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Dr. Gonzalez received her PhD (2008) in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Toronto and recently completed her CIHR- and Lawson Foundation-funded postdoctoral fellowships at the Offord Centre for Child Studies under the mentorship of Drs. Harriet MacMillan, Michael Boyle and Louis Schmidt. Dr. Gonzalez’s current research focus is to understand the mechanisms by which early experiences are transmitted across generations and how preventive interventions may affect this transmission. More specifically, she is interested in how biological, neuropsychological and psychosocial factors contribute to parenting processes and subsequent child developmental outcomes. She has received funding from SSHRC and CIHR and received a NARSAD New Investigator award. In 2013, she was awarded a CIHR Brain Star Award and is the 2014 recipient of the Canadian Psychological Association’s New Researcher of the Year Award.

Featured Publications

  • Atkinson, L., Gonzalez, A., Basile, V., Maselis, M., Pereira, J., Chisholm, V.C. & Levitan, R. (2013). Maternal sensitivity and infant and mother adrenocortical function across challenges. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38, 2943-2951 doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.08.001.
  • Gonzalez, A., Boyle, M., Khu, H.H., Georgiades, K., Duncan, L., & MacMillan, H.L. (2012). Childhood influences on depression, chronic conditions and their comorbidity: findings from the Ontario Child Health Study.Journal of Psychiatric Research, 46(11), 1475-1482.
  • Gonzalez, A., Jenkins, J., Steiner, M., & Fleming, A.S. (2012). Neuropsychology and physiology as intervening variables between early life adversity and current maternal functioning. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(7), 673-682.

Clinical and Research Interests

  • MEPP (Maternal Executive Processes & Parenting) Study – a longitudinal study examining the impact of maternal cognitive function on parenting processes and infant cognitive and emotional development (funded by SSHRC)
  • Healthy Foundations Study – an adjunct study of the British Columbia Healthy Connections Project (BCHCP), examining the impact of a preventive home visitation intervention – the Nurse Family Partnership, on biological outcomes in infants across the first two years of life (funded by CIHR)
  • Postpartum Depression Biological Study (PPD – BioStudy) – examining biological factors (immune and stress system markers and oxytocin) in relation to postpartum depression and parenting processes in new mothers (funded by NARSAD)


  • Ph.D., University of Toronto
  • M.A., University of Toronto

Research Areas

This faculty member is a core member of the Research and Clinical Training (RCT) stream in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University.  

Biological and cognitive factors related to early adversity, parenting and infant outcomes. Examination of factors related to the intergenerational transmission of risk.

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