Associate Professor
Campbell Hall 231F
(205) 934-9897

Research Interests: Parenting, child abuse

Christina RodriguezOffice Hours: By appointment only

  • BS, University of Miami
  • PhD, University of Florida, Clinical Psychology
  • Pre-Doctoral Internship, University of Tennessee, Memphis
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Tennessee, Memphis

The primary emphasis of my current research program involves understanding factors that exacerbate parental risk for physical child abuse, particularly psychological distress and cognitive processes that increase the likelihood that a parent will transition from using physical discipline to harsher and ultimately abusive discipline. Most recently I have focused on identifying innovative assessment strategies that would permit greater confidence in our abuse risk assessments.

To better understand potential avenues leading to abusive parenting, the Parenting Challenges with Kids (PaCK) Lab considers factors that promote optimal parenting in addition to parenting in more at-risk, challenging circumstances. As part of this effort, we are studying the potential evolution of parenting beliefs and attitudes by following first-time parents from their last trimester of pregnancy to track their transition into parenthood. We follow families during the first years of the baby’s life in the longitudinal Following First Families (Triple-F) study, an NICHD funded grant.

I have also considered how such parental disciplinary behaviors, beliefs, and abuse risk are associated with children’s internalizing difficulties, such as the development of depressive and anxious symptomatology, paying particular attention to potential cognitive mechanisms that can be transmitted intergenerationally.

  • PY 218: Abnormal Psychology
  • PY 741: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • Editorial Board, Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Editorial Board, Child Maltreatment
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Marriage & Family
  • Principal Investigator, National Institute of Child Health and Development grant
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist