Participating Faculty


Maria (Masha) Gartstein

Credentials:1997 - Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
Office:Johnson Tower 316
Mailing Address:Psychology
PO Box 644820
Pullman, WA 99164-4820
Website:Click here

Research Interests

Prenatal Influences on infant emotional/behavioral development

Research Summary

The Gartstein laboratory at WSU has been operating for over 15 years, with research conducted there focused on measurement of child temperament and parent-child interactions, temperament development and developmental psychopathology, as well as cross-cultural differences in early social-emotional development. Notably, the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised, developed by Gartstein and Rothbart (2003), is one of the most widely used measures of infant temperament. Research addressing predictive relations between temperament and developmental psychopathology conducted at the Gartstein laboratory represents an important contribution because of its relevance to public health. That is, infancy temperament indicators have been linked with subsequent development of symptoms/disorders, and can be leveraged as markers of mental health related risk. These are currently being utilized by the Gartstein laboratory to understand etiological factors, in the absence of an extensive longitudinal design or long-term follow-up required to observe the emergence of symptoms. Cross-cultural research is critical in helping to identify universal aspects of temperament development vs. those that are culture-specific, and a function of culturally driven mechanisms. More recently, research emphasis of the Gartstein laboratory has shifted towards discerning pre and postnatal biological contributions to temperament development. The current program of research is focused primarily on biological mechanisms involved in links between maternal prenatal stress/symptomatology and infant functioning.

Research Publications

Selected Publications 2003-2018

Gartstein, M.A., Hancock, G.R., & Iverson, S.L. (in press). Positive affectivity and fear trajectories in infancy: Contributions of mother-child interaction factors. Child Development.

Gartstein, M.A., Seamon, E., Lengua, L.J., & Thompson, S.F. (in press). Community Crime Exposure and Risk for Obesity in Preschool Children: Moderation by the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal (HPA)-Axis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Erickson, N.L., Gartstein, M.A. & Dotson, J.A. (2017). A review of prenatal maternal mental health and the development of infant temperament. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 46, 588-600. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2017.03.008

Gartstein, M.A., Prokasky, A., Bell, M.A., Calkins, S., Bridgett, D.J., Braungart-Rieker, J., Leerkes, E., Cheatham, C., Eiden, R.D., Mize, K.D., Aaron Jones, N., Mireault, G., & Seamon, E. (2017). Latent Profile and Cluster Analysis of infant temperament: Comparisons across person-centered approaches. Developmental Psychology, 53, 1811-1825.

Gartstein, M.A. & Skinner, M.K. (2017). Prenatal influences on temperament development: The role of environmental epigenetics. Development and Psychopathology. doi: 10.1017/S0954579417001730

Lang, A.J. & Gartstein, M.A. (2017). Intergenerational transmission of traumatization: Theoretical framework and implications for prevention. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 16, 1-14. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2017.1329773.

Gartstein, M.A., Hookenson, K.V., Brain, U., Devlin, A.M., Grunau, R.E., & Oberlander, T.F. (2016). Sculpting infant soothability: The role of prenatal SSRI antidepressant exposure and neonatal SLC6A4 methylation status. Developmental Psychobiology, 58, 745-758.   

Gartstein, M.A., Bell, M.A., & Calkins, S.D. (2014). EEG asymmetry at 10 months of age: Are temperament trait predictors different for boys and girls? Developmental Psychobiology, 56, 1327–1340.

Gartstein, M.A., Bridgett, D.J., Rothbart, M.K., Robertson, C., Iddins, E., Ramsay, K., & Schlect, S. (2010). A Latent Growth Examination of Fear Development in Infancy: Contributions of Maternal Depression and the Risk for Toddler Anxiety. Developmental Psychology, 46, 651-668.

Gartstein, M.A., & Rothbart, M.K. (2003). Studying infant temperament via a revision of the Infant Behavior  Questionnaire. Journal of Infant Behavior and Development, 26, 64-86. 


Washington State University