Physiological and Behavioral Synchrony in Mother-Child Dyads: Links to Preschoolers' Socioemotional Functioning

In collaboration with Dr. Anne Shaffer's research team, this study investigates mother-preschooler physiological and behavioral synchrony during emotionally-arousing situations and associations with child socioemotional outcomes. We also examine how biological factors, such as genetics, stress hormones, and heart rate, relate to these outcomes. This project is funded by the William A. and Barbara R. Owens Institute for Behavioral Research and the Center for Contextual Genetics


Emotion-focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Youth with Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Trial

This study compares an emotion-focused cognitive behavioral therapy protocol to the traditional cognitive behavioral therapy for children diagnosed with a primary anxiety disorder. 

The Relationship Between Physiological Functioning and Treatment Outcome in Youth with Anxiety Disorders

Led by 5th-year graduate student Anna Jones and 1st year graduate student Kara Braunstein, this study invesitgates the role of baseline physiological functioning (e.g., HRV, RSA) in treatment outcome for youth with anxiety disorders recieving CBT. 

Child Social and Emotional Functioning as Predictors of Therapeutic Alliance in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Anxiety

Led by 6th-year graduate student Monica Whitehead, this study investigates predictors of the therapeutic alliance in clinically anxious youth ages 7-12 years during a randomized clinical trial comparing two cognitive-behavioral treatment conditions. 

Examining Predictors and Outcomes of Emotions
Among Young Children in a School Setting

Led by 5th-year graduate student Molly Davis, this study longitudinally examines predictors and outcomes of preschoolers' observed emotions in classroom and recess settings among children who are attending local Head Start Centers. 

College Adherence and Transition Study

In collaboration with the UGA Pediatric Psychology Lab and Dr. Ron Blount, the College Adherence and Transition Study (CATS) aims to examine the transition of responsibility for various healthcare tasks, transition readiness, and medical adherence in a sample of college students with chronic medical conditions and a comparison group of healthy college students. 

Communication in Family Relationships

Conducted in collaboration with Drs. Anne Shaffer and Justin Lavner, the purpose of this study is to examine the ways that families communicate about emotions in their marital and parenting relationships.  To participate, please call 706-542-1299 or email