanding of psychobiological risk factors and inter-related social contextual factors in adolescents. This interdisciplinary research examines both short term responses to stressors such as laboratory challenges, as well as changes that are not necessarily temporary but can consistently or even permanently change an individual’s biology.

 REU Students present posters at the Undergraduate Research Symposium 2019 – ISU Memorial Union



SPIT lab just hit a milestone of 100 published papers.


 Recent Publications

  1. Hastings, P.D., Ugarte, E., Mashash, M., Marceau, K., Natsuaki, M.N., Shirtcliff, E.A., Zahn-Waxler, C.Z., Klimes-Dougan, B. (2021). The codevelopment of adolescents’ and parents’ anxiety and depression: Moderating influences of youth gender and psychophysiology. Depression and anxiety, 1-11.
  2. Shirtcliff, E.A., Hanson, J.L., Phan, J.M., Ruttle, P.L., Pollak, S.D. (2021). Hyper-and hypo-cortisol functioning in post-institutionalized adolescents: The role of severity of neglect and context. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 124, 105067.
  3. Phan, J.M., Dismukes, A.R., Barnett, N., Miocevic, O., Ruttle, P., & Shirtcliff, E.A. (2019). Adrenocortical and autonomic attunement between romantic emerging adult partners. Stress, 1-11.
  4. Deardorff, J., Hoyt, L., Carter, R., & Shirtcliff, E. (2019). Exploring the complexity of puberty: Understudied populations and processes. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 29, 133-154.
  5. White, S. F., Lee, Y., Phan, J. M., Moody, S. N., & Shirtcliff, E. A. (2019). Putting the Flight in “Fight-or-Flight”: Testosterone reactivity to skydiving is modulated by autonomic activation. Biological Psychology.
  6. Aylwin, C. F., Toro, C. A., Shirtcliff, E., & Lomniczi, A. (2019). Emerging genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying pubertal maturation in adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 29(1), 54-79.
  7. Dismukes, A.R., Shirtcliff, E.A., Drury, S.S. (2018). Genetic and epigenetic processes in infant mental health. In Zeanah, C.H. (Eds.). Handbook of Infant Mental Health. Guildford Press.
  8. Zakreski, E., Dismukes, A. R., Tountas, A., Phan, J. M., Moody, S. N., & Shirtcliff, E. A. (2018).  Developmental trajectories of HPA-HPG dual axes coupling: Implications for social neuroendocrinology. In Schultheiss, O. C., & Mehta, P. H. (Eds.). Routledge International Handbook of Social Neuroendocrinology. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  9. Dismukes, A., Shirtcliff, E., Jones, C. W., Zeanah, C., Theall, K., & Drury, S. (2018). The development of the cortisol response to dyadic stressors in Black and White infants. Development and Psychopathology, 30(5), 1995-2008.
  10. Gonzales, N. A., Johnson, M., Shirtcliff, E. A., Tein, J. Y., Eskenazi, B., & Deardorff, J. (2018). The role of bicultural adaptation, familism, and family conflict in Mexican American adolescents’ cortisol reactivity. Development and psychopathology, 30(5), 1571-1587.
  11. Vijayakumar, N., Shirtcliff, E.A., Pfeifer, J., Op de Macks, Z. (2018). Puberty and the human brain: insights into adolescent development. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 92, 417-436.
  12. Finseth, T., Barnett, N. Shirtcliff, E. A., Dorneich, M., & Kiren, N. (2018). Stress inducing demands in virtual environments. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: HFES.
  13. Johnson, M., Vitacco, M. J., & Shirtcliff, E. A. (2018). Callous-unemotional traits and early life stress predict treatment effects on stress and sex hormone functioning in incarcerated male adolescents. Stress, 21(2), 110-118.
  14. Phan, J. M., Schneider, E., Peres, J., Miocevic, O., Meyer, V., & Shirtcliff, E. A. (2017). Social evaluative threat with verbal performance feedback alters neuroendocrine response to stress. Hormones and Behavior, 96, 104-115.
  15. Theall, K. P., Shirtcliff, E. A., Dismukes, A. R., Wallace, M., & Drury, S. S. (2017). Association between neighborhood violence and biological stress in children. JAMA Pediatrics, 171(1), 53-60.
  16. Obasi, E. M., Tackett, J. L., Shirtcliff, E. A., & Cavanagh, L. (2017). The effects of alcohol and cigarette consumption on dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in rural African Americans. Journal of Black Psychology, 43(6), 588-607.
  17. Miočević, O., Cole, C. R., Laughlin, M. J., Buck, R. L., Slowey, P. D., & Shirtcliff, E. A. (2017). Quantitative lateral flow assays for salivary biomarker assessment: A review. Frontiers in Public Health, 5, 133.
  18. Black, S. R., Lerner, M. D., Shirtcliff, E. A., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Patterns of neuroendocrine coupling in 9-year-old children: Effects of sex, body-mass index, and life stress. Biological Psychology.
  19. Obasi, E. M., Shirtcliff, E. A., Cavanagh, L., Ratliff, K. L., Pittman, D. M., & Brooks, J. J. (2017). Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal reactivity to acute stress: An investigation into the roles of perceived stress and family resources. Prevention Science, 18(8), 923-931.
  20. Shirtcliff, E. A., Skinner, M. L., Obasi, E. M., & Haggerty, K. P. (2017). Positive parenting predicts cortisol functioning six years later in young adults. Developmental Science, 20(6).
  21. Wang, W., Moody, S. N., & Shirtcliff, E. A. (2016). Noninvasive hair assay for sex hormones: Preliminary protocol validation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 71, 45.