Professor and Interim Chair
Campbell Hall 415
(205) 934-3542

Research Interests: Development of behavioral and emotional problems in adolescence

sylvie mrugOffice Hours: By appointment

  • MA, Charles University, Clinical Psychology
  • MS, Purdue University, Clinical Psychology
  • MS, Purdue University, Applied Statistics
  • PhD, Purdue University, Clinical Psychology

My research examines the interplay of risk and protective factors in the development of behavioral and emotional problems in adolescence, including antisocial behavior, substance use, depression and anxiety.

Most of my work has focused on the effects of violence exposure and peer influences in conjunction with other individual and contextual risk factors, such as pubertal timing, temperament, stress reactivity, parental practices, and broader influences of schools and neighborhoods.

I am currently directing three longitudinal studies that follow community samples of youth through adolescence and into young adulthood: Birmingham Youth Violence Study, Coping with Violence, and Healthy Passages. In collaboration with my students, we are also studying adolescents’ adjustment to chronic illness and developing a spiritual coping intervention for youth with cystic fibrosis.

My research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health. I serve as an associate editor for the Journal of Early Adolescence and on editorial boards of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and Adiktologie.

I am available to work with graduate students in our medical psychology and lifespan developmental psychology programs, as well as undergraduate students with shared research interests.

Curriculum Vitae

  • PY 718: Research Design
  • PY 719: Multivariate Statistics
  • PY 727: Longitudinal Data Analysis
  • PY 729: Adolescent Development
  • Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., Hensler, M., Guion, K., & Madan-Swain, A. (2014) Spiritual Coping and Adjustment in Adolescents with Chronic Illness: A 2-Year Prospective Study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology 39 (5), 542-51.
  • Mrug, S., Elliott, M.N., Davies, S., Tortolero, S., Cuccaro, P., & Schuster, M.A. (2013). Early puberty, negative peer influence and problem behaviors in adolescent girls. Pediatrics, 133, 7-14.
  • Mrug, S., & McCay, R. (2013). Parental and peer disapproval of alcohol use and its relationship to adolescent drinking: Age, gender, and racial differences. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(3), 604-614.
  • Mrug, S., Madan, A., & Windle, M. (2012). Temperament alters susceptibility to negative peer influence in early adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(2), 201-209.
  • Mrug, S., Borch, C., & Cillessen, A.H.N. (2011). Other-sex friendships in late adolescence: Risky associations for substance use and sexual debut?" Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(7), 875-888.
  • Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2010). Prospective effects of violence exposure across multiple contexts on early adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(8), 953-961.
  • Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2009). Bidirectional influences of violence exposure and adjustment in early adolescence: Externalizing behaviors and school connectedness Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37(5), 611-623.