Dr. Guest has directed and coordinated several large, multi-site, federally funded research projects focusing on multiple at-risk populations of children including children at-risk for abuse and neglect, children living in poverty, children at-risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and children of adolescent mothers. She co-directs the ASD Database Research team along with Dr. Sarah O’Kelley evaluating clinical data obtained for children referred for an ASD assessment at the UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinics/LEND program. She also engages in research exploring screening measures and diagnostic outcomes in young children evaluated for ASD. Additionally, Dr. Guest is part of the Centers of the Prevention of Child Neglect; the major focus of the center is clarification of neglect as a construct and the documentation of its influence on child development in multiple domains.
Overall, the theme of her research within at-risk populations is to explore children’s social-emotional development and environmental factors such as parenting and social support that impact development as well as interventions targeting improvement in social-emotional growth.
Developmental psychology, social development, autism spectrum disorders, infant and child development