Marsha Mailick

Position title: Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Emerita


Phone: (608) 262-1044

Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53705

Waisman Center
Lifespan Family Research Program at the Waisman Center
More information
Curriculum Vitae


My research is aimed at understanding the impacts of “nonnormative” (NN) parenting, which we define as parenting a son or daughter with a developmental disability or severe mental illness, or experiencing child death. As well, I study the behavioral phenotypic trajectories of specific disabilities (including autism, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and schizophrenia) across the life course, and how the family environment affects the development of individuals with such disabilities. My research is interdisciplinary, incorporating epidemiological methods, biomarkers, and genetics, as well as social and psychological approaches.

CDE research theme area affiliations

Fertility, Families, and Households; Health and the Life Course; Biodemography

Selected Publications

Hickey, E.J., DaWalt, L.S., Bolt, D., Hong, J., Song, J., Taylor, J.L., Mailick, M.R. (accepted). Impact of the Great Recession on autistic adults and their mothers. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Dembo, R., Mailick, M.R., Rudolph, A.E., Huntington, N., DaWalt, L., & Mitra M. (2023). Network diversity and mental health among mothers of individuals with autism. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 128, 101-118.

Song, J., Dembo, R.S., DaWalt, L.E., Ryff, C.D., & Mailick, M.R. (2023). Improving retention of diverse samples in longitudinal research on developmental disabilities. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 128,164-165.

Hong, J., Dembo, R.S., DaWalt, L.S., Brilliant, M., Berry-Kravis, E.M., & Mailick, M.R. (2022). The effect of college degree attainment on neurodegenerative symptoms in genetically at-risk women. SSM – Population Health 101262.

Movaghar, A., Page, D., Brilliant, M. & Mailick, M.R.  (2022). Advancing artificial intelligence-assisted pre-screening for fragile X syndrome. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.

Dembo, R.S., Huntington, N., Mitra, M., Rudolph, A.E., Lachman, M.E., Mailick, M.R. (2022). Social network typology and health among parents of children with developmental disabilities: Results from a national study of midlife adults. Social Science and Medicine, 292, 114623.

Maltman, N., Klusek, J., DaWalt, L., Hong, J., Sterling, A., Berry-Kravis, E., & Mailick, M.R. (2022). Verbal inhibition declines among older women with high FMR1 premutation expansions: A prospective study. Brain and Cognition, 159, 105851.

Klusek, J., Fairchild, A., Moser, C., Mailick, M., Thurman, A. J., Abbeduto, L. (2022). Family history of FXTAS is associated with age-related cognitive-linguistic decline among mothers with the FMR1 premutation. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. 14, 7.

Movaghar, A., Page, D., Brilliant, M.H., & Mailick, M.R. (2021). Prevalence of underdiagnosed fragile X syndrome in two health systems. JAMA Network Open, 4(12): e2141516.doi:10.1001 /jamanetworkopen.2021.41516

Hong, J., DaWalt, L.S., Baker, M.W., Berry-Kravis, E.M., & Mailick, M.R. (2021). Is FMR1 repeat number polymorphism associated with phenotypic variation in the general population? Report from a cohort of 5499 adults. Frontiers in Psychiatry. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.727085.

Mailick, M.R., Hong, J., Movaghar, A., DaWalt, L., Berry-Kravis, E.M., Brilliant, M.H., Boero, J., Todd, P.K., & Hall, D. (2021). Mild neurological signs in FMR1 premutation women in an unselected community-based cohort. Movement Disorders, 36, 10, 2378-2386. DOI: 10.1002/mds.28683

Hong, J., Kapoor., A, DaWalt, L., Maltman, N., Kim, B., Berry-Kravis, E.M., Almeida, D., Coe, C., & Mailick, M.R. (2021). Stress and genetics influence hair cortisol in FMR1 premutation carrier mothers of children with fragile X syndrome. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 129, 105266. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105266. PMID: 34020265.

DaWalt, L., Taylor, J.L., Movaghar, A., Hong, J., Kim, B., Brilliant, M. & Mailick, M.R.  (2021). Health profiles of adults with ASD: Differences between women and men. Autism Research. DOI: 10.1002/aur.2563

Movaghar, A., Page, D., Scholze, D., Hong, J., DaWalt, L.S., Kuusito, F., Stewart, R., Brilliant, M., Mailick, M.R. (2021).  Artificial intelligence-assisted phenotype discovery of fragile x syndrome in a population-based sample.  Genetics in Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/s41436-021-01144-7

Movaghar, A. Page, D., Brilliant, M.H., & Mailick, M.R. (2022). “Response to Timothé Ménard”. Genetics in Medicine, 24, 752–753.

Fletcher, J. M., Greenberg, J. S., Mailick, M.R., Song, J., & Wolfe, B. (2021). Educational attainments of children with adopted siblings. Journal of Family Issues. DOI: 10.1177/0192513X20984495

Maltman, N., DaWalt, L.S., Hong, J., & Mailick, M.R. (2021). Socioeconomic factors associated with minimally verbal status in individuals with ASD.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51, 2139-2145.

Greenberg, J.S., Hilton, E.C., Li, J.J., Lu, Q., & Mailick, M.R. (2020). The impact of parenting a child with serious mental illness: Accounting for the parent’s genetic vulnerability to mental illness. Journal of Family Psychology. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32673031.

Song, J., Mailick, M.R., & Greenberg, J.S. (2020). Apolipoprotein ɛ4 allele and subjective cognitive functioning in parents of adults with disabilities. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: 75(8), e189-e197. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa061.

Mailick, M.R., Hong, J., DaWalt, L.S., Greenberg, J.S., Movaghar, A., Baker, M.W., Rathouz, P.J., Brilliant, M.H. (2020). FMR1 low zone CGG repeats: Phenotypic associations in the context of parenting stress.  Frontiers in Pediatrics – Genetic Disorders, 8, article 223. doi: 10.3389/fped.2020.00223

Usher, L.V., DaWalt, L.S., Hong, J., Greenberg, J.S., Mailick, M.R. (2020). Trajectories of change in the behavioral and health phenotype of adolescents and adults with fragile X syndrome and intellectual disability: Longitudinal trends over a decade. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50(8), 277902792.

Klusek, J., Hong, J., Sterling, A., Berry-Kravis, E., Mailick, M.R. (2020). Inhibition deficits are modulated by age and CGG repeat length in carriers of the FMR1 premutation allele who are mothers of children with fragile X syndrome. Brain and Cognition, 139, 105511.