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Judy Garber

Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology and Human Development

Judy Garber, Ph.D. Her research focuses on the etiology, course, outcome, treatment, and prevention of mood disorders in children and adolescents. She studies social-cognitive, environmental, biological, and interpersonal factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of mood disorders. Dr. Garber is interested in the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral interventions with depressed adolescents, and the prevention of depression, particularly in high-risk offspring of depressed parents.

Dr. Garber’s current research includes (a) a multi-site, NIMH-funded randomized controlled trial (RCT) testing a family-based cognitive-behavioral/coping intervention for the prevention of depression in offspring of depressed parents; (b) an examination of developmental skills needed for youth to learn the skills taught in cognitive therapy (e.g., Theory of Mind); (c) a study examining the relations among theory of mind, cognitive inhibition, and depressive symptoms in children; and (d) the development of measures of parenting behaviors.

In addition, Dr. Garber has conducted a study testing the efficacy of a program for preventing depressive symptoms in high school students, a longitudinal study of the impact on children of their parents receiving treatment for depression, a six-year longitudinal study of the contribution of cognitions, stress, family relationships, and coping in the development of depression during adolescence, a laboratory study aimed at identifying predictors of negative cognitions in young children, and a study testing the efficacy of a short-term, experimental interventions for enhancing positive affect systems in children of depressed parents.

In collaboration with Lynn Walker, PhD, Dr. Garber also studies risk factors associated with the onset and maintenance of chronic abdominal pain (CAP) in children, and is investigating an internet-based cognitive behavioral program for children with CAP.

Garber is director of an NIMH-funded training program in the "Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Science to Intervention."

Research Areas

  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • Prevention and treatment of depression
  • Social cognitions (e.g., Theory of Mind) and depression
  • Negative affect and mindfulness interventions
  • Stress and coping
  • Illness behavior in children

Funded Research:


  • Multiple Principal Investigators: Compas & Garber.  NIMH (R01MH100258), “Family Cognitive Behavioral Prevention of Depression in Youth and Parents.” 03/01/14 – 02/28/19 
  • Co‑Principal Investigator (Lynn Walker, P.I.), NIH (R01HD076983), "Predicting treatment response in pediatric functional abdominal pain."  04/01/14 – 03/31/19
  • Principal Investigator, NIMH (2 T32 MH018921-21A1). “Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Science to Intervention” 07/01/15-06/30/20
  • Principal Investigator,  NIH/NIMH (1R61MH115125),  "Social Cognitive Training to Enhance the Efficacy of CBT for Depression in Youth: A Developmental Approach"  07/01/18 – 06/30/23    

Recent Past

  • Principal Investigator, NIMH (R01MH64735), “Prevention of depression: Impact on the transition to early adulthood.” 3/1/09 – 2/28/15
  • Principal Investigator, “Parents' Adherence to Treatment Recommendations: Do It for the Children.” NIMH (1 RC1 MH088329), 09/30/09 – 08/31/12.

 Interested in accepting new graduate students for Fall, 2020