Assistant Research Scientist
Faculty, Institute for Child Health Policy
Phone: (352) 265-2564
1329 Building, Suite 5232
PO Box 100177
Gainesville, FL 32611
- Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, The University of Georgia
- M.S., Developmental Psychology, The University of Georgia
- B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida
Dr. Melissa Bright is an Assistant Research Scientist in the College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida. Her research program focuses on childhood adversity (e.g., maltreatment, household dysfunction, caregiver mental illness) and the pathways from adversity to poor health. She is particularly interested in the physiological mechanisms underlying the link between adversity and health as well as developing tools to identify, manage, and prevent adverse events through pediatric practice. Additionally, Dr. Bright is interested in child advocacy and how victims of child maltreatment are served through Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program.
Dr. Bright currently oversees the contracted evaluation for the Florida KidCare Program and conducts adversity-related research studies of children enrolled in Medicaid and SCHIP.
The goal of Dr. Bright’s research is to alter the health trajectory of children who experience early adversity with a focus on identifying, managing, and preventing this adversity through pediatric practice.
Honorary Research Associate
Social and Mental Aspects of Serious Illness
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Three Pediatric Workgroup Projects Funded
- Dr. Bright’s research in Huffington Post, U.S. New & World Report’s Health Day
- Stress has large, immediate effects on children
- Bright, M.A., Hinojosa, M.S., Knapp, C., Alford, S., Bonner, B., Fernandez-Baca, D., & Ralston, D. Adverse childhood experiences and health outcomes in childhood/adolescence: co-morbidity of physical, mental, and learning disorders. Psychosom Med.2014;76(3):A-9.
- Bright MA, Granger DA, Frick JE, & Out D. (in press) Individual differences in the cortisol and salivary α-amylase awakening responses in early childhood: Relations to age, sex, and seep in toddlers. Dev Psychobiol
- McCullough C, Harding H, Shaffer A, Han R, & Bright MA. (in press) Intergenerational continuity of risky parenting: A person-oriented approach to assessing parenting behaviors. J Fam Violence
- Bright MA, Franich-Ray C,Anderson V, Menahem S, Cochrane A, & Jordan B. Infant cardiac surgery and the father-infant relationship: Feelings of strength, strain, and caution. Early Hum Dev. 2013; 89: 593-9.
- Franich-Ray C, Bright MA, Anderson V, Northam E, Menahem S, Cochrane A, & Jordan B. Trauma reactions in mothers and fathers following their infant’s cardiac surgery. J Pediatr Psychol. 2013;38: 494-505.