Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center
Meet Our Researchers
Our team of researchers investigate the causes of children’s mental health conditions, and seek the best treatments to improve the well-being of children and their families. Researchers collaborate on projects that aim to improve diagnostics, testing and evaluation, patient care, therapies and interventions. They are committed to applying their findings to evidence-based clinical practice.
Sara Becker, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and substance use problems. She has been an assistant professor (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School, a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital, and the Co-Director of the Adolescent Mood and Stress Clinic since 2011.
Becker is a graduate of Dartmouth College. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University and completed her residency at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Alcohol and Addictions Studies at Brown University.
Becker’s research focuses on the evaluation and dissemination of effective treatment for adolescents with substance use and co-occurring mental health problems. With funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), Becker is currently evaluating new ways to market adolescent substance abuse therapy to families. Becker has also served as a Co-Investigator on several studies focused on improving the delivery of treatment to adolescents with mood disorders.
Becker, S. J., & Curry, J. F. (2007). Interactive effect of substance abuse and depression on adolescent social competence. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 469-475.
Becker, S. J., & Curry, J. F. (2008). Outpatient interventions for adolescent substance abuse: A quality of evidence review. [Featured article] Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 531-544.
Becker, S. J., Curry, J. F., Yang, C. (2009). Longitudinal association between frequency of use and quality of life among adolescent substance abusers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 23, 482-490.
Becker, S. J., Curry, J. F., & Yang, C. (2011). Factors that influence trajectories of change in frequency of use and quality of life among adolescents receiving a brief intervention. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 41, 294 – 304.
Becker, S. J., Stein, G. L., Curry, J. F., & Hersh, J. (2012). Ethnic differences among substance abusing adolescents in a treatment dissemination project. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42, 328 – 336.
Becker, S. J., Nargiso, J., Wolff, J., Uhl, K, Simon, V., Spirito, A., & Prinstein, M. (2012). Temporal relationship between substance use and delinquent behavior among psychiatrically hospitalized early adolescents. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 43, 251 – 259.
Becker, S. J., Hernandez, L, Smith, C., & Spirito, A. (2012). Adolescent substance use trajectories following a brief motivational intervention in an emergency department. Drug Abuse and Dependence, 125, 103 – 109. For
John Boekamp, PhD, is clinical director of the Pediatric Partial Hospital Program at Bradley Hospital, a family-centered, intensive day treatment program for very young children (newborn to age 6) who have serious emotional, behavioral or relationship disturbances. He is also clinical assistant professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Boekamp earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his predoctoral clinical psychology internship at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Boekamp completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychopathology at the Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School and a postdoctoral fellowship in child and adolescent clinical psychology at Bradley Hospital and the Brown University clinical psychology training consortium. He joined the staff of Bradley Hospital in 1999 and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in 2000. Boekamp has been awarded the Brown Medical School Dean ‘s Excellence in Teaching Award and Teaching Recognition Award for his work with residents and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology and psychiatry. He has also served as Co-director of the Bradley Hospital Fire Safe Families Program and was Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Coalition.
Boekamp’s current clinical and research interests focus on serious emotional, behavioral and relationship disturbances in early childhood, treatment outcome and program evaluation, and firesetting behavior in childhood. Boekamp’s interests also include the linkages between emotional development and relationship functioning and the development of psychopathology in early childhood, as well as how emotion and relationship factors relate to treatment process and outcome in an intensive day treatment program.
He has presented extensively to professional organizations within Rhode Island in the areas of juvenile firesetting, early childhood feeding disorders, attachment disorders and day treatment for young children.
Barreto, S. J., Boekamp, J.R., Armstrong, L. M., & Gillen, P. (2004). Community-based interventions for juvenile firestarters: A brief family-centered model. Psychological Services, 1, 158-168.
Martin, S.D., Boekamp, J.R., McConville, D.W., & Wheeler, E.E. (2010). Anger and sadness perception in clinically referred preschoolers: Emotion processes and externalizing behavior symptoms. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 41, 30-46.
Barreto, S. J., Zeff, K., Boekamp, J.R., & Paccione-Dyszlewski, M. (2007). Fire behavior in children and adolescents, Lewis’ Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, (4th ed), 483-493.
Boekamp, J.R., & Martin, S.E. (2010). Maintaining Young Children with Severe Behavioral Problems at Home: A Case for Psychiatric Partial Hospital Treatment. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 26 (9), 1-6.
Boekamp, J. (2008). Reactive Attachment Disorder: Current perspectives on diagnosis and treatment considerations. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 24 (8), 1-7.
Julie Boergers, PhD, specializes in integrated behavioral health approaches for pediatric medical problems. She is the co-director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic, the co-director of the Psychology Liaison Program for Pediatric Oncology, and a member of the feeding team in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology. Dr. Boergers has been awarded The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Teaching Recognition Award for her outstanding clinical and research training of residents and fellows in psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics.
Dr. Boergers graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She earned her master's and doctorate in child clinical psychology from the University of Denver. She completed an internship in child clinical/pediatric psychology at Children's National Medical Center, and a fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown Medical School before joining the faculty in 1998.
Dr. Boergers' research program focuses on sleep patterns of children with chronic illnesses (including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma), as well as the effect of childhood sleep disruption on family and academic functioning. She also has longstanding research interests in the area of adolescent health risk behavior, including smoking and suicidal behavior.
Boergers, J., & Koinis-Mitchell, D. (2010). Sleep and culture in children with medical conditions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 915-926.
Gilman, S.E., Rende, R., Boergers, J., Abrams, D.B., Buka, S.L., Clark, M.A., Colby, S.M., Hitsman, B., Kazura, A.N., Lipsitt, L.P., Lloyd-Richardson, E.E., Rogers, M.L., Stanton, C.A., Stroud, L.R., & Niaura, R.S. (2009). Parental smoking and adolescent smoking initiation: an intergenerational perspective on tobacco control. Pediatrics, 123(2), e274-81.
Larry K. Brown, MD, is director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and academic director of Bradley Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s division of child and family psychiatry.
Dr. Brown specializes in adolescents with HIV/AIDS, especially those with associated psychological issues or substance abuse problems. He has participated as principal investigator or co-investigator in more than 12 federally funded research projects. His research interests are focused on AIDS prevention and safer sex programs for adolescents with psychiatric disorders. He has published more than 50 articles and book chapters about HIV/AIDS education and prevention. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Dr. Brown's research publications have included: Self-cutting and sexual risk among adolescents in intensive psychiatric treatment; Promoting safer sex among HIV-positive youth with hemophilia: Theory, intervention, and outcome; Predictors of retention among HIV/hemophilia health care professionals; Impact of sexual abuse on the HIV-risk-related behavior of adolescents in intensive psychiatric treatment; Heroin use in adolescents and young adults admitted for drug detoxification; and Children and adolescents living with HIV and AIDS: A review
Mary A. Carskadon, PhD, is director of chronobiology and sleep research at Bradley Hospital and a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. She is an expert in sleep patterns, particularly in children and adolescents. Carskadon is a past president of the Sleep Research Society and organized the Women in Sleep Research interest group of the Sleep Research Society. She is a co-founder of the Northeastern Sleep Society and has served on the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research advisory board and as a member of the Development and Behavior Working Group of the National Children's Study. She is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Carskadon is an associate editor of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
Carskadon received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Gettysburg College and her doctoral degree with distinction in neuro- and biobehavioral sciences from Stanford University, with a specialty in sleep research.
Mary A. Carskadon's research focus includes circadian rhythms and puberty; changes in how sleep pressure functions in adolescents; the role of morning-type or evening-type preference on sleep behaviors; sleep loss and genetic predictors of depressed mood in college students; and sleep patterns and food intake. Her research includes examining associations of sleep regulatory mechanisms to sleep/wake behavior of children, adolescents, and young adults and her findings have raised public health issues regarding consequences of insufficient sleep in adolescents and concerns about early school start times. Her research has also examined the genetic contributions to these processes and the association of chronic sleep restriction with development of depressed mood.
Recent research has also focused on circadian rhythms in adolescents as a function of puberty; the role of circadian phase preference on daytime sleepiness patterns; and the influence of alcohol use and the history of parental alcohol use on sleep patterns and circadian rhythms of young people.
Carskadon has been featured in numerous news stories and programs, including Discovery Health, PBS "Frontline," and programs of the BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has written many scientific papers and is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society, elected to Brown University Chapter 1994.
- Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award "…to honor service in the field of sleep research and sleep disorders medicine, especially generous and altruistic efforts in the areas of administration, public relations, and legislation," American Sleep Disorders Association, 1991.
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Gettysburg College, 1995.
- Doctor of Sciences, Honorary Degree, Gettysburg College, 1999.
- President, Sleep Research Society, 1999-2000.
- Lifetime Achievement Award, National Sleep Foundation, 2003.
- Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2003.
- Benchmarks of Excellence Award for Academic Excellence (to the Sleep Laboratory), Bradley Hospital, 2003.
- Outstanding Educator Award of the Sleep Research Society, 2005 [Award named the Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award.]
- Distinguished Scientist Award of the Sleep Research Society, 2007.
- Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2007.
Tarokh, L. and Carskadon, M.A. Sleep in adolescents. In Squire, L.R. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, volume 8. Academic Press, Oxford, pp 1015-1022, 2009. Article re-printed in R.
Stickgold and M. Walker (Eds.), The Neuroscience of Sleep. Oxford: Elsevier, 2009. Carskadon, M.A. and Tarokh, L. Sleep in child and adolescent development. In Klockars, M. and Porkka-Heiskanen, T. (Eds.) The Many Aspects of Sleep. Acta Gyllenbergiana VIII. Helsinki: The Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, pp 89-100, 2009.
Carskadon, M.A. Maturation of processes regulating sleep in adolescents. In Marcus, C.L., Carroll, J.L., Donnelly, D.F., and Loughlin, G.M. (Eds.), Sleep in Children, Second Edition. Informa Healthcare USA, New York, pp 95-114, 2008.
Sørensen, E., Carskadon, M.A., and Ursin, R. Sleep across the life cycle. In Butkov N and Lee-Chiong TL (eds.). Fundamentals of Sleep Technology. Lipincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, pp 33-39, 2007.
Jenni, O.G. and Carskadon, M.A. Sleep behavior and sleep regulation from infancy through adolescence: Normative aspects. In Jenni, O.G. and Carskadon, M.A. (Guest Eds.) Sleep Medicine Clinics: Sleep in Children and Adolescents. Philadelphia. W.B. Saunders (Elsevier), Philadephia, pp. 321-329, 2007.
Rupp, T.L. and Carskadon, M.A. Sleep. In Feinstein S (ed) The Praeger Handbook of Learning and the Brain. Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT, pp 447-452, 2006.
Afifi L, Kushida C.A., Carskadon M.A. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). In: Kushida CA (ed.), Sleep Deprivation, Vol. 2: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects, Marcel Dekker, pp. 11-24, 2005.
Carskadon, M.A. Sleep and circadian rhythms in children and adolescents: Implications for athletic performance of young people. Clin Sports Med 24:319-328, 2005. PMID: 15892926
Jenni, O.J. and Carskadon, M.A. Infants to adolescents. In Opp MR (ed), SRS Basics of Sleep Guide. Sleep Research Society, Westchester, IL, pp 11-20, 2005.
Wolfson, A.R. and Carskadon, M.A. A survey of factors influencing high school start times. NASSP Bulletin 89 (642):47-66, 2005.
Jenni, O.G., Van Reen, E., and Carskadon, M.A. Regional differences of the sleep electroencephalogram in adolescents. J. Sleep Res.14 (2): 141-147, 2005.
Taylor, D.J., Jenni, O.G., Acebo, C., and Carskadon, M.A. Sleep tendency during extended wakefulness: Insights into adolescent sleep regulation. J. Sleep Res.14 (3): 239-244, 2005.
Arnedt, J.T., Owens, J., Crouch, M., Stahl, J., and Carskadon, M.A. Neurobehavioral performance of residents after heavy night call vs after alcohol ingestion. JAMA 294 (9): 1025-1033, 2005.
Fallone, G., Acebo, C., Seifer, R., Carskadon, M.A. Experimental restriction of sleep opportunity in children: Effects on teacher ratings. Sleep 28 (12): 1561-1567, 2005.
Jenni, O.J., Achermann, P., and Carskadon, M.A. Homeostatic sleep regulation in adolescents. Sleep 28 (11): 446-1454, 2005.
Acebo, C., Sadeh, A., Seifer, R., Tzischinsky, O., Hafer, A., and Carskadon, M.A. Sleep/wake patterns derived from activity monitoring and maternal report for healthy 1- to 5-year-old children. Sleep 28 (12):1568-1577, 2005.
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Brady Case, MD, is medical director of the Bradley Hospital Intensive Program for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He is an assistant professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and of health services, policy, and practice at the Brown School of Public Health.
Dr. Case earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University. He completed psychiatry residency and clinical research training at New York University and a child psychiatry fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where he was trained in the treatment of pediatric OCD.
Prior to returning to Brown, Case was a research psychiatrist in the statistics and services research division at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and the NYU Child Study Center. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
His research has focused on the use and quality of care for pediatric mental disorders in the United States. He also has experience in examining patterns of mental health and substance use disorder, mental health service use in complex epidemiologic samples, public and private administrative claims, and health care provider surveys.
Daniel Dickstein, MD, is the director of Bradley Hospital's Pediatric Mood, Imaging and Neurodevelopment Program (Pedi-MIND). Board certified in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child/adolescent psychiatry, he is also an associate professor of both psychiatry and human behavior as well as pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
He was previously an assistant clinical investigator with the pediatric and developmental neuropsychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dickstein earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University, and is a graduate of the school's triple board program, a combined residency in pediatrics, general psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry, that leads to board eligibility in all three specialties after five years of training.
Dickstein leads Bradley's Pedi-MIND research program, which uses brain imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral measures to identify biological markers of psychiatric illness, including bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. Such markers could help physicians make more accurate diagnoses. Dickstein also treats outpatients at Bradley on a limited basis.
In 2009, Dickstein received a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Bio-behavioral Research Award For Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS Award), one of only seven awarded in the program's inaugural year. Dickstein is the recipient of numerous additional awards, including the NIMH's Richard J. Wyatt, MD, Memorial Fellowship Training Award for outstanding scientific accomplishment, NIMH's Mentor of the Year Award, National Institutes of Health Fellows' Award for Research Excellence, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outstanding Resident Award.
A Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dickstein has authored more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.
Frías Á, Dickstein DP, Merranko J, Gill MK, Goldstein TR, Goldstein BI, Hower H, Yen S, Hafeman DM, Liao F, Diler R, Axelson D, Strober M, Hunt JI, Ryan ND, Keller MB, Birmaher B. "Longitudinal cognitive trajectories and associated clinical variables in youth with bipolar disorder." Bipolar Disord. 2017 Jun;19(4):273-284.
Wegbreit E, Cushman GK, Weissman AB, Bojanek E, Kim KL, Leibenluft E, Dickstein DP. "Reversal-learning deficits in childhood-onset bipolar disorder across the transition from childhood to young adulthood." J Affect Disord. 2016 Oct;203:46-54.
Dickstein DP, Axelson D, Weissman AB, Yen S, Hunt JI, Goldstein BI, Goldstein TR, Liao F, Gill MK, Hower H, Frazier TW, Diler RS, Youngstrom EA, Fristad MA, Arnold LE, Findling RL, Horwitz SM, Kowatch RA, Ryan ND, Strober M, Birmaher B, Keller MB. "Cognitive flexibility and performance in children and adolescents with threshold and sub-threshold bipolar disorder." Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;25(6):625-38.
Dickstein DP, Puzia ME, Cushman GK, Weissman AB, Wegbreit E, Kim KL, Nock MK, Spirito A J Child Psychol Psychiatry. "Self-injurious implicit attitudes among adolescent suicide attempters versus those engaged in nonsuicidal self-injury." 2015 Oct;56(10):1127-36.
Dickstein DP, Pescosolido MF, Reidy BL, Galvan T, Kim KL, Seymour KE, Laird AR, Di Martino A, Barrett RP. "Developmental meta-analysis of the functional neural correlates of autism spectrum disorders." J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2013 Mar;52(3):279-289.e16.
Dickstein DP, Finger EC, Skup M, Pine DS, Blair JR, Leibenluft E. "Altered neural function in pediatric bipolar disorder during reversal learning." Bipolar Disord. 2010 Nov;12(7):707-19.
Susan Dickstein, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at Bradley Hospital and an associate professor (research) in the department of psychiatry and human behavior and the department of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. For two decades, Dr. Dickstein was director of the Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center (part of the Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center), and collaborated on research within the realms of developmental psychopathology, attachment theory, family functioning and risk, maternal depression, and early childhood mental health.
Dr. Dickstein is consulting editor for the Journal of Family Psychology and the Infant Mental Health Journal, and developed an online training course, Foundations for Infant/Toddler Social Emotional Health: Provider Modules. She is a founding member and president of the Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health, a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, and a founding partner and president of the Board of the international Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Dr. Dickstein has earned Endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor (IV-C), and she sits on numerous state and national advisory committees related to infant/early childhood mental health. She offers clinical and reflective supervision and consultation in a variety of programs that serve high risk infants, toddlers and their families.
Dickstein has collaborated on several NIH grants within the realm of developmental psychopathology, attachment theory, family risk, maternal depression, and early childhood mental health issues, and assessment of child outcomes in Head Start. Most recently, Dickstein is co-PI on a SAMHSA systems initiative, Project RI LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health), aimed at building social-behavioral capacities into community-based early childhood systems of care in order to promote and integrate physical and behavioral health wellness. In addition, Dickstein conducts program evaluation for a variety of state-funded contracts and private foundation grants that provide community-based early childhood mental health consultation, and evidence-based parent and teacher training workshops, within child care settings serving high risk infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.
Dickstein, S., Seifer, R., Albus, K.E. (2004). Attachment patterns across multiple family relationships in adulthood: Associations with maternal depression. Development and Psychopathology, 16 (3), 735-752.
McHale, J., Fivaz-Depeursinge, E., Dickstein, S., Robertson, J., & Daley, M (2008) New Evidence for the Social Embededness of Infants Early Triangular Capacities.Family Process, 47, 445-463.
Dickstein, S., Seifer, R., & Albus, K.E. (2009). Maternal Adult Attachment Representations across Relationship Domains and Infant Outcomes: The Importance of Family and Couple Functioning. Attachment and Human Behavior, 11 (1), 5-27.
Shepard, S.A., & Dickstein, S. (2009). Preventive Intervention for Early Childhood Behavioral Problems: An Ecological Perspective. In Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America (H. Triveti, Ed.), Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (M. Gleason & D. Schecter, Guest Eds.), 18 (3), 687-706.
Gleason, M.M., Zeanah, C.H., & Dickstein, S. (2010). Recognizing young children in need of mental health assessment: Development and preliminary validity of the Early Childhood Screening Assessment. Infant Mental Health Journal, 31 (3), 1-22.
Salisbury, A.L., High, P., Chapman, H., Dickstein, S., Twomey, J., Liu, J., & Lester, B. (in press). A randomized control trial of integrated care for families managing infant colic. Infant Mental Health Journal.
Jennifer Freeman, PhD, is the director of research and training at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at Bradley Hospital. She is also associate professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. Freeman received her BA from Wesleyan University and completed her doctoral training at the State University of New York at Buffalo, completed a predoctoral internship at the Brown University clinical psychology training program, and was a postdoctoral fellow in child and pediatric psychology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Her research interests are in the area of child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Freeman's particular interests include OCD, cognitive behavioral family interventions, and developmental psychopathology. Her current research focuses on dissemination of treatment and training programs for treatment providers in the area of exposure therapy.
Dr. Freeman was the principal investigator (PI) on an NIMH-funded multisite trial of exposure-based treatment for young children with OCD, site PI or Co-I on a number of past treatment trials for childhood OCD, and currently an MPI on an NIMH funded R21/R33.
Abbe Garcia, PhD is director of the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) and clinical director of Bradley Hospital’s Intensive Program for OCD. Dr. Garcia is also an assistant professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. Garcia received a BA in psychology from Williams College and completed her graduate training at Temple University. She also completed a predoctoral internship in the clinical psychology training program, and she was a postdoctoral fellow in child and pediatric psychology, both at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
Garcia’s research interests are connected to quality improvement efforts in the Intensive Program for OCD. She is interested in using objective measures of outcome to demonstrate clinical changes and in using these data to guide further development of the treatment approach used in this program.
Christopher D. Houck, PhD, has been a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University since 2005. He is also a former research associate at Rhode Island Hospital.
Houck received a BA in psychology with highest honors from the University of Michigan. He completed graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida with a concentration in Clinical Child/Pediatric Psychology.
Additional training included an APA accredited internship in Clinical Psychology at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California and a postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at Brown University’s Clinical Psychology Training Consortium.
Houck has been principal or co-investigator of many research studies, including several focusing on affect management for early adolescents and the development and evaluation of risk prevention interventions for at-risk early adolescents.
- Swenson, R.R., Houck, C.D., Barker, D., & Brown, L.K. (in press).Prospective analysis of the transition to sexual experience and changes in sexual self-esteem among male and female adolescents attending therapeutic schools. Journal of Adolescence.
- Tolou-Shams, M., Houck, C.D., Conrad, S., Tarantino, N., Stein, L., & Brown, L.K. (in press). HIV prevention for juvenile drug court offenders: A randomized controlled trial focusing on affect management. Journal of Correctional Health Care.
- Houck, C.D., Nugent, N., Lescano, C.M., Peters, A., Brown, L.K. (2010). Sexual abuse and sexual risk behavior: Beyond the impact of psychiatric problems. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 473-483. PMID 19966316, PMCID: PMC2910940.
- Lescano, C.M., Houck, C.D., Brown, L.K., Doherty, G., DiClemente, R.J., Fernandez, M.I., Pugatch, D., & Schlenger, W.E., Silver, B.J., and Project SHIELD Study Group. (2009). Correlates of heterosexual anal sex among at-risk adolescents and young adults. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 1131-1136. PMID 19008522.
- Houck, C.D., Lescano, C., Brown, L.K., Tolou-Shams, M., Thompson, J. and Project SHIELD. (2006). “Islands of risk”: Identifying subtypes of adolescents at risk for HIV. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 31, 619-629.
Jeffrey Hunt, MD, is director of inpatient and intensive services at Bradley Hospital, and professor and program director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and Triple Board Residency Program in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. Hunt received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in general and child psychiatry at the Medical College of Pennsylvania at the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (now Drexel University College of Medicine). Over the past 15 years, Dr. Hunt has been co-investigator on several NIMH-funded studies relating to mood and substance use disorders.
Hunt has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Harvard Macy Program for Physician Educators Teacher Scholar Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2005). Hunt has also been honored with several awards from Alpert Medical School, including the Outstanding Teaching Award in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2005-2006); the Special Recognition in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Award (2003); and the Excellence in Teaching Award for Clinical Faculty (2003). In 2019, he was given the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Cancro Academic Leadership Award for outstanding contributions to the field of child and adolescent psychiatry education.
Barbara Jandasek, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in pediatric psychology. She has been a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital since 2010 and an assistant professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School since 2011. She is a clinical supervisor for interns, residents and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology. She is currently the supervisor of training for the Community Asthma Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital.
Jandasek is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology (with a specialty in child and family psychology) from Loyola University Chicago. She completed her residency and postdoctoral training through the Brown University Psychology Training Consortium in pediatric psychology.
Jandasek's research interests include health disparities, pediatric asthma and obesity, adolescent and young adult development and the transition of responsibility for illness management, qualitative methods, and intervention development.
- Jandasek, B., Holmbeck, G.N., DeLucia, C., Zebracki, K., & Friedman, D. (2009). Trajectories of family processes across the adolescent transition in youth with spina bifida. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 726-738. PMID: 19803608.
- Jandasek, B., Ortega, A.N., McQuaid, E.L., Canino, G., Koinis Mitchell, D., Colon, A., Seifer, R., Klein, R., Kopel, S., & Fritz, G.K.(In press). Health care access and use of health services for Latino children with asthma.Medical Care Research and Review.
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Elissa Jelalian, PhD, has been a staff psychologist in the department of child and family psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital since 1992. She is also a professor of psychiatry and human behavior and pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Jelalian is a graduate of Brandeis University. She earned her doctorate at Miami University, and did her post-doctoral training in the department of child and family psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
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Dr. Jelalian’s research program focuses on development and implementation of innovative weight control interventions for children and adolescents, as well as evaluation of state wide policy to promote healthier school nutrition and physical activity environments. Her research has been supported by the US National Institutes of Health since 1999 and has had a significant impact on the study of behavioral weight control interventions for adolescents.
Her current research investigates innovative strategies for involving parents in adolescent weight control. She is also the co principal investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health treatment development grant evaluating the efficacy of cognitive behavioral intervention combined with exercise in the treatment of overweight and depressed adolescents.
Beth Jerskey, PhD joined the faculty at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center in 2013. Jerskey is the research coordinator for RI-CART, whose goal is to create a statewide registry for all individuals with a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorders. Licensed in clinical psychology, she is also an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Jerskey earned her undergraduate degree at Boston College and her master’s and doctoral degrees at Boston University. She completed her clinical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed a T32 postdoctoral fellowship through The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University department of psychiatry and human behavior clinical psychology training consortium.
Jerskey's most recent research involved the utility of neuroimaging techniques in identifying early biomarkers of disease, in addition to research exploring the subtle neuronal changes either to differentiate patient populations or to track changes over time. A separate line of research involves ethical issues related to research, specifically, the use of surrogate decision makers during the informed consent process.
Kathleen Kemp, PhD, earned her doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialization in forensic psychology at Drexel University; completed her predoctoral internship at University of Massachusetts Medical School/Worcester State Hospital; and completed her forensic psychology fellowship at the University of Virginia's Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy and Western State Hospital.
She is the director of the Rhode Island Family Court Mental Health Clinic, where she specializes in forensic mental health evaluations with adolescents in the juvenile justice system. She is active in the American Psychology-Law Society, serving on several committees; she co-chaired its international conference in Seattle in 2017.
Valerie Knopik, PhD, is director of the Division of Behavioral Genetics in the department of psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital. Her primary area of interest is the joint effects and interaction of genetic and environmental (specifically prenatal and early postnatal) risk factors on childhood externalizing behavior (for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder), and associated learning and cognitive deficits. She received her doctoral degree in psychology and behavioral genetics from the Institute for Behavioral Genetics and the University of Colorado, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric genetics and genetic epidemiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Knopik's primary research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and focuses on the effects of prenatal tobacco exposure and genetics on neuropsychological outcomes and ADHD. She is also involved as a co-investigator in a number of research grants from NIDA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute of Mental Health to support research on genetic effects on a range of outcomes such as cannabis dependence, sleep, and alcohol use disorder. She has received numerous honors and awards for her research, including a NIDA Genetics Workgroup Sponsorship Award and the Behavior Genetics Association Fuller and Scott Early Career Award.
- 2002 - Research Society for Alcoholism Junior Investigator Award
- 2002 - Research Society for Alcoholism Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award finalist
- 2002 - present - National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program Awardee
- 2003 - Research Society for Alcoholism Junior Investigator Award
- 2003 - Research Society for Alcoholism Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award finalist
- 2003 - ADHD Molecular Genetics Network Travel Award
- 2006 - Research Excellence Award, Brown University
- 2007 - NIDA Genetics Workgroup Sponsorship Award, "Prenatal drug exposure: Effects on neuropsychological outcomes"
- 2007 - Fuller and Scott Early Career Award, Behavior Genetics Association
- 2009 - Young Alumna Award for Outstanding Achievement Early in Career, Wesleyan College
Knopik, V.S., DeFries, J.C., and Alarcón, M. (1996). Gender differences in cognitive abilities of opposite-sex and same-sex twin pairs with reading disability. Annals of Dyslexia 46, 241-257.
Knopik, V.S., Alarcón, M., and DeFries, J.C. (1997). Comorbidity of mathematics and reading deficits: Evidence for a genetic etiology. Behavior Genetics 27(5), 447-453.
Knopik, V.S., Alarcón, M., and DeFries, J.C., (1998). Common and specific gender influences on individual differences in reading performance: A twin study. Personality and Individual Differences 25 269-277.
Knopik, V.S. and DeFries, J.C. (1998). A twin study of gender-influenced individual differences in general cognitive ability. Intelligence 26(2), 81-89.
Knopik, V.S. and DeFries, J.C. (1999). Etiology of covariation between reading and mathematics performance: A twin study. Twin Research 2, 226-234.
Alarcón, M., Knopik, V.S., and DeFries, J.C. (2000). Covariation of mathematics achievement and general cognitive ability. Journal of School Psychology 38(1), 63-77.
Davis, C.J., Knopik, V.S., Wadsworth, S.J., and DeFries, J.C. (2000). Self-reported reading problems in parents of twins with and without reading difficulties. Twin Research 3(2), 88-91.
Wadsworth, S.J., Knopik, V.S., and DeFries, J.C. (2000). Reading disability in boys and girls: No evidence for a differential genetic etiology. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13 133-145.
Davis, C.J., Knopik, V.S., Olson, R.K., Wadsworth, S.J., and DeFries, J.C. (2001). Genetic and environmental influences on rapid naming and reading ability: A twin study. Annals of Dyslexia 51, 231-247.
Davis, C.J., Gayán, J., Knopik, V.S., Smith, S.D., Cardon, L.R., Pennington, B.F., Olson, R.K., and DeFries, J.C. (2001). Etiology of reading difficulties and rapid naming: The Colorado Twin Study. Behavior Genetics 31(6), 625-635.
Willcutt, E.G., Pennington, B.F., Smith, S.D., Cardon, L.R., Gayán, J., Knopik, V.S., Olson, R.K., and DeFries, J.C. (2002). Quantitative trait locus for reading disability on chromosome 6p is pleiotropic for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuropsychiatric Genetics 114, 260-268.
Knopik, V.S., Smith, S.D., Cardon, L.R., Pennington, B.F., Gayán, J., Olson, R.K., and DeFries, J.C. (2002). Differential genetic etiology of reading component processes as a function of IQ. Behavioral Genetics 32(3), 181-198.
Heath, A.C., Knopik, V.S., Madden, P.A.F., Neuman, R.J., Lynskey, M.J., Slutske, W.S., Jacob, T., and Martin, N.G. (2003). Accuracy of mothers' retrospective reports of smoking during pregnancy: Comparison with twin sister informant ratings. Twin Research 6(4), 297-301.
Nelson, E.C., Heath A.C., Bucholz, K.K., Madden, P.A.F., Fu, Q., Knopik, V.S., Lynskey, M.T., Whitfield, J.B., Statham, D.J., and Martin, N.G. (2004). The genetic epidemiology of alcoholic blackouts. Archives of General Psychiatry 61(3), 257-263.
Knopik, V.S., Heath, A.C., Madden, P.A.F., Bucholz, K.K., Slutske, W.S., Nelson, E.C., Statham, D., Whitfield, J.B., and Martin, N.G. (2004). Genetic effects on alcohol dependence risk: Re-evaluating the importance of psychiatric and other heritable risk factors. Psychological Medicine 34, 1519-1530.
Romeis, J.C., Grant, J.D., Knopik, V.S., Pederson, N.L., and Heath, A.C. (2004). The genetics of middle-age spread in middle-class males. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 7(6), 596-602.
Knopik, V.S., Sparrow, E.P., Madden, P.A.F., Bucholz, K.K., Hudziak, J.J., Reich W., Slutske, W.S., Grant, J.D., McLaughlin, T.L., Todorov, A., Todd, R.D., and Heath, A.C. (2005). Contributions of parental alcoholism, prenatal substance exposure, and genetic transmission to child ADHD risk: A female twin study.Psychological Medicine 35(5), 625-635.
Lynskey, M.T., Nelson, E.C., Neuman, R., Bucholz, K.K., Madden, P.A.F., Knopik, V.S., Slutske, W., Whitfield, J., Martin, N.G., Heath, A.C. (2005). Limitations of DSM-IV operationalizations of alcohol abuse and dependence in a sample of Australian twins. Twin Research and Human Genetics 8(6), 574-584.
Knopik, V.S., Heath, A.C., Jacob, T., Slutske, W.S., Bucholz, K.K., Madden, P.A.F., Waldron, M., Martin, N.G. (2006). Maternal alcohol use disorder and offspring ADHD: Disentangling genetic and environmental effects using a children-of-twins design. Psychological Medicine 36(10), 1461-1472.
Ray, L. Rhee, S.H., Stallings, M.C., Knopik, V.S., Hutchison, K.E. (2007). Examining the heritability of tension reduction after cigarette smoking: Results from an experimental twin study. Twin Research and Human Genetics 10, 546-553.
Agrawal, A., Knopik, V.S., Pergadia, M.L., Waldron, M., Bucholz, K.K., Martin, N.G., Madden, P.A.F., Heath, A.C. (2008). Evaluating measured correlates of cigarette smoking during pregnancy and its genetic and environmental overlap with smoking progression. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 10(4), 567-78.
Knopik, V.S. (2009). Maternal smoking during pregnancy and child outcomes: Real or spurious effect?Developmental Neuropsychology 34, 1-36.
Knopik, V.S., Jacob, T., Haber, R., Swenson, L.P., Howell, D. (2009a). Paternal alcoholism and offspring ADHD problems: A children-of-twins design. Twin Research and Human Genetics 12(1), 53-62.
Knopik, V.S., Heath, A.C., Bucholz, K.K., Madden, P.A.F., Waldron, M. (2009b; E-Pub ahead of print). Genetic and environmental influences on externalizing behavior and alcohol problems in adolescence: A female twin study. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. DOI information: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.03.011
Esposito-Smythers, C., Spirito, A., Rizzo, C., McGeary, J.E., Knopik, V.S. (2009; E-Pub ahead of print). Associations of the DRD2 TaqIA polymorphism with impulsivity and substance use: Preliminary results from a clinical sample of adolescents. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. DOI information: 10.1016/j.pbb.2009.03.012
Miranda Jr., R., Ray, L., Justus, A., Meyerson, L.A., Knopik, V.S., McGeary, J., Monti, P.M. (in press). Initial evidence of an association between OPRM1 and adolescent alcohol misuse. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
DeFries, J.C., Knopik, V.S., and Wadsworth, S.J. (1999). Colorado Twin Study of Reading Disability. In D.D. Duane (Ed.), Reading and attention disorder: Neurobiological correlates (pp. 17-41). Baltimore, Maryland: York Press.
Wadsworth, S.J., Davis, C.J., Knopik, V.S., Willcutt, E.G., and DeFries, J.C. (2002). Genetics of reading disabilities. In I. Arcolini and G. Zardini (Eds.) I disturbi di apprendimento della lettura e della scittura (p.23-35). Milan, Italy: FrancoAngeli.
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Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with an interest in pediatric psychology. She has a particular interest in working with urban children with chronic illnesses and psychological concerns. She is currently the director of education for the Community Asthma Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital and she is the Principal Investigator of several NIH-funded studies focusing on cultural and contextual factors affecting disease management behaviors and morbidity in urban children.
Koinis-Mitchell received her BA from Boston College. She completed her graduate work at Columbia University and the University of Massachusetts.
Koinis-Mitchell's primary research interests involve the examination of how urban living and cultural factors impact children and families' chronic disease management. She has focused much of her research on pediatric asthma health disparities, given the prevalence of asthma in urban settings and ethnic minority groups. She applies a resilience-based theoretical framework to her research. Koinis-Mitchell is the principal investigator of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health that examines the co-occurrence of sleep quality and academic performance in urban children who have asthma and allergic rhinitis, as well as healthy children.
Low earned her doctoral degree in child clinical psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and her postdoctoral fellowship in Early Childhood at Bradley Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She joined the faculty at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in 2005.
Low’s research interests are in the area of developmental psychopathology; early childhood mental health; development of children and families in high-risk contexts; parent-child relationships and family functioning; early childhood community-based mental health consultation; child care health consultation, and program evaluation.
Baker, B.L., McIntyre, L.L., Blacher, J., Crnic, K., Edelbrock, C., & Low, C. (2003). Preschool children with and without developmental delay: Behavior problems and parenting stress over time. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 47, 217 – 230.
Brown, E. and Low, C. M. (2008). Chaotic living conditions and sleep problems associated with children’s responses to academic challenge. Journal of Family Psychology, 22 (6), 920-923.
Coyne, L.W., Low, C.M., Miller, A.L., Seifer, R., & Dickstein, S. (2007). Mothers' empathic understanding of their toddlers: Associations with maternal depression and sensitivity. The Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16 (4) 483-497.
Parker, J.G., Low, C.M., Walker, A.R., Gamm, B.K. (2005). Friendship jealousy in young adolescents: Individual differences and links to sex, self-esteem, aggression, and social adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 41, 235-250.
Eric Morrow received his PhD in genetics and neurodevelopment at Harvard University and his medical degree from the Health Science Training Program at MIT and Harvard Medical School.
During this medical training, Dr. Morrow developed a strong interest in the scientific challenges posed by childhood neuropsychiatric disorders. He conducted further clinical and scientific training in neurology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Morrow was MGH Rappaport Neuroscience Scholar and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School prior to coming to Brown University as assistant professor, department of molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry.
Most recently, Dr. Morrow was one of 102 recipients of the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering—the government’s highest honor for a young scientist. The award was bestowed in recognition of his work on understanding and improving treatments for psychiatric conditions including autism and severe intellectual disability. President Barack Obama said in the announcement, “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”
As director of forensic psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital, Wade Myers, MD, focuses on child, adolescent and family psychiatry issues that involve the legal system. Dr. Myers is also a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dr. Myers is board-certified in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and the book Juvenile Sexual Homicide. His primary research interests are in juvenile and adult homicide. Dr. Myers serves on the editorial boards of several journals and is active in organizational psychiatry. He is a member of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law’s (AAPL) Ethics Committee and International Relations Committee. He has served as a forensic psychiatry consultant to attorneys and courts on a broad range of criminal and civil matters, in 25 states and internationally, and he has been an expert witness in hundreds of cases.
Myers earned his undergraduate degree in biology at Stetson University and his medical degree at Temple University School of Medicine. He completed his internship in general surgery at the University of South FloridaCollege of Medicine, his residency in psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and in forensic psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Jack Nassau, PhD, earned his undergraduate degree at Brown University and doctoral degree in psychology at Case Western Reserve University. He completed a pre-doctoral internship in clinical child psychology at Children's Hospital Boston and a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His clinical interests focus on pediatric pain management, specifically headache pain and abdominal pain.
Jack Nassau's research focuses on the psychological influences on pediatric chronic medical illness. He is particularly interested in the effect of stress on immune function in children and adolescents with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, and in the effectiveness of multidisciplinary family therapy on the psychological and health outcomes of children and adolescents with functional pain complaints.
Currently, he has National Institutes of Health funding to study the effect of stress on immune system mediators of airway inflammation in adolescents with asthma. The study investigates whether among some adolescents with asthma, psychosocial stress induces a shift in immunity that supports inflammatory processes in the lungs, and whether the degree of immune change is associated with the degree of stress experienced by the subject. Another study examines the effect of stress on immune mediators of intestinal inflammation in adolescents with Crohn's disease to explore whether the immune response to stress is similar in people who have different immune-mediated diseases or whether the immunological characteristics of the disease play a role in how stress influences the immune system.
Other active areas of interest include evaluating the quality of life, family functioning, and psychosocial functioning of children and adolescents with a variety of illnesses (such as diabetes and functional pain syndromes) who have been referred for treatment in the Hasbro Children's Partial Hospital Program. The goal is to show that children and adolescents with a variety of illnesses can benefit from a common family-based treatment.
Nicole Nugent, PhD joined the faculty at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center in 2009. Licensed in clinical psychology, she is also an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and presently has a visiting scientist academic appointment at the department of society, human development, and health at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Nugent earned her undergraduate degree at Wittenberg University, her master’s degree at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and her doctoral degree at Kent State University. She completed her clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina Charleston Consortium and completed a T32 postdoctoral fellowship through The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University department of psychiatry and human behavior clinical psychology training consortium.
Nicole Nugent’s research interests focus on the interplay of neurobiological and environmental influences on child and adolescent responses to traumatic and chronic stress. More specifically, her research has spanned child and adolescent responses to traumatic and chronic stressors including pediatric injury, family violence, sexual abuse, disaster, and HIV diagnosis.
Lindsay Oberman received her PhD in experimental psychology at University of California, San Diego in 2007. While in graduate school she used electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) to study the brain basis of social impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Oberman then obtained a mentored postdoctoral fellowship at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Harvard Medical School where she developed paradigms using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study brain plasticity and excitability in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Oberman was an Instructor in the department of neurology at Harvard Medical School with appointments both at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Boston prior to coming to Bradley Hospital.
Oberman's research focuses on autism spectrum disorders. Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by a number of impairments including a lack of social empathy, a lack of understanding of others' thoughts and facial expressions, a delayed or complete absence of communication skills, difficulty with imagination, and difficulty with social interaction.
Though many theories exist on the neurological basis of this enigmatic disorder, the exact cause is largely unknown. Oberman's research interest lies in using electrophysiological techniques (such as EEG and TMS and TCS) to investigate neural circuits whose dysfunction may account for the behavioral pathology seen in autism spectrum disorders with the long term goal of developing novel therapeutic interventions.
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Stephanie Parade, PhD, is a staff psychologist at Bradley Hospital and Assistant Professor (Research) in the Brown Medical School. Parade collaborates on research and program evaluation activities within the Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center.
Parade received her BS from the University of Connecticut and her MS and PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental psychopathology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Early childhood development in family contexts of risk; Effects of early life stress on adult psychopathology and close relationships; Family relationships across the transition to parenthood; Biological mechanisms underlying links between family risk and psychopathology in childhood and adulthood; Evaluation of evidence based practices embedded in community settings
- Parade, S. H. & Leerkes, E. M. (2011). Marital aggression predicts infant orienting toward mother at six months. Infant Behavior and Development, 34, 235-238.
- Parade, S. H., McGeary, J., Seifer, R., & Knopik, V. (2012). Infant development in family context: Call for a genetically informed approach. Frontiers in Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics, 3, 167.
- Parade, S. H., Leerkes, E. M., & Helms, H. M. (2013). Remembered parental rejection and postpartum declines in marital satisfaction: Moderated dyadic links. Family Relations, 62, 298-311.
Wendy Plante, PhD, is a staff psychologist at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center/Rhode Island Hospital and clinical assistant professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is associate clinical director of SibLink, a clinical research program dedicated to the adjustment of healthy siblings to medical, developmental, and psychiatric disorders in their brothers and sisters. She also provides clinical services to children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, including the pediatric gastroenterology, nutrition and liver diseases clinic.
Her clinical interests include individual and family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness, pain management, and pediatric clinical hypnosis. Plante participates in the teaching of residents and fellows in clinical psychology, child psychiatry, and gastroenterology. She has an interest in bioethics and psychology practice issues, serving on several hospital, state psychological association, and national psychological association committees devoted to ethics, disaster mental health, and colleague assistance.
Plante earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Clark University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She completed a predoctoral clinical internship at duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware and a postdoctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She joined the staff of Rhode Island Hospital and Alpert Medical School in 2001.
Wendy Plante’s research interests focus on family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness and disability, with particular attention to the experiences of brothers and sisters. She collaborates with Debra Lobato, PhD, and Barbara Kao, PhD, on projects examining factors (including family and cultural variables) affecting sibling functioning, as well as how siblings influence and support family management of childhood disease.
- Lobato, D., Kao, B., Plante, W., Seifer, R., Grullon, E., Cheas, L., Canino, G. (2011). Psychological and school functioning of Latino siblings of children with intellectual disability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 696-703. NIHMSID#249304
- Sieberg, C., Flannery-Schroeder, E., & Plante, W.A. (In Press). Children with co-morbid recurrent abdominal pain and anxiety disorders: Results from a multiple-baseline intervention study. Journal of Child Health Care.
- Kao, B., Lobato, D., Grullon, E., Cheas, L., Plante, W., Seifer, R., & Canino, G. (In Press). Recruiting Latino and nonLatino families in pediatric research: Considerations from a study on childhood disability. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
- Kao, B., Romero-Bosch, L., Plante, W., & Lobato, D. (In Press). The experiences of Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities. Child: Care, Health & Development.
Christie J Rizzo, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in adolescent mood disorders, high risk behavior, and dating violence. She has been a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital since 2007 and an assistant professor at the Alpert Medical School since 2008. She is a clinical supervisor for interns, residents and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychology and child psychiatry. Rizzo is also a staff psychologist at the Rhode Island Family Court's Juvenile Mental Health Clinic.
Rizzo is a graduate of Barnard College. She earned her master's degree and doctorate, both in clinical psychology, from the University of Southern California.
Rizzo’s interests include adolescent dating violence, romantic relationship stress, sexual risk behavior, HIV prevention, mood disorders, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and intervention development.
Her current research examines adolescent romantic relationships, with a particular focus on dating violence and sexual risk prevention. She is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to develop an intervention to reduce dating violence and sexual risk behaviors among adolescent girls with prior dating violence exposure. Rizzo is also interested in the influence of mood and behavioral disorders on the development of unhealthy dating relationships during the adolescent years.
Rizzo, C.J., Esposito-Smythers, C., Spirito, A., & Thompson, A. (2010). Psychiatric and Cognitive Functioning in Adolescent Inpatients with Histories of Dating Violence Victimization. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 19(5), 1-19.
Rizzo, C.J., Esposito-Smythers, C. & Swenson, L. et al. (2007). Factors Associated with Mental Health Service Utilization among Bipolar Youth. Bipolar Disorders, 9(8), 839-850.
Rizzo, C.J., Daley, S.E. & Gunderson, B.H. (2006). Interpersonal Sensitivity, Romantic Stress, and the Prediction of Depression: A Study of Inner-City, Minority Adolescent Girls. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35 (3), 444-453.
Stephen Jon Sheinkopf, PhD, has been a psychologist and assistant professor at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Bradley Hospital since 2001 and psychologist at the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk at Women & Infants Hospital since 2005.
Sheinkopf has also held several university and hospital teaching roles. He has been an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior since 2001, and has had a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University since 2008. Sheinkopf has also been a member of faculty at Brown University’s Brown Institute for Brain Science since 2003.
Sheinkopf is a graduate of Tufts University. He earned master’s degrees in psychology and doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Miami. He completed his internship at the Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium, and fellowship training at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University under a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Health.
Sheinkopf’s research interests include the early identification of autism and developmental disabilities in infancy, development of children at risk, and social and communication development and psychophysiology. He has been principal investigator and co-investigator of several research studies focused on autism and child development.
- Sheinkopf, S. J., Lester, B. M., Sanes, J. N., Eliassen, J. C., Hutchison, E., Seifer, R., LaGasse, L., Durston, S., & Casey, B. J. (2009). Functional MRI and Response Inhibition in Children Exposed to Cocaine In Utero: Preliminary Findings. Developmental Neuroscience, 31, 159-166.
- Sheinkopf, S. J., LaGasse, L. L., Lester, B. L., Liu, J., Seifer, R., Bauer, C. R., Shankaran, S., Bada, H., & Das, A. (2007). Vagal tone as a resilience factor in children with prenatal cocaine exposure. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 649-673.
- Sheinkopf, S. J., Mundy, P., Claussen, A. H., & Willoughby, J. (2004). Infant Joint Attention Skill and Preschool Behavioral Outcomes in At-Risk Children.Development and Psychopathology, 16 (2), 273-291.
- Sheinkopf, S. J., Mundy. P., Oller, D. K., & Steffens, M. (2000). Vocal atypicalities in preverbal autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 345-354.
- Sheinkopf, S. J. & Siegel, B. (1998). Home based behavioral treatment of young autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 28, 15-23.
Ronald Seifer, PhD, has research interests in the area of developmental psychopathology. He has conducted research on children at risk for psychopathology (owing to parental mental illness) and children exposed to substances of abuse during the prenatal period. Processes studied include children's emotions, relationship formation, temperament and family interaction. The focus of this work is on the early years of life. More recently, work in program evaluation and public health in these populations have been a focus of research.
Rebecca Silver, PhD, is a staff psychologist at Bradley Hospital, providing clinical and consultation services, participating in program evaluation and research activities, and supervising psychology trainees within the Bradley/Hasbro Children's Research Center and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Silver is a graduate of Brown University, and earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. She did a clinical internship in child clinical psychology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, and a postdoctoral fellowship in early childhood mental health at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Early childhood mental health; developmental psychopathology; development, dissemination and implementation of evidence based practices in community settings; program evaluation.
Silver, R. B., Beers, M. M., Godoy, L., & Dickstein, S. (in press). Addressing barriers and limitations of developmental screening in community contexts: Moving beyond the red flag. In R. DelCarmen-Wiggins & A.S. Carter (Ed.), Handbook of Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Mental Health Assessment: Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Silver, R. B., Measelle, J. R., Armstrong, J. M., & Essex, M. J. (2010). The impact of parents, child care providers, teachers, and peers on early externalizing trajectories. Journal of School Psychology, 48, 555-583.
Silver, R. B., & Eddy, J. M. (2006). Research based prevention programs and practices for delivery in schools. In K. Dodge, T. Dishion, & J. Lansford (Eds.) Deviant Peer Influence in Programs for Youth (pp. 253-277). Guilford Press.
Silver, R. B., Measelle, J., Essex, M., & Armstrong, J.M. (2005). Trajectories of externalizing behavior problems in the classroom: Contributions of child characteristics, family characteristics, and the teacher-child relationship during the school transition. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 39-60.
Anthony Spirito, PhD is director of the division of clinical psychology and professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Spirito earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cornell University and a PhD in clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Spirito completed a predoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology and a postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Psychology at Children's Hospital Medical Center/Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Spirito has been conducting research in adolescent suicidality and depression for 25 years. Most recently, he has focused his efforts on treatment. Working with a postdoctoral fellow, he published the first randomized trial of individual therapy with adolescents who attempt suicide. He also conducted an intervention trial designed to improve treatment attendance in this population. He was also site CBT supervisor for a large multisite study “The Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescence.” He currently is conducting treatment development studies to determine if new approaches will increase the efficacy of depression treatments for adolescents. The first trial is examining whether concurrently treating the depressed parent of a depressed teen will improve outcomes for the adolescent. The second study is examining whether the addition of an exercise component to a CBT protocol will improve depression outcomes in overweight adolescents treated with CBT. The third trial is testing an integrated approach for treating conduct problems in depressed adolescents.
With respect to alcohol and substance use treatment research, he has used individual motivational interventions with adolescents who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with an alcohol-related admission. In an extension of the original work, he broadened the scope of the brief intervention to include a parent motivational intervention. He currently is using this parent motivational approach, the Family Check-Up, with families who have teenage siblings in which one has been identified after an alcohol-related incident. He has also modified the Family Check-Up for a protocol designed to prevent the onset of substance use in middle schoolers receiving mental health treatment. He is currently using both an individual adolescent motivational interview and the Family Check-up to address marijuana, sexual risk behavior, and school attendance in high school students who are truant from school. He is also developing and testing an alcohol prevention program with middle schoolers being treated in the ED for an injury.
Spirito has received numerous distinctions and awards, including the Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award from the Society of Pediatric Psychology (2005); and the Research Mentor Award (2001), Outstanding Teaching Award in Clinical Psychology (1997-1998), and the Faculty Mentoring Award from the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown Medical School.
- Prinstein, M. J., Nock, M. K., Simon, V., Aikens, J. W., Cheah, C. S. L., & Spirito, A. (2008). Longitudinal trajectories and predictors of adolescent suicidal ideation and attempts following inpatient hospitalization. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 92-103. PMID: 18229987
- Spirito, A., Abebe, K., Iyengar, S., Brent, D., Vitiello, B., Clarke, G., Wagner, K. Asarnow, J., Emslie, G., & Keller, M. (2009). Sources of site differences in the efficacy of a multi-site clinical trial: The Treatment of SSRI-Resistant Depression in Adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 77, 439-450. PMCID: PMC2692068
- Esposito, C., Spirito, A., Rizzo, C., McGeary, J., & Knopik, V (2009). Associations of the DRD2 Taq A polymorphism with impulsivity and substance use.Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 93, 306-312 (NIHMS 106960). PMCID: PMC2706288
- Goldstein, B.I., Shamseddeen, W., Spirito, A., Emslie, G. Clarke, G., Wagner, K.D., Arsarnow, J.R., Vitiello, B., Ryan, N., Birmaher, B., Mayes T., Onorato, M., Zelazny, J., Brent, D.A. (2009). Substance use and the treatment of resistant depression in adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 48, 1182-1192. PMID: 19858762
- Spirito, A., Sindelar-Manning, H., Colby, S., Barnett, W., Lewander, W., Rohsenow,D., & Monti, P. (2011). Individual and family motivational interventions for alcohol-positive adolescents treated in an Emergency Department: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 165, 269-274. PMID: 21383276
Swenson's specialties include prevention research, intervention development, health disparities, and sexual health. She did her undergraduate work at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, and her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University at Albany, New York. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology in the Brown University Department of Psychiatry and Human Clinical Psychology Training Consortium.
Swenson's current research interests focus on adolescent risk behavior. She is involved in several major projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. These projects study interventions aimed at reducing risk behaviors among adolescents with psychiatric disorders and sexual risk behavior.
Swenson has a particular interest in health disparities and the impact of culture and context on adolescent engagement in risk behaviors and healthcare-seeking among underrepresented populations of youths.
- Swenson, R. R., Rizzo, C. J., Brown, L. K., Payne, N. DiClemente, R., Salazar, L., Vanable, P., Carey, M., Valois, R., Romer, D. & Hennessey, M. (2009). Prevalence and correlates of HIV testing among sexually active African American adolescents in 4 U.S. cities. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 36, 584-591.
- Prelow, H. M., Weaver, S. R., Bowman, M. A., & Swenson, R. R. (2010). Predictors of parenting among economically disadvantaged Latina American mothers: Mediating and moderating factors. Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 858-873.
- Swenson, R. R., Rizzo, C. J., Brown, L. K., Vanable, P., Carey, M., Valois, R., DiClemente, R., & Romer, D. (2010). HIV Knowledge and its contribution to sexual health behaviors of low-income African American adolescents. Journal of the National Medical Association, 102, 1173-1182.
- Swenson, R. R., Hadley, W. S., Houck, C. D., Dance, S. K., & Brown, L. K. (2011). Who accepts a rapid HIV antibody test? The role of race/ethnicity and HIV risk behavior among community adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48, 527-529.
- Whiteley, L. B., Brown, L. K., Swenson, R. R., et al. (in press). African American adolescent and new media: Associations with HIV/STI risk behavior and psychosocial variables. Ethnicity and Disease.
Stephanie Shepard Umaschi, PhD, is a staff psychologist at Bradley Hospital, providing clinical services and conducting program evaluation and research within the Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center. She also provides organizational assessment, training, coaching, and consultation to community programs to facilitate the adoption, delivery, and sustainability of evidence-based programs for children and families. This includes the Incredible Years Series, Family Check Up, and applications of Motivational Interviewing. She is a certified group leader and mentor in the Incredible Years BASIC Parent Training Series and a certified group leader in the Child “Dina School” social skill curriculum for young children and the Teacher Classroom Management training series.
Shepard Umaschi received her MA in developmental psychology from Arizona State University and her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon. She completed her child clinical internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology and a T32 postdoctoral research fellowship in developmental psychopathology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where she joined the faculty in 2007 in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior.
Shepard Umaschi's research interests include the prevention and early intervention of externalizing behavior problems in young children, as well as the development and community dissemination of evidence-based practices. She also has an ongoing program of research to study predictors of parent engagement in preventive parenting interventions and to identify strategies to build parent engagement.
- Herman, K., Reinke, W., Frey, A., & Shepard, S (2014). Motivational Interviewing in Schools: Strategies for engaging parents, teachers and students. NY: Springer Publishing.
- Shepard, S, Armstrong, L., Silver, R., Berger, R., & Seifer, R. (2012). Embedding the Family Check Up and evidence-based parenting programs into Head Start to increase parent engagement and reduce conduct problems in young children. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 5, 194-207.
- Shepard, S.A. & Dickstein, S. (2009). Preventive interventions for early childhood behavioral problems: An ecological perspective. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, 18(3), 687-706.
Jennifer Wolff, PhD is an assistant professor (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital and the director of the Adolescent Mood Clinic. She did her undergraduate work at Gordon College in Massachusetts; received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008 from Virginia Tech; and completed her residency and postdoctoral training through the Brown University Psychology Training Consortium.
Wolff's research focuses on developing evidence-based mental health interventions for children and adolescents with deficits in emotion regulation. She is currently developing a family-based program for children and adolescents with mood and behavior problems.