What our mental health research means for kids
Our researchers are working to change the future of mental health by discovering the causes of mental illness and developing better treatment for children.
Discovering the causes of mental illness in childhood
Drs. Law, Mullin and Stoddard are studying the genetics, molecular biology and altered brain development that are related to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, anxiety and panic, and bipolar disorder.
Developing better treatments for mental health problems
Drs. B. Anthony, L. Anthony, Miller, Gabriels and Stoddard are developing more effective treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder and childhood obesity.
Delivering the best treatments wherever children and families seek help for mental health challenges
Drs. B. Anthony, L. Anthony and Novins are designing better ways to support schools, pediatricians and community mental health providers to deliver the best mental health care possible. Their research addresses attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, substance use disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders in children
This research aimed to evaluate if a transdiagnostic treatment, which targets multiple types of diagnoses or problem areas in a single intervention, is an effective means of treating anxiety disorders in children, as well as any comorbidities the children might have. The idea behind transdiagnostic treatment is that rather than using different treatments to address symptoms of different diagnoses — anxiety and depression, for example — we can use the same treatment to address the core processes maintaining each of these problem areas at once.
In this study, Sarah Kennedy, PhD, a clinical psychologist in our Pediatric Mental Health Institute, led a randomized trial testing a transdiagnostic treatment against a treatment specific to anxiety disorders. The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Children (UP-C) did just as well at treating anxiety symptoms as the treatment specifically for anxiety. The study also showed that children receiving the transdiagnostic treatment had a more linear change in depression symptoms and made more gains in several different areas of emotion regulation, including emotion dysregulation and cognitive reappraisal. These results show preliminary evidence that the UP-C may be at least as effective in treating anxiety as well-supported anxiety-specific treatment protocols, may have some greater benefits for addressing depression symptoms and may produce greater gains in certain areas of emotion regulation.
Read the article “A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Children.”
The impact of your continued support
We have a big goal to better understand mental illness, from diagnosis and treatment to best practices system-wide. That's why our Research Fund is essential to continuing this progress.
We invite you to make a gift today to help create a better mental health future for kids and teens. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
Contact us at 720-777-6200.