I received my Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Georgia in 2022. My research focuses on examining the impact of early life stress in multiple ecological contexts (e.g., family, school, neighborhood, etc.) on children’s socio-emotional, behavioral, and neurocognitive development. In addition, I seek to explore and identify multilevel processes and protective factors that elucidate the developmental mechanisms of resilience among children in adverse contexts. I am currently assisting with and collaborating on the Healthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) study. We seek to understand the downstream influences of environmental risks, such as perinatal exposure to substances, on trajectories of brain development, as well as identify resilience-promoting factors.

Areas of Interest

  • Prenatal and Early Life Stress; Resilience; Learning and Memory; Behavioral and Socioemotional Development; Risk Behaviors and Psychopathology; Neuroimaging


  • Ph.D.
    Human Development and Family Science
  • M.A.
    Social Work
  • B.A.
Research Methods
Research Interests
Environmental Adversity
Neurobehavioral Resilience
Neural Development
Learning and Memory
Individual Differences

Current Students

Former Students

Zehua Cui
​Neurocognitive Development Lab, ​​4094 Campus Drive, Biology/Psychology Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
zcui12 [at] umd.edu