Teen St.A.R. Laboratory | Department of Psychology

Teen St.A.R. Laboratory

Research Focus

We are interested in the developmental psychopathology of maladaptive stress responding and risk behaviors among adolescents and emerging adults. For example, we examine how individual difference factors (e.g., emotion regulation strategies) change across the period of adolescence and interact with contextual factors (e.g., facets of pubertal development; stressful events) to promote the incidence of anxiety, substance use, and their co-occurrence.

Check out our Research and People pages for more information!

Training Focus

The Teen St.A.R. Laboratory is committed to the professional development of both undergraduate and graduate student team members. In addition to hands-on training and exposure to advanced research methodology, an emphasis is placed on building the skills and materials necessary for each student's "next step" following graduation. Undergraduate team members are expected to have some interest in pursuing graduate studies or advanced work in psychology or a related field, and graduate training is tailored to develop and hone the skills necessary to be competitive in the academic or non-academic research context. Please see our Training pages for more information!

Lab Contact Info

Sign up for our Contact List if you would like us to reach out to you.

Call Us: 940-369-8135

Teens, Email Us: TeenStar@unt.edu

Adults, Email Us: STARLab@unt.edu

Social Media

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Mental Health Resources & Crisis Line Information

Although everyone experiences normal "ups and downs," when unhappiness becomes excessive or people are consistently dealing with unmanageable feelings such as extreme anxiety, sadness, or anger, it may be time to get some professional support. Mental health professionals can be an important resource and no one should feel ashamed to seek out this kind of support.

Click here for Community Resources.

Click Here for Youth Resources.

Take a moment to add a helpful crisis line to your phone contacts - hopefully you'll never need to look it up, but if you or someone you're with ever do it could save a life!

Recent News:

Spring 2024 One of our collaborating teams The S.TR.E.S.S. Lab is currently recruiting participants for their research study "Examining the Effects of a Therapeutic Focus on Positive Memories on Post Trauma Health". Interested individuals can follow this link to see if you are eligible.

11/16/2023 - 11/19/2023 Some memebers of our lab will be attending ABCT in Seattle! We have posters in Poster Session 3 & 4 and during the SIG expo (all on 11/17)! Congrats Linda, Shannon S., and Kamar on your poster presentations!

10/6/2023 - 10/9/2023 We will be out at the Denton Arts & Jazz Fest all weekend! Our research assistants will have community mental health resources, mindfulness activities, information about the behavioral science program, and information about current research happening in collaborating research labs! Come check us out!

9/9/2023 We will be out at Denton Arts & Autos providing community mental health resources and promoting current research happening in collaborating research labs!

9/2023 Graduate students, Banan and Linda recently passed their comprehensive examinations and have leveled up in candidacy! Congrats Banan and Linda!!

4/2023 Huge shoutout to Abigail's Arms for coming to our lab and providing us with your Agents of Change Community Education training!

2023 Dr. Blumenthal is actively looking for new graduate applicants for the fall 2019 cohort. Please see Graduate Training page for more info.

2022 The Teen St.A.R. Lab is currently collaborating with the Translational Addictions Research Consortium and Study of TRumatic Experiences, Signs, and Symptoms Labs on numerous research studies! Check out thier webpages for more inofrmation about current research!

News History:

9/29/2022 Byron L. Zamboanga, Ph.D. is a professor at the University of Arkansas for the Department of Psychological Science. He spoke to our Lab and UNT Psi Chi Members about "Increasing Your Odds of Admission into a Ph.D. Psychology Program." For more information about his program, click here!

8/2022 At the end of August 2022, we closed out our 5-year study looking at the role of emotions in risky health-related behaviors. We are currently in the process of writing up the data. Thank you to all of those who particpated and ran this study!

9/2021 We've re-launched data collection! More updates soon; until then check out our Current Studies page for more info!

2018 Dr. Blumenthal is actively looking for new graduate applicants for the fall 2019 cohort. Please see Graduate Training page for more info.

9/2018 We are thrilled to announce Nathan Kearns' receipt of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, funded through NIAAA, for his work examining alcohol use, trauma-related stress responding, and risky decision making. Keep an eye out for updates and opportunities to participate in this project!

8/2018 The Teen StAR Lab is excited to launch a new study for teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 17. Please see the Research Oppurtunities section of the site for more information.

5/2018 We are thrilled to share that Megan Douglas matched at the Department of Veteran's Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT, for her pre-doctoral Internship!

5/2018 The Teen StAR Lab is raising awareness for Mental Health Awareness week at the Denton Square. Come out and help us raise awareness for mental health within the community from 11 am to 8 pm. Everyone is welcome - it's family friendly and remember #stopthestigma .

10/2017 The Teen StAR Lab is VERY excited to welcome Dr. Kristen Anderson who will be visiting us from Reed College 10/16-10/17. We'll be meeting about our ongoing research and Dr. Anderson will give two talks. Please see the schedule below and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

  • 10/16 2-3:30 "Does Who You Are Matter? Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Youth Alcohol Intervention Outcomes" (Open to the Public)
  • 10/17 12-2 "Building Methods for Evaluating Social Context Effects in the Lab: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (Psychology Department)

9/2017 The Teen StAR Lab is excited to announce that our PI Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal has been awarded a $430,000 R15 grant from the National Institute of Health/NIAAA. These funds will support our next project as well as several undergraduate and graduate student trainees!

8/2017 We are thrilled to welcome Caitlyn Carey to the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program as a member of the Teen St.A.R. team!

3/2017 We are thrilled to share that Heather Lasslett matched at the Federal Medical Center, Devens, for her pre-doctoral Internship! Heather was assigned to work with the TStAR lab in 2012 (i.e. at inception), and has remained a key member ever since. We are all terribly excited that Heather matched with a top choice, and wish her the best in this next step!

2/2017 Kudos to Renee Cloutier for earning the 2017 Ladenberger Honor Student in Psychology Award for her outstanding service to the department and university - thanks for all you do!

8/2016 Congratulations to Renee Cloutier for being the first UNT Student to be awarded a F31 from the National Institute of Health to support her last few years of doctoral training and research at UNT! Read more here

8/2016 The Teen StAR team just wrapped up a very busy summer; several team members presented at the APS and APA annual conferences, first year Nathan Kearns attended a two-day workshop on Intensive Longitudinal Analyses for Diary and Experience Sampling, third year Renee Cloutier attended the Graduate School of Social Sciences Summer Institue on Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction, and Dr. Blumenthal completed the National Insitutes of Health Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials. We'd love to share what we learned during these exceptional experiences!

4/2016 Teah-Marie Bynion has accepted an offer from her top choice program, and will commence her doctoral studies this Fall at the Arkansas Interdisciplinary Sciences (ArKIDS) Laboratory, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. We'll miss you Teah-Marie!!

4/2016 Renee Cloutier was honored with the Psychology Department's 2016 Charlotte Friedersdorff-Boyd Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Student. Congrats Renee!

8/2015 We are thrilled to welcome Nathan Kearns to the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program as a member of the Teen St.A.R. team!

8/2014 We are excited to welcome Alvin Akibar to the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program as a member of the Teen ST.A.R. team!

5/2014 Renee Cloutier is attending Spit Camp, the intensive salivary bioscience workshop hosted at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience at Arizona State University. This is an exeptional training series provided by Salimatrics, Inc., and we all are keen to hear what Renee has to share upon return!

4/2014 Deyaun Villarreal has accepted an offer from her top choice program, and will commence her doctoral studies this Fall at the Family Research Lab, University of Texas at Dallas. Congrats Deyaun!!

3/2014 Catherine Baxley was honored with the Psychology Department's Louis C. Weber Scholarship for Outstanding Undergraduate Student. Congrats Catherine!

2/2014 The Teen ST.A.R. team is thrilled to announce Renee Cloutier's reciept of the APAGS Basic Psychological Science Research Grant! We are excited about initiating this program of research. Excellent work Renee!