Current Research

Along with my mentor, Dr. John Riskind, I am invovled in several research projects.

Looming Reduction Intervention

How can we use the constructs described by Riskind's (1999) Looming Maladpative Style to possibly reduce anxiety symptoms? By using a set of guided visual imagery vignettes based upon Riskind's theory, we hope to reduce generalized anxiety symptoms in a 6-week longitundal study. This study was funded by an internal grant from the Center for Consciousness and Transformation and will run throughout the 2009-2010 school year.

Stress Generation Effect

Certain people are at higher risk to develop depression or anxiety in response to certain life events than others. Current research (Hammen, 1991) suggests that these negative life events might not just be a casual factor, but rather are generated as a result of being depressed. That is, someone who is depressed might be more likely react to situations and cause stressful events, such as starting a fight with their boyfriend or girlfriend, rather than choosing behavior that would not end in an argument. Our current research will attempt to see what role the Looming Maladaptive Style plays in this effect.

Protective Factors in Suicide

Several excellent theories of risk factors for suicide currently exist. Although these risk factors (and others) have been found to significantly predict suicidiality, having one of these risk factors is not a guarantee that one will attempt or even think about suicide. In fact many people at risk do not ultimately end up in this direction. I am currently in the process of designing a study, along with Julie Weismoore, another graduate student, to examine the role of protective factors to suicide, as well as Non-Suicidal Self Injury, a seperate, but related concept. You can read more about this study by clicking the "Suicide" link above.