Daniel A. Hackman is an associate professor of social work in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, with an affiliated appointment USC Spatial Sciences Institute, at the University of Southern California.

His research focuses on how social and environmental contexts in childhood influence developmental trajectories of health and well-being across the lifecourse. He investigates how childhood socioeconomic, family and neighborhood factors become associated with the cognitive, affective and biological systems that influence healthy development.

Dr. Hackman is interested in executive function and stress reactivity, at the behavioral, physiological and neurobiological level. He is also interested in the social experiences and mechanisms that can promote health and attenuate risk processes. By leveraging this work, he seeks to identify more effective policy and programmatic approaches to prevent and reduce socioeconomic disparities.

His current work includes a focus on the role of neighborhood disadvantage and environmental exposures in brain, cognitive and emotional development.  Recently, he 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.  He is also leading a collaborative project employing epigenetics to understand the relation between childhood maltreatment and vulnerability to mental health symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a broader collaboration examining the role of DNA methylation in the relationship between maltreatment and mental health.

Prior to his appointment at USC, Dr. Hackman was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed a predoctoral clinical 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.


Ph.D., Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Psychology, Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Sc.B., Neuroscience, Brown University

Recent publications

Cserbik, D., Chen, J. C., McConnell, R., Berhane, K., Sowell, E. R., Schwarz, J, Hackman, D. A., Kan, E., Fan, C. C., & Herting, M. M. (2020). Fine particulate matter exposure during childhood relates to hemispheric-specific differences in brain structureEnvironment International, 143105933.

 Alvarez, G. M., Hackman, D. A., Miller, A. B., & Muscatell, K. A. (2020). Systemic Inflammation is Associated with Differential Neural Reactivity and Connectivity to Affective ImagesSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

*Palmer Molina, A., Skowron, E. S., &, Hackman, D. A. (2020). Maternal intimate partner violence exposure and autonomic reactivity: Associations with positive parentingJournal of Interpersonal Violence.

Negriff, S., *Palmer Molina, A., & Hackman, D. A. (2020). Parental exposure to childhood maltreatment and offspring’s mental health: Investigating pathways through parental adversity and offspring exposure to maltreatmentChild Maltreatment, 25(4), 422-432.

Lee, J. O., Howard, J., *Lee, W. J., Hackman, D.A., McLeod, G.F.H., & Boden, J.M. (2019). Social causation, social selection, or common determinants? Examining competing explanations for the link between young adult unemployment and nicotine dependence disorderNicotine & Tobacco Research.

Hackman, D. A., Robert, S. A., Grübel, J., Weibel, R., Anagnostou, E., Hölscher, C., & Schinazi, V. R. (2019). Neighborhood environments influence emotion and physiological reactivity. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 9498.

Lee, J. O., Jones, T. M., Yoon, Y., Hackman, D. A., Yoo, J. P., & Kosterman, R. (2019). Young Adult Unemployment and Later Depression and Anxiety: Does Childhood Neighborhood Matter?Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48(1), 30-42.

Hackman, D. A.^, O’Brien, J. R., & Zalewski, M.,^ (2018).  Enduring association between parental warmth and the HPA-axis: A meta-analytic review and design recommendations. Child Development, 89(5), 1485-1503.
^ Denotes equal authorship

Hackman, D. A., Kuan, D. C. H., Manuck, S. B., & Gianaros, P. J. (2018). Socioeconomic position and age-related disparities in regional cerebral blood flow within the prefrontal cortex. Psychosomatic Medicine, 80(4), 336-344.