Developmental Psychopathology Lab

In our lab, we examine the social-cognitive basis of psychiatric disorders by using all the tools that Developmental Psychopathology has to offer. As such, our research mirror the goals identified by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative to “develop, for research purposes, new ways of classifying mental disorders based on dimensions of observable behavior and neurobiological measures” and falls most clearly under the domain of “social systems and processes”. Our research also includes a translational focus as we work towards the development of diagnostic measurement tools to facilitate the early identification and treatment of psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents, in addition to the development and evaluation of social-cognitive interventions for psychiatric problems and problems of behavioral health. We use a variety of methods in our research, including behavioral experiments, functional neuroimaging and survey methods. Research typically focuses on childhood disorders associated with deficits in interpersonal functioning (conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, emerging borderline personality disorder, emerging psychopathic traits) or reward processing (problem gambling, depression) as well as problems of behavioral health.

The lab is run by Dr. Carla Sharp. Funding sources have included the NIMH, the NIH Centers for AIDS Research, NARSAD, the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation, the American Psychoanalytic Association, UH Small Grants Program, UH GEAR program, and the Child and Family Program of the Menninger Clinic.

Lab News

  • January 2015: A big congrats to Amanda for successfully defending her dissertation!
  • November 2014: Congratulations to Claire and Charles for successfully proposing their master's theses!
  • October 2014: Tyson presented on dating violence and mental health outcomes in homosexual youth at the Chicago LGBTQ Health & Wellness Conference.
  • August 2014: A warm welcome to Salome as she begins her 1st year in the program!
  • August 2014: Carolyn was selected by the local Houston P.E.O. Chapter as a nominee for the P.E.O. International Scholar Award!
  • August 2014: A big thanks to Claire for representing the lab with her posters at APA 2014.
  • July 2014: Kudos to Allison and Will for successfully defending their theses.
  • June: 2014: Welcome to our new undergraduate RAs: Ashley, Robyn, Kaitlin, Kiana, Jacob, Nicholas, Samantha, and Taylor.
  • June 2014: Dr. Sharp publishes new edited volume with Springer.