- Associate Professor, Psychology
- Anxiety/mood/behavior disorders and physical health problems
- Ph.D. Northwestern University
Our current research focuses on anxiety/mood/behavior disorders and physical health problems; interrelationships between anxiety/mood/behavior disorders, cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence and other substance use problems; and suicide behavior from an intergenerational life course perspective. Specifically, we are investigating the relationship between asthma/allergy and mental health in early life, how these disorders interact and influence each other throughout development toward understanding intergenerational influences on these problems. In addition to using longitudinal data and birth cohort studies to try to better understand these relationships from the prenatal period throughout development (e.g., examining interactions between potential role of family functioning, environmental exposures and biological mechanisms), we are carrying this work forward in two ways. First, we have begun applying our findings from population-based studies to clinical populations in urban settings in order to use what we have learned to develop interventions that can improve health in the community. Our lab is currently working toward developing integrated treatments for asthma and anxiety and depression, treatments for families of children with asthma/allergy, as well as interventions for other co-occurring physical and mental health problems. Second, we are trying to identify potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations between asthma/allergy and mental disorders. Relatedly, another goal of the lab is to understand the impact of individual, social and environmental exposures on the development and persistence of cigarette smoking, nicotine dependence and other substance use problems among adults, as well as the potential impact of indirect exposure to substance use, such as (secondhand smoke, on physical and mental health of youth (offspring) across the lifecourse). A parallel focus is on identifying possible explanations for the stagnation in smoking decline over the past decade. Specifically, we are investigating the possible role of mental and substance use disorders in these trends. We welcome inquiries from prospective undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs interested in joining us in our research.