Larissa is the Elizabeth C. Davies Chair in Child & Family Well-Being and Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the School of Human Ecology and the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is also the Director of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being in the School of Human Ecology. She also holds appointments as the Healthy Minds, Children, and Families Specialist with UW-Extension and as an affiliate Associate Professor with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.
She is internationally recognized for her development of a framework to promote and assess mindful parenting as well as her work to bring mindfulness and compassion training to pregnant women, children/adolescents and families in diverse community contexts. Larissa studies the biological and psychological pathways through which secular contemplative practices may support child and family well-being and improve health equity. She has received research funding from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse to support these efforts.
Prior to joining the Center, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, and a core faculty member of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Larissa serves as a faculty affiliate of the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center’s Program on Empathy, Awareness and Compassion in Education (PEACE) at Penn State University and the University of California-San Diego Center for Mindfulness Professional Training Institute.
Center for Healthy Minds researchers, along with partners at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Virginia, are creating and studying the impact of a well-being curriculum for college freshman.