About Us

The Technological Interventions for Ecological Systems (TIES) Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab of psychologists, data scientists, and engineers. In our work, we use mobile sensing technology, such as smartphones and wearable sensors, to study child development and family functioning in everyday life.

Our applied research focuses close relationships – "ties" – that bind us together, including parent-child and romantic relationships. We study how relationship-related stressors, adversities, and traumas impact our development during important periods of change, such as pregnancy, early childhood, adolescence, and when young adults first form romantic relationships. We examine how these past relationships and experiences contribute to intergenerational patterns of risk and resilience during these critical life stages, especially in communities that are traditionally under-resourced and under-served. We view families as interconnected systems, where family members help each other to regulate emotions and where interpersonal relationships “get under the skin” to impact physiology and health.

Our methodological research involves collecting intensive, multimodal data in the lab and in families' everyday lives to model interpersonal interactional processes as they naturalistically unfold. As part of this work, we are building machine learning algorithms to sense psychological and behavioral states relevant to child, couple, and family mental health using smartphones and wearable sensors. We plan to use these algorithms to develop adaptive and personalized technology-facilitated intervention systems to bridge gaps in access to mental health care. We also aim to understand and develop methods for mitigating bias introduced by machine learning algorithms. As part of this work, we are developing an app called Colliga. We aim to build accessible and inclusive technologies that increase the reach and impact of health care for all people. This work is interdisciplinary and combines theory with data science methodologies to maximize family mental health.

Research Areas

Explore the various research areas of the TIES Lab below!

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