Research

Our research focuses on understanding the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of depression in adolescents and adults. We are primarily investigating individual differences in response to stress and negative affect, with a secondary interest in understanding comorbid anxiety disorders. Our work bridges cognitive, biological, and clinical science and uses experimental, longitudinal, and experienced sampling techniques. Please see below for additional information about current research projects.

Study of Emotional Responsiveness (ONLINE):

In this study, we are interested in how changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic influence teen’s psychological wellbeing and social relationships. Teens between the ages of 12- and 18-years old who are fluent in English are eligible to participate in this study. Participants will be asked to complete a 1-hour online survey about their thoughts, feelings and experiences. To participate, please visit our study website at blogs.ubc.ca/emotionalresponsiveness.

COVID-19 and Wellbeing (ONLINE):

The current COVID-19 pandemic represents a critical opportunity to understand predictors of resilience and wellbeing among the population. This project aims to investigate the impact of social isolation and stress on psychological wellbeing during this time. Although this is an ongoing study, we are currently not currently recruiting new participants.

Stress & Resilience:

This study investigates the link among stress, adaptive emotion regulation strategies, and symptoms of depression in participants with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). We are also examining whether reductions in rumination mediate the relation between adaptive emotion regulation strategies and biological and emotional responses to stress. We are currently not recruiting participants for this study.

Thinking Styles:

This research study aims to better understand the mechanisms underlying rumination by investigating the relation between rumination and cognitive control. Although past research has documented the effects of rumination on physical and mental health, we know little about the factors that drive it. We are using experimental and longitudinal designs to better understand ruminative responses to stress. This study is on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students’ Transition to High School:

This study examines predictors of psychological distress versus resilience during the transition from elementary school to high school, an under-studied period of development during which rates of mental illness substantially increase. We are working to answer questions such as: What makes the transition from elementary school to high school difficult? What makes this transition easier? How can we use this information to help students during their transition to high school? For more information on how to participate, please visit startinghighschool.ca! This study is on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Comorbidity Project:

Epidemiological research shows that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) frequently co-occur. Compared to non-comorbid individuals, persons with comorbid MDD and SAD report greater impairment in social and occupational functioning and poorer response to treatment. In this study, we are examining how biological, emotional and cognitive processes predict the course of depression and social anxiety symptoms. This study is on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.