Faculty Profile

Alison Miller

Alison L Miller, PhD

  • Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education

A developmental psychologist by training, Dr. Miller's research program examines how individual child factors, social relationships, and contextual processes shape healthy development for children. Most of her work concerns young children who are growing up in poverty and/or who have experienced early life stress (also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs) or other social determinants that can negatively impact health during childhood and across the lifespan. She is interested in using developmental science to generate public health approaches that support children, families, and individuals across the broad child-serving ecosystem that shapes child health and development. To that end, her research has examined how child self-regulation and bio-behavioral stress responses, early relational health and parenting, and social contextual influences relate to varied child health and well-being outcomes including mental health, sleep, eating behavior and obesity, media use, lead exposure, medical regimen adherence, and physical activity. She has worked with community partners including pediatricians, grassroots community-based organizations, Head Start programs, and school systems, and has conducted intervention studies in family and classroom contexts. Dr. Miller collaborates with community partners and a range of UM colleagues across disciplines to translate research findings into intervention approaches that may ultimately reduce health inequities and foster positive health and well-being for children and families.

  • NIMH T-32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Developmental Psychopathology, Brown University Medical School, 2002
  • PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan, 2000
  • MA, Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan, 1997
  • BA, Psychology, Wesleyan University, 1992

Research Interests:
  • childhood poverty and stress
  • child development and health (mental health, eating behavior, obesity, sleep, self-regulation)
  • parenting and early relational health
  • social determinants of health
  • child and family interventions
Research Projects: (see: https://alisonmillerlab.com/ for more details)
  • Trauma-informed programs and practices in schools (TIPPS) - Early Childhood Settings
  • Adolescent Interventions to Manage Self-Regulation in Type 1 Diabetes (AIMS-T1D)
  • Screening for Social Determinants of Health
  • Parenting and Lead Mitigation at Home: Community-Based Education for Parents of Young Children
  • Zero to Thrive Translational Network Lead

Miller, A.L., Stein, S.F., Sokol, R., Varisco, R., Trout, P., Julian, M., Ribaudo, J.M., Kay, J., Pilkauskas, N.V., Gardner-Neblett, N., Herrenkohl, T.I., Zivin, K., Muzik, M., Rosenblum, K. (2022). From Zero to Thrive: A Model of Cross-System and Cross-Sector Relational Health to Promote Early Childhood Development and Health. Infant Mental Health Journal. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/imhj.21996 

Miller, AL, Varisco, R, Charles, S, Haan, P, Stein, S, Hernandez, J, Riley, HO, Sokol, RL, Trout, P, Arboleda, L, Ribaudo, J, and Peterson, KE (2022). Parenting and lead mitigation at home: A multi-faceted community partnership model promoting parent engagement in lead exposure prevention. Health Promotion Practice, doi: 10.1177/15248399221092998. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35533250.

Miller, AL, Albright, D, Bauer, KW, Riley, HO, Hilliard, ME, Sturza, JM, Kaciroti, N Lo, SL, Clark, KM, Lee, JM, and Fredericks, EM (2022). Self-Regulation as a Protective Factor for Diabetes Distress and Adherence in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, May 24;jsac045. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsac045

Sokol, RL, Ammer, J, Stein, SF, Trout, P, Mohammed, L, and Miller AL (2021). Provider Perspectives on Screening for Social Determinants of Health in Pediatric Settings: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Pediatric Health Care Nov-Dec;35(6):577-586. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.08.004.

Miller, AL, Lo, S, Bauer, KW, Fredericks, EM. (2020). Developmentally informed behavior change techniques to enhance self-regulation in a health promotion context: A conceptual review. Health Psychology Review, 14:1;116-131, doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2020.1718530

Bohnert, A., Loren, D.M., and Miller, A.L. (2020). Examining Childhood Obesity through the Lens of Developmental Psychopathology: Framing the Issues to Guide Best Practices in Research and Intervention. American Psychologist, 75(2):163-177. doi: 10.1037/amp0000581

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=enanduser=dJ2Q-KsAAAAJandview_op=list_works 

Email: alimill@umich.edu 
Office: 734-615-7459
Address: 3718 SPH I
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029

For media inquiries: sph.media@umich.edu 

Areas of Expertise: Child Health,  Maternal Health,  Mental Health,  Nutrition