RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Psychology, Social Work, Clinical Psychology, Psychobiology, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Area(s) of Expertise:Socioeconomic Status and Brain Development, Stress, Disparities, Virtual Reality, Neighborhood effects, Executive Function, Stress Reactivity, Parenting, Mental Health
Daniel A. Hackman is interested in how social and environmental contexts influence developmental trajectories of health and well-being across the lifecourse. He investigates how socioeconomic, family, and neighborhood factors, particularly those in early childhood, become associated with neurobiological, cognitive, and affective systems that influence health and well-being. His focus has been on the development of executive function and stress reactivity, and the degree to which exposure to adversity generates enduring or acute differences in risk, as well as how these aspects of development contribute to disparities in health and achievement. Dr. Hackman a multi-method, inter-disciplinary approach, often longitudinal in nature, integrating the tools from population health, psychology, neuroscience, psychophysiology, and social work. His recent work has expanded to include the use of virtual reality technologies. As a Health and Society Scholar Dr. Hackman developed a virtual reality-based experimental model of neighborhood disadvantage and affluence that can be employed to test mechanistic and developmental hypotheses concerning neighborhood effects on cognition, emotion, physiology and health across development. Dr. Hackman aims to leverage this work to identify more effective policy and programmatic approaches to prevent disparities.
Dr. Hackman is currently an Assistant Professor in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Dr. Hackman completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinics, part of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He also has experience as a policy advocate in the nonprofit sector, focused on chronic disease prevention in childhood and adolescence.