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Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Scienceto Intervention


This NIMH-funded program trains research scientists studying the development and treatment/prevention of psychopathology in children, adolescents, and adults. The primary goals of this training program are to produce research scientists who will contribute to the state of knowledge about (a) the psychosocial and neurobiological processes in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, and (b) the translation of this basic knowledge into empirically supported interventions for treating and preventing psychopathology.

The foundation of the program is apprenticeship-based research mentoring in which trainees receive direct guidance by at least two primary faculty mentors. Individualized programs are developed for trainees through courses and workshops. All trainees participate in an ongoing weekly proseminar that provides a foundation in the biological and behavioral mechanisms underlying different types of psychopathology, the translation of this basic knowledge into intervention strategies, development of normal and abnormal behavior, research design and quantitative methods, minority and cross-cultural issues, and the responsible conduct of research, and professional development. A Visiting Scholars series involves intensive two-day meetings with different world-class scholars to discuss the visitor's research and for trainees to receive consultation on their own work. These visits have led to highly stimulating and mutually beneficial discussions and collaborations.

Funds are available for two types of trainees: (a) advanced predoctoral trainees (four positions per year) and (b) postdoctoral trainees (two positions per year). The program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the field in that trainees come from diverse backgrounds and faculty represent clinical, developmental, social, cognitive, and quantitative psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, pediatrics, pharmacology, sociology, and education. The program is a joint venture of the Departments of Psychology and Human Development (Peabody College) and Psychology (Arts and Science), administered through the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University.