The Catholic University of America


J. Benjamin Hinnant

Assistant Professor


303 O'Boyle (202) 319-5750

My research interests are in the development of psychopathology, developmental biopsychology, and their interactions with environmental and socializing characteristics. I employ a general developmental psychopathology framework in attempting to clarify relations between biology, environment, and their prediction of children’s socio-emotional adjustment and health. This research cuts across different areas of study and includes biological psychology, developmental psychology, and family studies. The primary biological characteristics that I focus on are autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity across the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches, hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) activity, and sleep. Some of this research has focused on how patterns of physiological arousal at rest and during stress interact to predict children's internalizing and externalizing behavior over time. Other aspects of this research bring in environmental characteristics as well and investigate how, for example, parental marital conflict and harsh parenting predicts child adjustment over time in the context of specific patterns of autonomic function. 


Postdoctoral fellow (2008-2011) Auburn University

Ph.D. (2008) Human Development and Family Studies, UNC at Greensboro

M.S. (2005) Human Development and Family Studies, UNC at Greensboro

B.S. (2002) Psychology, Clemson University

Selected Publications

El-Sheikh, M., & Hinnant, J.B. (2011). Marital conflict, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and allostatic load: Interrelations and associations with the development of children’s externalizing behavior [Special issue on allostatic load]. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 815-829.
El-Sheikh, M., Hinnant, J.B., & Erath, S. (2011). Developmental trajectories of delinquency symptoms in childhood: The role of marital conflict and autonomic nervous system activity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 16-32.
Hinnant, J.B., Elmore-Staton, L., & El-Sheikh, M. (2011). Developmental trajectories of respiratory sinus arrhythmia and pre-ejection period in middle childhood. Developmental Psychobiology, 53, 59-68.
Hinnant, J.B., & El-Sheikh, M. (2009). Children’s externalizing and internalizing symptoms over time: The role of individual differences in patterns of RSA responding. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 1049-1061.



Psychology 622, Cognitive Development