Clinical Psychology Labs & Research

Our faculty members have active research laboratories examining a variety of clinical phenomena. Currently, four global research areas are well represented within the expertise of our clinical faculty.


1) Developmental Psychopathology — The department of psychology and our clinical program have a strong commitment to the examination of developmental processes in psychopathology. Many of our faculty members have strong developmental psychopathology programs: Dr. Ashley Gearhardt examines how individual differences in responses to food may be linked to the development of obesity and disordered eating in children. Dr. Sandra Graham-Bermann studies risk and protective factors that mediate the link between children's exposure to violence and deleterious outcomes such as PTSD, externalizing behavior problems and anxiety/depression. Dr. Luke Hyde examines the development of antisocial behavioral with an emphasis on mechanisms linking early risk to adolescent and adult outcomes, as well as identifying subgroups of youth (e.g., those with callous-unemotional traits) with different etiologies and/or developmental trajectories. Dr. Nestor Lopez-Duran studies the development of depression in children and adolescents. Dr. Sheryl Olson studies the development of antisocial behavior in young children, highlighting self-regulatory and family risk processes associated with long-term adjustment outcomes. Dr. Robert Zucker examines the lifespan etiology of substance abuse, with a interest in the development and clinical course of alcoholism.


2) Culture & Psychopathology — Michigan has a strong tradition as a leading research center for the study of culture and mental health. Dr. Edward Chang studies risk and resilience factors associated with depression, anxiety, and suicide risk, with an additional focus on examining the role of culture and race as important moderators of these relations. Dr. Joseph Gone investigates the cultural underpinnings of self, identity, emotion, communication, social relations, and spirituality in American Indian communities, especially as these pertain to wellness and distress, therapeutic process, and clinical practice. Dr. Donna Nagata’s research focuses on Asian American mental health, emotions and distress, family processes, intergenerational relationships, and psychosocial consequences historical trauma (specifically, the Japanese American wartime incarceration).


3) Cognitive/Affective Neuroscience and Psychopathology — Our program has a stellar cognitive and affective neuroscience focus. Dr. Patricia Deldin's Mood and Schizophrenia laboratory examines information processing to explore emotional and cognitive dysfunction in mood disorders and schizophrenia using neuroscience techniques. Dr. Ashley Gearhardt employs fMRI and eye-tracking technology to identify mechanisms that may be contributing to pathological eating and substance use. Dr. Luke Hyde employs fMRI and neurogenetic/imaging genetics approaches to understand the interaction of genes and environments in their influence on brain function and behavior, especially in low-income families and children at risk for antisocial behavior.  Using fMRI and other methods, Dr. Israel Liberzon's laboratory explores the functional neuroanatomy of emotional responses to stress and trauma in clinical (e.g/. PTSD) and non-clinical populations. Dr. Nestor Lopez-Duran explores neuroendocrine functioning in childhood-onset mood disorders, with a focus on understanding how specific endocrine processes affect emotions and cognitions in depressed and anxious children.


4) Intervention — Our faculty members have a strong commitment to the development and evaluation of empirically supported interventions for a variety of conditions. Dr. Sandra Graham-Bermann has completed two RCT's of intervention programs for women and both preschool-aged and school-aged children exposed to violence. Dr. Joseph Gone partners with American Indian communities to develop alternative psychosocial interventions that prevent dysfunction and promote wellness in culturally consonant terms. Dr. Cheryl King is currently conducting randomized controlled clinical trials to examine the effectiveness of suicide risk screening and intervention strategies with adolescents and young adults. Dr. Sheryl Olson is currently developing an intervention program for parents of children at risk for externalizing behavior problems. Dr. Nestor Lopez-Duran studies the cognitive, affective, and neuroendocrine changes that occur during the early phase of psychotherapy in children and adolescents receiving CBT for depressive disorders.


For more detail information about our current research opportunities please visit the website of our faculty members or visit some of our research laboratories below.