Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry

Lab Members Research Interest

Dr. Eric Youngstrom

Bipolar disorder in children and adolescents; evidence based approaches to assessment; emotions and developmental psychopathology.

Dr. Jen Youngstrom

Evidence-based or empirically supported treatments; effectiveness research with children and adolescents; transporting treatments into the community; supervision and training.

Andrew Freeman

My primary interest is in learning advanced quantitative methods and using them to develop a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of pediatric bipolar disorder. My presented and published research has focused on determining the latent structure of Mania (and by extension mood), examining mood symptoms to improve the assessment of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, and exploring Quality of Life in pediatric psychiatric disorders.

Melissa M. Jenkins (formerly Melissa McKeown)

My primary research interests are in clinical decision-making, use of evidence-based practices in community settings, and youth psychotherapyprocess and outcomes. Below are three major aspects of my researchinterests. My current projects largely involve aspects 1 & 2.

  1. Examining clinician decision making. Very little information is available on how clinicians make diagnostic and treatment decisions. I am interested in how clinicians use (or not use) empirical information in making various clinical decisions. I am especially interested in the effect of common heuristics and biases in clinical care and how cognitive de-biasing strategies can improve decision-making practices among mental health professionals.
  2. Dissemination of EBP into real-world settings for youths with mood disorders. There is an emphasis on translating EBP into community practice. I am interested in the dissemination process of EB strategies for improving usual care. I am particularly interested in clinicians' perspectives of and experiences with actuarial approaches in the assessment of youth with pediatric bipolar disorder.
  3. Effectiveness of mental health services for youth and families in community-based settings. Each year millions of youth participate in psychotherapy; however, little is known about the process of psychotherapy in community settings. Despite evidence of efficacious interventions, very little is understood about the effectiveness of these interventions in community MH practice. I am particularly interested in testing EBP in community settings and comparing outcomes to efficacious outcomes.

Megan Joseph

Megan is a fourth year graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her undergraduate degree at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Before coming to UNC, she worked at a residential treatment center for children with severe emotional and behavioral problems, and then as a research assistant at the Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program in Boston. Megan is interested in biological and psychosocial risk factors for the development of childhood mood disorders. She is particularly interested in understanding risk factors that may lend themselves to prevention efforts. Her current project explores gene-environment interactions involving a serotonergic gene and early family stress. After receiving her PhD, Megan hopes to become a researcher at an academic medical center.

Maria Martinez

Maria's research interests include examining the course of mood disorders in youth and improving assessment tools. Her current work focuses on examining socio-cultural factors that influence parent report on commonly used diagnostic instruments. Before entering graduate school Maria was a research assistant in the Biological Psychiatry Branch at the National Institutes of Mental Health. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Anna Van Meter

Anna is a first year student in the MECCA Lab. Her interest in pediatric bipolar disorder stems from working as a research assistant on the Course and Outcome of Bipolar Youth (COBY) study at Brown University. Her specific research interests include the classification and diagnosis of pediatric bipolar spectrum disorders, the structure of emotion and its relation to mood, and the connection between nutrition and emotional and behavioral disorders in children. Anna completed her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and moved to Chapel Hill from New York City, where she worked as a tv/film producer and later as a strategy consultant in the life sciences industry.

External Collaborators

Dr. Guillermo Perez Algorta

I am external collaborator of Dr. Youngstrom Lab, living in Montevideo, Uruguay (South America). In April 2010, I started my work as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. I have different areas of interest in child and adolescent mental health as well as in adults. My expertise is in mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder and related conditions such as suicidal ideation and behaviors (Other references here.)

Ana Lúcia Moreira

Ana Lúcia Moreira graduated as an M.D. from the University of Lisbon – Faculty of Medicine in 2005 and has been a PhD student at the same institution since 2008. She interrupted her residency in Psychiatry at Cova da Beira Hospital Center (Covilhã, Portugal) in 2008 to pursue her research projects in Bipolar Disorder in the US, for which she was awarded both a Fulbright and a Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia – Portugal scholarships.

She started her research development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working mostly in the fields of cognitive function and Epidemiology of Bipolar Disorder. She then moved to the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging - Harvard Medical School where she is conducting work in neuroimaging and cognitive functioning in Bipolar Disorder. Her main interest focuses are in neuroimaging and Epidemiology of Bipolar Disorder. She continues as an external collaborate to the lab at UNC-Chapel Hill. (last update 2010)

Current Research

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