Alison Miller, PhD

A photo of Alison Miller, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Miller is a developmental psychologist who studies risk and resilience in children and families. Dr. Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE) at 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, where she directs the Clinical-Community Interventions Group and is a member of the Obesity Research Group.


Sokol, R. L., Schmidt, C., Miller, A. L., Walton, M. A., Zimmerman, M., Resnicow, K., Cunningham, R. M., & Carter, P. M. (2021). Motivations for firearm possession and storage practices among urban young adults: differences between parents and non-parents. Injury Prevention: Journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention, 27(5), 409–412.
Lee, D. B., Peckins, M. K., Miller, A. L., Hope, M. O., Neblett, E. W., Assari, S., Muñoz-Velázquez, J., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2021). Pathways from racial discrimination to cortisol/DHEA imbalance: protective role of religious involvement. Ethnicity & Health, 26(3), 413–430.
Heinze, J. E., Hsieh, H.-F., Thulin, E., Howe, K., Miller, A. L., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2021). Adolescent Exposure to Violence and Intimate-Partner Violence Mediated by Mental Distress. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 72.
Heinze, J. E., Hsieh, H.-F., Thulin, E., Howe, K., Miller, A. L., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2021). Adolescent Exposure to Violence and Intimate-Partner Violence Mediated by Mental Distress. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 72, 101215.
Sokol, R. L., Goldstick, J., Zimmerman, M. A., Muzik, M., Rosenblum, K. L., & Miller, A. L. (2020). Transitions into and out of post-traumatic stress among children involved in the child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 118.
Sokol, R. L., Carter, P. M., Goldstick, J., Miller, A. L., Walton, M. A., Zimmerman, M. A., & Cunningham, R. M. (2020). Within-Person Variability in Firearm Carriage Among High-Risk Youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 59(3), 386–393.
Sokol, R. L., Zimmerman, M. A., Perron, B. E., Rosenblum, K. L., Muzik, M., & Miller, A. L. (2020). Developmental Differences in the Association of Peer Relationships with Traumatic Stress Symptoms. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 21(6), 841–849.
Gamarel, K. E., Nelson, K. M., Heinze, J., Chiaramonte, D. M., Miller, R. L., & The Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. (2019). The moderating role of resilience resources in the association between crime exposure and substance use among young sexual minority men. Substance Use & Misuse, 54(11), 1787–1798.
Lee, D. B., Assari, S., Miller, A. L., Hsieh, H.-F., Heinze, J. E., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2019). Positive Parenting Moderates the Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Executive Functioning: A Three-Generation Approach. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(7), 1878–1885.
Culyba, A. J., Abebe, K. Z., Albert, S. M., Jones, K. A., Paglisotti, T., Zimmerman, M. A., & Miller, E. (2018). Association of Future Orientation With Violence Perpetration Among Male Youths in Low-Resource Neighborhoods. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(9), 877–879.
Morrel-Samuels, S., Rupp, L. A., Eisman, A. B., Miller, A. L., Stoddard, S. A., Franzen, S. P., Hutchison, P., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2018). Measuring the Implementation of Youth Empowerment Solutions. Health Promotion Practice, 19(4), 581–589.
Lee, D. B., Peckins, M. K., Heinze, J. E., Miller, A. L., Assari, S., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2018). Psychological pathways from racial discrimination to cortisol in African American males and females. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 41(2), 208–220.
Zimmerman, M. A., Eisman, A. B., Reischl, T. M., Morrel-Samuels, S., Stoddard, S., Miller, A. L., Hutchison, P., Franzen, S., & Rupp, L. (2018). Youth Empowerment Solutions: Evaluation of an After-School Program to Engage Middle School Students in Community Change. Health Education & Behavior: The Official Publication of the Society for Public Health Education, 45(1), 20–31.
Cook, S. H., Juster, R.-P., Calebs, B. J., Heinze, J., & Miller, A. L. (2017). Cortisol profiles differ by race/ethnicity among young sexual minority men. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 75, 1–4.
Eisman, A. B., Zimmerman, M. A., Kruger, D., Reischl, T. M., Miller, A. L., Franzen, S. P., & Morrel-Samuels, S. (2016). Psychological Empowerment Among Urban Youth: Measurement Model and Associations with Youth Outcomes. American Journal of Community Psychology, 58(3–4), 410–421.
Cook, S. H., Heinze, J. E., Miller, A. L., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2016). Transitions in Friendship Attachment During Adolescence are Associated With Developmental Trajectories of Depression Through Adulthood. The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 58(3), 260–266.
Kruger, D. J., Carrothers, J., Franzen, S. P., Miller, A. L., Reischl, T. M., Stoddard, S. A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2015). The Role of Present Time Perspective in Predicting Early Adolescent Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Locke, R. L., Miller, A. L., Seifer, R., & Heinze, J. E. (2015). Context-inappropriate anger, emotion knowledge deficits, and negative social experiences in preschool. Developmental Psychology, 51(10), 1450–1463.
Heinze, J. E., Miller, A. L., Seifer, R., & Locke, R. (2015). Emotion Knowledge, Loneliness, Negative Social Experiences, and Internalizing Symptoms Among Low-Income Preschoolers. Social Development (Oxford, England), 24(2), 240–265.
Lumeng, J. C., Kaciroti, N., Sturza, J., Krusky, A. M., Miller, A. L., Peterson, K. E., Lipton, R., & Reischl, T. M. (2015). Changes in body mass index associated with head start participation. Pediatrics, 135(2), e449-456.
Aiyer, S. M., Heinze, J. E., Miller, A. L., Stoddard, S. A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2014). Exposure to Violence Predicting Cortisol Response During Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Understanding Moderating Factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(7), 1066–1079.
Leung, C. Y. Y., Lumeng, J. C., Kaciroti, N. A., Chen, Y. P., Rosenblum, K., & Miller, A. L. (2014). Surgency and negative affectivity, but not effortful control, are uniquely associated with obesogenic eating behaviors among low-income preschoolers. Appetite, 78, 139–146.
Ellis, S., Rosenblum, K., Miller, A., Peterson, K. E., & Lumeng, J. C. (2014). Meaning of the terms “overweight” and “obese” among low-income women. J Nutr Educ Behav, 46(4), 299–303.
Wilson, K. E., Miller, A. L., Lumeng, J. C., & Chervin, R. D. (2014). Sleep environments and sleep durations in a sample of low-income preschool children. J Clin Sleep Med, 10(3), 299–305.
Miller, A. L., Kaciroti, N., Lebourgeois, M. K., Chen, Y. P., Sturza, J., & Lumeng, J. C. (2014). Sleep timing moderates the concurrent sleep duration-body mass index association in low-income preschool-age children. Acad Pediatr, 14(2), 207–213.
Lumeng, J. C., Miller, A., Peterson, K. E., Kaciroti, N., Sturza, J., Rosenblum, K., & Vazquez, D. M. (2014). Diurnal cortisol pattern, eating behaviors and overweight in low-income preschool-aged children. Appetite, 73, 65–72.
Miller, A. L., Weston, L. E., Perryman, J., Horwitz, T., Franzen, S., & Cochran, S. (2014). Parenting While Incarcerated: Tailoring the Strengthening Families Program for use with jailed mothers. Children and Youth Services Review, 44(0), 163–170.
Goulding, A. N., Rosenblum, K. L., Miller, A. L., Peterson, K. E., Chen, Y. P., Kaciroti, N., & Lumeng, J. C. (2014). Associations between maternal depressive symptoms and child feeding practices in a cross-sectional study of low-income mothers and their young children. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 11, 75.
Wilson, K. E., Miller, A. L., Bonuck, K., Lumeng, J. C., & Chervin, R. D. (2014). Evaluation of a sleep education program for low-income preschool children and their families. Sleep, 37(6), 1117–1125.
Miller, A. L., Lumeng, C. N., Delproposto, J., Florek, B., Wendorf, K., & Lumeng, J. C. (2013). Obesity-Related Hormones in Low-Income Preschool-Age Children: Implications for School Readiness. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(4), 246–255.
Miller, A. L., Perryman, J., Markovitz, L., Franzen, S., Cochran, S., & Brown, S. (2013). Strengthening Incarcerated Families: Evaluating a Pilot Program for Children of Incarcerated Parents and Their Caregivers. Fam Relat, 62(4).
Lane, J. D., Wellman, H. M., Olson, S. L., Miller, A. L., Wang, L., & Tardif, T. (2013). Relations between temperament and theory of mind development in the United States and China: Biological and behavioral correlates of preschoolers’ false-belief understanding. Developmental Psychology, 49(5), 825–836.
Miller, A. L., Clifford, C., Sturza, J., Rosenblum, K., Vazquez, D. M., Kaciroti, N., & Lumeng, J. C. (2013). Blunted cortisol response to stress is associated with higher body mass index in low-income preschool-aged children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(11), 2611–2617.
Hindman, A. H., Cromley, J. G., Skibbe, L. E., & Miller, A. L. (2013). Conventional and piecewise growth modeling techniques: Applications and implications for investigating Head Start children’s early literacy learning. Evaluation Review, 35(3), 204–239.
Zimmerman, M. A., Stoddard, S. A., Eisman, A. B., Caldwell, C. H., Aiyer, S. M., & Miller, A. (2013). Adolescent resilience: Promotive factors that inform prevention. Child Development Perspectives, 7(4), 215–220.
Miller, A. L., Krusky, A. M., Franzen, S., Cochran, S., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2012). Partnering to translate evidence-based programs to community settings: bridging the gap between research and practice. Health Promot Pract, 13(4), 559–566.
Berger, R. H., Miller, A. L., Seifer, R., Cares, S. R., & LeBourgeois, M. K. (2012). Acute sleep restriction effects on emotion responses in 30‐ to 36‐month‐old children. Journal of Sleep Research, 21(3), 235–246.
Hindman, A. H., Miller, A. L., Froyen, L. C., & Skibbe, L. E. (2012). A portrait of family involvement during Head Start: Nature, extent, and predictors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(4), 654–667.
Berhenke, A., Miller, A. L., Brown, E., Seifer, R., & Dickstein, S. (2012). Observed emotional and behavioral indicators of motivation predict school readiness in Head Start graduates. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(4), 430–441.
Miller, A. L., Horodynski, M. A., Herb, H. E., Peterson, K. E., Contreras, D., Kaciroti, N., Staples-Watson, J., & Lumeng, J. C. (2012). Enhancing self-regulation as a strategy for obesity prevention in Head Start preschoolers: the growing healthy study. BMC Public Health, 12, 1040.
Hindman, A. H., Skibbe, L. E., Miller, A., & Zimmerman, M. (2010). Ecological contexts and early learning: Contributions of child, family, and classroom factors during head start, to literacy and mathematics growth through first grade. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(2), 235–250. 10.1016/j.ecresq.2009.11.003
Coyne, L. W., Low, C. M., Miller, A. L., Seifer, R., & Dickstein, S. (2007). Mothers’ empathic understanding of their toddlers: Associations with maternal depression and sensitivity. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16(4), 483–497.
Miller, A. L., Notaro, P. C., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2002). Stability and Change in Internal Working Models of Friendship: Associations with Multiple Domains of Urban Adolescent Functioning. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19(2), 233–259.