Current Research projects

In this clinical psychology lab we apply principles from cognitive and social psychology to answer questions about suicide and self-injury among youth. How can we more objectively assess suicide risk? Do certain patterns of thought place individuals at greater risk of self-harm? How do cognitive and other types of risk factors vary between adolescents and adults? To answer these questions, I conduct research through laboratory experiments, hospital-based data collection, and meta-analyses. Read more below.

Improving Risk Assessments

We are seeking ways to improve prediction of suicide risk using computer tasks such as the adapted Implicit Association Test and Stroop task, which assess people's reaction times to suicide-related images and words. We are conducting studies that explore ways to improve their predictive validity among suicidal teens.

Future thinking & Suicide

What thought patterns put adolescents and adults at greater risk of suicide? Perhaps it is not simply what people think but how they think. In a project co-led with Donald Robinaugh, Ph.D., we are examining patterns of episodic simulation and future fluency among suicidal adults and adolescents. We focus on how future thinking processes relate to one another and other aspects of cognition.

Suicide risk across the lifespan

What are distinct risk factors for suicide across the lifespan? In collaboration with the Technology & Psychopathology Lab at Florida State University, we are conducting a meta-analysis on categories of risk factors during adolescence and adulthood. This work will complement our efforts to improve assessment and understanding of suicide risk among youth.