Nastassia Hajal, PhD

Dr. Nastassia Hajal is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Hajal is a child clinical psychologist whose primary interests are in parenting and young children’s emotional development in the context of family stress and trauma.

Dr. Hajal is interested in translational work that bridges basic science on developmental psychopathology, parenting, and emotion with clinical research on the promotion of child and family resilience in the face of stress. She has a particular interest in studying caregiver emotional processes using novel methodology, including intensive and ecologically valid techniques (such as experience sampling methodology), affective neuroscience (such as EEG), and behavior genetic designs. Dr. Hajal’s involvement in translational work spans from the translation of basic science findings to develop and refine family-centered interventions, to integration of well-established approaches for implementation into large systems (e.g., UCLA Health System, Los Angeles Unified School District). She is currently working on an NIH-funded clinical trial of emotion regulation, biomarkers, and response to intervention in parents who have their own histories of childhood interpersonal trauma.

Dr. Hajal is a licensed clinical psychologist who supervises clinical psychology and child psychiatry trainees in the UCLA Family STAR (Stress, Trauma, and Resilience) Clinic, which focuses on the prevention and treatment of traumatic stress in children aged 0-25 and their families. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center’s Early Childhood Core.


Representative publications:

Hajal, N.J., Aralis, H., Kiff, C., Wasserman, M., Paley, B., Milburn, N., Mogil, C., & Lester, P. (in press). Parental Wartime Deployment and Socioemotional Adjustment in Early Childhood: The Critical Role of Military Parent Perceived Threat during Deployment. Journal of Traumatic Stress. doi: 10.1002/jts.22475

Hajal, N.J. & Paley, B. (2020). Parental emotion and emotion regulation: a critical target of study for research and intervention to promote child emotion socialization. Developmental Psychology, 56, 403–417. doi:10.1037/dev0000864

Hajal, N.J., Teti, D.M., Cole, P.M., & Ram, N. (2019). Maternal emotion, motivation, and regulation during real-world parenting challenges. Journal of Family Psychology, 33, 109-120. doi: 10.1037/fam0000475

Hajal, N.J., Paley, B., Delja, J., Gorospe, C., & Mogil, C. (2019). Promoting family school-readiness for child-welfare involved preschoolers and their caregivers: Case examples. Children & Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.10.047

Hajal, N.J., Cole, P.M., & Teti, D.M. (2017). Maternal responses to infant distress: linkages between specific emotions and neurophysiological processes. Parenting: Science and Practice, 17, 200-224, doi: 10.1080/15295192.2017.1336001

Cole, P.M., Hall, S.E., & Hajal, N.J. (2017). Emotion dysregulation as a vulnerability for psychopathology. In T. Beauchaine & S. Hinshaw (Eds.), Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 3rd Edition. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley & Sons.

Mogil, C., Hajal, N., Garcia, E., Kiff, C., Lester, P. (2015). FOCUS for Early Childhood: A virtual home visiting program for military families with young children. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37, 199–208. doi: 10.1007/s10591-015-9327-9

Hajal, N.J., Neiderhiser, J.M., Moore, G.A., Leve, L.D., Shaw, D.S., Ge, X., Scaramella, L.V., Reid, J.B., Ganiban, J.M., & Reiss, D. (2015). Parents’ angry responses to infant challenges: the role of positive family characteristics and gene-environment interplay. Child Development, 86, 80-93. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12345


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