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I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the School of Interdisciplinary Forensics and the director of the Risk to Resilience (R2R) Lab at Arizona State University. I received my Ph.D. in Psychological Science from the University of California, Irvine, where I worked with Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman on the Crossroads Study and received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. After leaving UC Irvine, I completed three years of postdoctoral training at Yale University, working with Drs. Arielle Baskin-Sommers and BJ Casey and as an affiliate of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study.



At the broadest level, my research aims to better understand the etiology and development of antisocial behavior (e.g, aggression, violence, criminal offending) and psychopathology (e.g., psychopathic or callous-unemotional traits, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder). I leverage methodologies across multiple disciplines (developmental/clinical psychology, psychophysiology, developmental neuroscience), and utilize rigorous quantitative modeling to examine the dynamic interactions between behavior, psychopathology, and environment across adolescence. Specifically, my specific research aims are: 

Describe the developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior and psychopathology, while also characterizing the contribution of exposure to negative environments and experiences

  • *Estrada, S., *Simmons, C., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2023). Trajectories of psychopathy and community violence exposure differentially predict antisociality in justice-involved youth. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.  

  • Simmons. C., Mitchell-Adams, H., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2022). Environmental predictors of within-person changes in callous-unemotional traits among justice-Involved male adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. 

Examine the specific cognitive-affective processes associated with antisocial psychopathology and behavior

  • Simmons, C., Rodgers, E. L., & Cauffman, E. (2023). Examining the relation among callous-unemotional traits and cortisol, alpha-amylase, and testosterone reactivity in legal system involved young men. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 106391.

  • Chan, L., Simmons, C. Tillem, S., Conley, M., Brazil, I.A. and Baskin-Sommers, A. (2022). Classifying Conduct Disorder using a biopsychosocial model and machine learning method. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

Examine the developmental consequences of legal system involvement and advocate for science-based policies and treatments for youth caught in the legal system. 

  • Casey, B.J., Simmons, C. Somerville, L.H., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2022). Making the sentencing case: Psychological and neuroscientific evidence for expanding the age of youthful offenders. Annual Review of Criminology. 

  • *Baskin-Sommers, A., *Simmons, C., Conley, M.I., Chang, S., Collins, M., Estrada, S., Pelham, W., Beckford, E., Berrian, N., Mitchell-Adams, H., Barch, D., Tapert, S., Gee, D.G., & Casey, B.J., (2021). Adolescent civic engagement: Lessons from Black Lives Matter. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Recent Presentations

Psychopathic traits in youth: ​Separating myth from science
Hosted by the New York State Youth Justice Institute

​Punitive sentences for youth involved in crime are often based on arguments that the youth is beyond reform or reentry into society. The presence of psychopathic traits (e.g., manipulative, callousness, impulsivity) is deemed especially relevant in determining a youth’s incorrigibility, as these traits are thought to identify a subgroup of youth who are biologically predisposed to chronic antisociality and unresponsive to treatment, and thus pose long-term threats to society. This presentation discusses the relevance of psychopathy for juvenile justice and breaks down myths about the causes, development, and treatment of psychopathic traits in youth.

Other presentations

Classifying Conduct Disorder Using a Biopsychosocial Model and Machine Learning Method
​Originally presented at the 2022 NIDA-NIAAA Mini-Convention: Frontiers in Addiction Research Link to video (1:07)

Youth Experiences With the 2020 Black Lives Matter Demonstrations in the United States
​Originally presented at the 2021 Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention Link to video

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