Current Research | Department of Psychology

Current Research

The MAP lab focuses on research related to the assessment of psychopathology, and how to translate this work into efforts that will improve health. We also focus on work seeking to redress mental health disparities in the state. As of 2019, we are involved in sponsored research or training related efforts touching upon five federal agencies or institutes and one state agency. We collaborate extensively with other labs, inside and outside of the department.

Project examples include:

1. The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). Our lab is a major site for this consortium, and we have done seminal work to advance the model. We currently have a pilot trial at UNT to test feasibility of integrating this model into practice, as well as ongoing studies related to mechanisms associated with different aspects of the model. To learn more about HiTOP and download papers we authored, click here:

2. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to study psychopathology in daily life. Our lab has several studies integrating smartphone and other ambulatory technologies into the assessment and treatment of mental health. Two current, active examples: 1) undergraduates as well clinical samples are being assessed daily using smartphones to understand how emotion regulation strategies affect mental illness, notably depression and bipolar disorder. 2) we are collaborating with the World Trade Center Health Program in a study of 450 WTC responders across four years. Bursts of daily 2-week sampling each year will allow us to test how mental illness affects health over time. Both examples include testing the practicality of idiographic statistical models to predict outcomes.

3. Telehealth for mental illness. In collaboration with Dr. Callahan's lab, our lab is spearheading efforts by the clinical program to integrate telehealth into the treatment of mental illness in our clinic. We are finding ways to use technology to overcome barriers to access.

4. Mental health disparities in North Texas. Our lab in conjunction with Dr. Callahan's lab is also making concerted efforts to address the problem of mental health disparities in our state, particularly through innovative use of mobile technologies. This line of work is more practical than theoretical, but a number of theoretical questions can be addressed. For more information:

5. Statistical and other consulting. Our lab plays a critical supportive role for a number of other projects in the department as well as nationally (e.g., understanding how depression and sleep affects immune functioning in 400 nurses recruited in North Texas; looking at what predicts recovery 20 years after first hospitalization among those diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the Suffolk County Mental Health Project).

Across all efforts, the guiding principle is to conduct clinical research that will improve assessment of mental illness and health. Research efforts typically have a clear clinical application.

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