The BRAVE (Building Resilience After Violence Exposure) Research Lab at the University of Notre Dame focuses on basic and applied research aimed at fostering healthy development in children and families.
Affiliated with the Department of Psychology and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, our goal is to produce psychological research that informs trauma treatment practices both in domestic and global contexts. The lab is directed by Dr. Laura Miller-Graff, Associate Professor of Psychology and Peace Studies.
Specifically, our research examines the developmental effects of exposure to violence in childhood. With a focus on children who have multiple traumatic exposures, we investigate resulting patterns of resilience and psychopathology, including the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Working within an ecological framework, our research seeks to understand how various systems (i.e., individual, family, and community) interact to promote or inhibit healthful development following violence exposure. Based on this research, we aim to develop empirically validated treatment practices that can be readily implemented in a community setting with high-risk, underprivileged families. Given our international focus, we also aim to produce evidence-based adaptation and evaluation of trauma assessment and treatment as they pertain to international conflict settings.