Aura Ankita Mishra

Fall 2013

I am a developmental researcher with interests in health and well-being during adolescence and adulthood for individuals with histories of adverse childhood experiences and trauma. I am interested in examining the intersectionality of physiology and psychology as contributing factors for internalizing and externalizing problems, and physical health problems among individuals with exposure to early life adversities.

The Contexts, Mechanisms & Consequences of Childhood Maltreatment and Adversity Exposure

My work has evaluated key contexts and mechanisms of the influence of childhood maltreatment and adversity exposure on adolescent and adult health outcomes, and highlights that child maltreatment has lasting effects through behavior (e.g., perceived stress and sleep), and family and school contexts (e.g. positive peer relationship) which can exacerbate or mitigate the effects of maltreatment and adversity exposure

Multiple Violence and Adversity Exposures

Sexual minorities and maltreated children are at greater risk for violence exposures compared to sexual majorities and non-maltreated children. Further, the experience of one form of violence co-occurs with other forms of violence. In my research, we find higher rates of polyvictimization among certain sexual minority groups compared to heterosexual counterparts. Among maltreated children, we find that increases in witnessing in-home violence are associated with more post-traumatic stress symptoms over time among children, and positive changes in peer relationship quality has an opposite effect on post-traumatic stress symptom changes (i.e. post-traumatic stress symptoms decrease with better peer relationship quality over time) after accounting for childhood maltreatment exposure. Finally, I have evaluated the joint impact of multiple co-occurring maltreatment exposures on adult depression and disability and evaluated the influence of stress and sleep problems in midlife on these associations.  My research, therefore, highlights the importance of examining multiple violence and adversity exposures on negative health outcomes.

Application of Advanced Methodology

I am currently pursuing an MPH in health statistics and have utilized advanced methodological skills to combine model-based and epidemiological statistical approaches in order to make stronger causal inferences in large populations. Specifically, my research has used latent class, latent transition, latent profile, and parallel process models within a structural equation modeling framework. I have also used estimation, measurement, and survey research methods to correct for common errors in behavioral and social research: missing data, measurement error, unequal selection, and clustering.


Advisors:  Dr. Sharon Christ and Dr. Kristine Marceau

Aura Mishra

Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant

Human Development and Family Studies

Hanley Hall, Room 157
Purdue University
1202 West State St.
West Lafayette, IN  47907-2055

Phone:  765-418-0939
Fax: 765-496-1144

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