• Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry
  • Adjunct Professor, Psychology Department
  • Adjunct Professor, Obstetrics And Gynecology
  • Professor, Psychology Department

Research Summary

My research is focused on mechanisms underlying risk for suicide and severe psychopathology among intentionally self-injuring adolescents. I am particularly interested in researching biological vulnerabilities for emotion dysregulation and impulsivity and understanding how these vulnerabilities interact with potentiating environmental experiences across development.


  • BA, Spanish, Boise State University
  • MA, Applied Linguistics, UCLA
  • Ph.D., Child Clinical Psychology, University of Washington


I am a lifespan developmental psychopathologist with interests in researching and preventing extreme psychological suffering. In particular, I seek to understand some of the most vulnerable and misunderstood populations, including those who engage in self-inflicted injury, and those who struggle with personality disorders, substance use, histories of abuse and maltreatment, ongoing stress or trauma, chronic depression, as well as those who have died by suicide. A major theme of my work is understanding ways in which these diverse psychological outcomes are related in terms of biological vulnerabilities, contextual risks, acquired coping strategies, developmental trajectories, and dynamic relationship patterns. In particular, I am interested in understanding the intersection of emotion dysregulation and impulsivity across development, from conception through adulthood. The work in my lab and of my colleagues has begun to elucidate unifying patterns that have improved our understanding of those who are suffering—with implications for intervention and prevention of chronic distress.