Marsha R Mailick

Marsha R. Mailick, PhD

PhD, Brandeis University
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
Vaughan Bascom and Elizabeth M. Boggs Professor

Contact Information:

Waisman Center, Room 549
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
Lab Website: Lifespan Family Research

Research Statement

Dr. Marsha R. Mailick is the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). She received her PhD in social policy from Brandeis University and became an associate professor at Boston University before joining UW-Madison. The focus of Dr. Mailick’s research is on the life course trajectory of developmental disabilities. She is interested in how the behavioral phenotype of specific developmental disabilities, including autism, fragile X syndrome, and Down syndrome, changes during adolescence, adulthood, and old age.  In addition, she studies how the family environment affects the development of individuals with disabilities during these stages of life, and reciprocally how parents and siblings of individuals with disabilities are affected.  Her current research includes three projects: a 14-year longitudinal study of autism during adolescence and adulthood, research on a demographically-representative sample of parents of individuals with developmental disabilities, and a study of family adaptation to fragile X syndrome (FXS). She recently completed an epidemiological study of the premutation of FXS and a 20-year follow up of a cohort of older adults with Down syndrome, examining how the family environment predicts outcomes in midlife and old age. Together, these studies offer specific insights about developmental disabilities across the life course, and the impacts on families.

Representative Publications

Woodman AC, Smith LE, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2016) Contextual Factors Predict Patterns of Change in Functioning over 10 Years Among Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 46(1):176-89. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2561-z.

Song J, Mailick MR, Greenberg JS, Ryff CD, Lachman ME. (2015) Cognitive Aging in Parents of Children with Disabilities. Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences. In Press.

Maenner MJ, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2015) Association Between Low IQ Scores and Early Mortality in Men and Women: Evidence From a Population-Based Cohort Study. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 120(3):244-57. doi: 10.1352/1944-7558-120.3.244.

Hong J, Bishop-Fitzpatrick L, Smith LE, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2015) Factors Associated with Subjective Quality of Life of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Self-Report Versus Maternal Reports. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. In Press.

Hartley SL, Wheeler AC, Mailick MR, Raspa M, Mihaila I, Bishop E, Bailey DB. (2015) Autism Symptoms Across Adulthood in Men with Fragile X Syndrome: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. In Press.

Song J, Mailick MR, Greenberg JS. (2014) Work and Health of Parents of Adult Children with Serious Mental Illness. Family Relations. 1;63(1):122-134.

Hartley SL, Handen BL, Devenny DA, Hardison R, Mihaila I, Price JC, Cohen AD, Klunk WE, Mailick MR, Johnson SC, Christian BT. (2014) Cognitive functioning in relation to brain amyloid-β in healthy adults with Down syndrome. Brain. 137(Pt 9):2556-63.

Mailick MR, Hong J, Greenberg J, Smith L, Sherman S. (2014) Curvilinear association of CGG repeats and age at menopause in women with FMR1 premutation expansions. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics. 165B(8):705-11. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32277.

Wolfe B, Song J, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2014) Ripple effects of developmental disabilities and mental illness on nondisabled adult siblings. Social Science and Medicine. 108:1-9.

Woodman AC, Smith LE, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2014) Change in Autism Symptoms and Maladaptive Behaviors in Adolescence and Adulthood: The Role of Positive Family Processes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. In Press.

Wong JD, Mailick MR, Greenberg JS, Hong J, Coe CL. (2014) Daily Work Stress and Awakening Cortisol in Mothers of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Fragile X Syndrome. Family Relations. 63(1):135-147.

Piazza VE, Floyd FJ, Mailick MR, Greenberg JS. (2014) Coping and psychological health of aging parents of adult children with developmental disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 119(2):186-98.

Smith LE, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2014) The family context of autism spectrum disorders: influence on the behavioral phenotype and quality of life. Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 23(1):143-55.

Song J, Mailick MR, Ryff CD, Coe CL, Greenberg JS, Hong J. (2014) Allostatic load in parents of children with developmental disorders: Moderating influence of positive affect. Journal of Health Psychology. 19(2):262-72.

Mailick MR, Hong J, Rathouz P, Baker MW, Greenberg JS, Smith L, Maenner M. (2014) Low-normal FMR1 CGG repeat length: phenotypic associations. Frontiers in Genetics. 5:309.

Woodman AC, Mailick MR, Anderson KA, Esbensen AJ. (2014) Residential transitions among adults with intellectual disability across 20 years. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 119(6):496-515. doi: 10.1352/1944-7558-119.6.496.

Maenner MJ, Smith LE, Hong J, Makuch R, Greenberg JS, Mailick MR. (2013) Evaluation of an activities of daily living scale for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. Disability and Health Journal. 6(1):8-17.

Maenner MJ, Baker MW, Broman KW, Tian J, Barnes JK, Atkins A, McPherson E, Hong J, Brilliant MH, Mailick MR. (2013) FMR1 CGG expansions: Prevalence and sex ratios. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics. 62(5):466-73.

Sterling, A., Mailick, M.R., Greenberg, J.S., Warren, S.F., & Brady, N. (2013) Language dysfluencies in females with the FMR1 premutation. Brain and Cognition. 82(1):84-9.

Floyd FJ, Mailick Seltzer M, Greenberg JS, Song J. (2013) Parental bereavement during mid-to-later life: Pre- to postbereavement functioning and intrapersonal resources for coping. Psychology and Aging. 28(2):402-13.

Hartley SL, Seltzer MM, Hong J, Greenberg JS, Smith L, Almeida D, Coe C, Abbeduto L. (2012) Cortisol response to behavior problems in FMR1 premutation mothers of adolescents and adults with fragile X syndrome: A diathesis-stress model. International Journal of Behavioral Development. Jan;36(1):53-61.

Taylor, J.L. & Seltzer, M.M. (2012) Developing a vocational index for adults with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 42(12):2669-79. PMCID:PMC3484183; PMID:22455590. Doi:10.1007/s 10803-012-1524-x.

Smith LE, Barker ET, Seltzer MM, Abbeduto L, Greenberg JS. (2012) Behavioral Phenotype of Fragile X Syndrome in Adolescence and Adulthood. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 117, No. 1, 1—17 .

Wong JD, Seltzer MM, Greenberg JS, Hong J, Almeida DM, Coe CL. (2012) Stressful life events and daily stressors affect awakening cortisol level in midlife mothers of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Aging and Mental Health. 16(8):939-49.

Smith, L.E., Maenner, M., Seltzer, M.M. (2012) Developmental trajectories in adolescents and adults with autism: The case of daily living skills. Journal of the American Academic of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2159B(5):589-97. PMCID:PMC3391968.

Seltzer MM, Baker MW, Hong J, Maenner M, Greenberg J, Mandel D. (2012) Prevalence of CGG expansions of the FMR1 gene in a US population-based sample.. American Journal of Medical Genetics, Neuropsychiatric Genetics. 159B(5):589-97.

Barker ET, Greenberg JS, Seltzer MM, Almeida DM. (2012) Daily stress and cortisol patterns in parents of adult children with a serious mental illness. Health Psychology. Jan;31(1):130-4.

Smith LE, Greenberg JS, Seltzer MM. (2011) Social Support and Well-being at Mid-Life Among Mothers of Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2011 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print].

Smith LE, Seltzer MM, Greenberg JS. (2011) Daily Health Symptoms of Mothers of Adolescents and Adults with Fragile X Syndrome and Mothers of Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2011 Dec 14. [Epub ahead of print].

Seltzer MM, Floyd F, Song J, Greenberg J, Hong J. (2011) Midlife and aging parents of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: impacts of lifelong parenting. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Nov;116(6):479-99.

Seltzer MM, Barker ET, Greenberg JS, Hong J, Coe C, Almeida D. (2011) Differential sensitivity to life stress in FMR1 premutation carrier mothers of children with fragile X syndrome. Health Psychology. 2011 Dec 12. [Epub ahead of print].