Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Bruce received her Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2005 and has been a Research Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center since 2009. Her program of research focuses on the impact of early adverse experiences (e.g., child maltreatment and multiple caregiver transitions) on the development of young children. She is particularly interested in the development of behavioral regulation (or the ability to voluntarily regulate one’s behavior to meet the demands of the situation) and the underlying neural systems. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of longitudinal studies involving the collection of behavioral and neurobiological measures, including event-related potential (ERP), event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), salivary cortisol, and autonomic cardiac data, with at-risk developmental populations, such as maltreated toddlers and preschoolers in foster care, kindergarteners with developmental disabilities, and maltreated adolescents living with their biological parents. For example, Dr. Bruce was the principal investigator on a study designed to investigate the effects of early adverse experiences and the cognitive processes underlying behavioral regulation on alcohol use in maltreated adolescents and nonmaltreated adolescents. Currently, she is the co-investigator on multiple studies focused on substance use treatment for adolescents and emerging adults.

Selected Publications

  • Bruce, J., & Kim, H. K. (2022). Behavioral and electrophysiological indices of inhibitory control in maltreated adolescents and nonmaltreated adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 34(3), 1054-1063. doi:10.1017/s0954579420001819

  • Bruce, J., Pears, K. C., McDermott, J. M., Fox, N. A., & Fisher, P. A. (2021). Effects of a school readiness intervention on electrophysiological indices of external response monitoring in children in foster care. Development and Psychopathology, 33(3), 832-842.

  • Bruce, J., Fisher, P. A., Graham, A. M., Moore, W. E., III, Peake, S. J., & Mannering, A. M. (2013). Patterns of brain activation in foster children and nonmaltreated children during an inhibitory control task. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 931-941

  • Bruce, J., Gunnar, M. R., Pears, K. C., & Fisher, P. A. (2013). Early adverse care, stress neurobiology, and prevention science: Lessons learned. Prevention Science, 14, 247-256.

  • Bruce, J., Fisher, P. A., Pears, K. C., & Levine, S. (2009). Morning cortisol levels in preschool-aged foster children: Differential effects of maltreatment type. Developmental Psychobiology, 51, 14-23.

  • Bruce, J., McDermott, J. M., Fisher, P. A., & Fox, N. A. (2009). Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures to assess the effects of a preventive intervention: A preliminary study with preschool-aged foster children. Prevention Science, 10, 129-140.

  • Bruce, J., Tarullo, A. R., & Gunnar, M. R. (2009). Disinhibited social behavior among internationally adopted children. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 157-171.

Recent Publications

  • Kim, H. K., & Bruce, J. (2022). Role of risk taking and inhibitory control in alcohol use among maltreated adolescents and nonmaltreated adolescents. Child Maltreatment, 27(4), 615-625. doi:10.1177/10775595211031349

  • Olson, A. E., Kim, H. K., Bruce, J., & Fisher, P. A. (2019). General cognitive ability as an early indicator of problem behavior among toddlers in foster care. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 40, 144-149. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000000632

  • McDermott, J. M., Pears, K. C., Bruce, J., Kim, H. K., Roos, L. E., Yoerger, K., & Fisher, P. A. (2018). Improving kindergarten readiness in children with developmental disabilities: Changes in neural correlates of response monitoring. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 7, 187-199. doi:10.1080/21622965.2017.1286239

  • Graham, A. M., Pears, K. C., Kim, H. K., Bruce, J., & Fisher, P. A. (2018). Effects of a school readiness intervention on hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis functioning and school adjustment for children in foster care. Development and Psychopathology, 30(2), 651-664. doi:10.1017/S0954579417001171

  • Jankowski, K. F., Bruce, J., Beauchamp, K. G., Roos, L. E., Moore, W. E., & Fisher, P. A. (2017). Preliminary evidence of the impact of early childhood maltreatment and a preventive intervention on neural patterns of response inhibition in early adolescence. Developmental Science, 20(4), e12413. doi: 10.1111/desc.12413