People of the Injury Prevention Center


Alison Miller, PhD

Associate Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Research Associate Professor, Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan

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Dr. Alison Miller, PhD is a developmental psychologist who studies risk and resilience in relation to health outcomes (e.g., obesity, sleep, mental health) in children and families. Dr. Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE) in the UM School of Public Health. She was previously in the Department of Psychiatry (Division of Child and Family Psychiatry) at Brown Medical School. She is affiliated with Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development and co-directs the Zero to Thrive Initiative in Psychiatry. UM collaborators include colleagues from the School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of Kinesiology, and the Departments of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology. Dr. Miller also collaborates with colleagues at Brown Medical School, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Michigan State University. Dr. Miller has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, the Centers for Disease Control, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Heart Association for her work.

Research Interests

Dr. Miller's research focuses on children living in high-risk settings, particularly poverty. She studies how child stress, biological and behavioral self- behavioral regulation, family functioning, and social context shape child health and mental health outcomes. An overarching goal of her program of research is to apply findings from developmental science to foster positive child health and mental health outcomes. To that end, she implements and evaluates intervention studies focused on children and families in the areas of early childhood mental health; school readiness; positive youth development and parenting. Dr. Miller works with children and families who are at risk for unhealthy outcomes for various reasons, including living with maternal incarceration; in poverty conditions; or in high-violence neighborhoods. For many such projects, she collaborates with community partners ranging from grassroots community-based organizations, to Head Start programs, to school systems.