Michigan State University

College of Social Science

Human Development Initiative

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The Human Development Initiative, begun in 2009, is a community of scholars throughout the university interested in development across the lifespan. The initiative creates venues where scholars involved in cutting-edge research in the social and health sciences (including genetics, neuroscience, and psychosocial development) can focus on the intersections between their own work and that of other researchers. We invite faculty and graduate students to join us at our bi-weekly brown bag speaker series and our fall and spring colloquia.

Burt S. Alexandra Burt
Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Clinical Psychology/Behavioral Genetics 2004
Masters University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Clinical Psychology/Behavioral Genetics 2001
Bachelors Emory University, Atlanta, GA, Psychology & History 1996
Primary Program: Clinical
107D Psychology
(517) 432-5602

Research Statement

Dr. Burt’s research focuses on understanding the etiology of aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors (collectively referred to as antisocial behaviors) across the lifespan, with a particular focus on the role of genotype-environnment interplay. In particular, she is interested in how environmental contexts/experiences (e.g., neighborhood disadvantage, environmental toxicants) may effectively turn genes for antisocial behavior on and/or off. She is also quite interested in the manifestation and etiology of digital aggression, a new phenomenon about which we know very little.  She makes use of a number of interrelated research strategies, including twin studies, adoption studies, and expermental paradigms.  Because the origins of antisocial behavior and digital aggression may well vary with age and development, her lab conducts studies in children, adolescents, college students, and adults, including the recently adjudicated.

Research Publications    
2016Burt, S.A., Donnellan, M.B., Slawinski, B.L, & Klump, K.L. (in press). The phenomenology of non-aggressive antisocial behavior during childhood. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
2016Donnellan, M.B. & Burt, S.A. (in press). A further evaluation of the triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy in college students. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.
2016Burt, S.A., Klump, K.L., Gorman-Smith, D., & Neiderhiser, J.M. (2016). Neighborhood disadvantage alters the origins of children’s non-aggressive conduct problems. Clinical Psychological Science.
2016O’Connor, S., Burt, S.A., Van Huysse, J., & Klump, K.L. (in press). What drives associations between weight focused peer groups and disordered eating? Disentangling genetic and shared environmental selection effects from pure socialization effects. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
2016VanHuysse, J., Burt, S.A., O'Connor, s., Thompson, K., & Klump, K.L. (in press). Socialization and selection effects in the association between weight conscious peer groups and thin-ideal internalization: A co-twin control study. Body Image.
2016Klahr, A.M., Burt, S.A., Leve, L.D., Shaw, D.S., Ganiban, J.M., Reiss, D., & Neiderhiser, J.M. (in press). Birth and adoptive parent antisocial behavior and parenting: A study of evocative gene-environment correlation. Child Development.
2016Hu, Y., Nesselroade, J.R., Erbacher, M.K., Boker, S.M., Burt, S.A., Keel, P.K., Neale, M.C., Sisk, C.L., & Klump, K.L. (in press). Test reliability at the individual level. Structural Equation Modeling.
2016Yokoyama, Y., Jelenkovic, A., Sund, R., Sung, R., Hopper, J.L., Ooki, S., Heikkila, K., Aaltonen, S., Tarnoki, A.D., Tarnoki, D.L., Willemsen, G., Bartels, M., van Beijstervedlt, T., Saudino, K.J., Cutler, T.L., Nelson, T.L., Whitfield, K.E., Wardle, J., Llewellyn, C.H., Fisher, A., He, M., Ding, X., Bjerregaard-Anderson, M., Beck-Nelson, H., Sodemann, M., Song, Y-M., Yang, S., Lee, K., Jeong, H-U., Knafo-Noam, A., Mankuta, D., Abramson, L., Burt, S.A., Klump, K.L., …, Silventoinen, K. (in press). Twin’s birth-order differences in height and body mass index from birth to old age: A pooled study of 26 twin cohorts participated in the CODATwins project. Twin Research and Human Genetics.
2016Klump, K.L., O’Connor, S.M., Hildebrandt, B.A., Keel, P.K., Neale, M., Sisk, C.L., Boker, S., and Burt, S.A. (in press). Differential effects of estrogen and progesterone on genetic and environmental risk for emotional eating in women. Clinical Psychological Science.
2015Nikolas, M., Klump, K.L., & Burt, S.A. (2015). Parental involvement moderates etiological influences on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder behaviors in child twins. Child Development, 86, 224-240.