Jessica Schleider, Ph.D.
Harvard University (2018)
Prevention and treatment of youth anxiety and depression; Design and development of brief, scalable interventions for youth mental health problems, including technology-mediated therapies (e.g., online and virtual reality programs); Single-session intervention; Family processes and youth mental health; Parent-directed intervention; Mechanisms of change in youth mental health treatment; Clinical child psychology and intervention science.
Efforts to prevent and treat youth mental health problems have advanced greatly, but they have not reduced overall rates of youth mental illness. Low access to services exacerbates this problem: In the United States, up to 80% of youths in need of psychological services never receive them. The objective of my research program is to help address this discrepancy by developing scalable, accessible interventions for youth mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety; identifying the mechanisms of change underlying their effects; and testing novel approaches to dissemination. My work focuses on two interconnected targets that I expect to inform the design of such interventions: familial processes, such as parental psychopathology and family functioning, and youth cognitions, such as beliefs about whether personal traits are malleable (versus fixed) by nature.
MINDSETS & YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH. Compared to youths who believe personal traits are malleable, those who believe such traits are fixed experience more academic and self-regulatory distress. Recently, studies have begun to explore links between beliefs about the malleability of personal traits, or mindsets, and youth mental health. In a meta-analysis, I observed that youths who view personal traits and abilities as fixed and unchangeable are experience more severe mental health problems overall, and that youth psychopathology predicts increases in fixed mindsets over time. In an NIH-funded randomized-controlled trial, I found that mindsets may be a promising intervention target: compared to a control program, a 30-minute growth mindset intervention improved physiological stress recovery and perceived control, as well as longer-term anxiety and depressive symptoms, in high-symptom adolescents. Ongoing studies are evaluating predictors of this intervention's effects; longitudinal links between mindsets and mental health in anxious and depressed adolescents; alternative delivery systems for similar interventions (e.g., via virtual reality technology); subjective, physiological, and neural mechanisms underlying the intervention's effects; and whether growth mindset interventions can boost treatment engagement and response in clinic-referred youth beginning cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression.
FAMILY PROCESSES, YOUTH PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, & INTERVENTION DESIGN. Familial stressors correlate with and predict mental health problems in offspring and unfavorable youth treatment responses. My research has explored how various family stressors—including parental mental illness, low family functioning, parental stress, and family structure—singly and jointly affect youth psychiatric problems and intervention response. This work has led me to develop the triadic model of family process, to help guide systematic identification of family-focused intervention strategies. This model outlines networks of parent-level (e.g. parental psychopathology), dyad-level (e.g. sibling conflict), and family-level risk factors (e.g. family stability) that may jointly shape youth processes (e.g., low perceived control) underlying internalizing dysfunction. In ongoing studies, I am applying this model in developing and evaluating targeted, family-focused strategies for reducing youth internalizing distress.
SINGLE-SESSION INTERVENTIONS (SSIs) FOR YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS. Due to logistical, financial, and many other barriers, many youth discontinue mental health treatment prematurely, with a sizable number dropping out after just one session. Thus, it is important to understand what it is possible to accomplish through a single "dose" of intervention. In a recent meta-analysis of 50 RCTs, I found that single-session interventions (SSIs) for youth psychiatric disorders demonstrated a significant beneficial effect—even for self-administered interventions (i.e., those that did not involve a therapist). Practical and public health implications of these results may be considerable: in some cases, SSIs may present a cost-effective alternative or adjunct to traditional youth mental health services. Ongoing work explores the promise of SSIs and other scalable intervention strategies to help lessen the individual, familial, and societal burden of youth mental health problems.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (in press). Parent expectancies and preferences for mental health treatment: The roles of emotion mindsets and views of failure. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Ginsburg, G. S., Schleider, J. L., Tein, J. Y., & Drake, K. L. (in press). Family and parent predictors of anxiety disorder onset in offspring of anxious parents. Child and Youth Care Forum.
Eckshtain, D., Krumholz Marchette, L., Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (in press). Parental depression as a predictor of outcome in the treatment of child depression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
Schleider, J. L., Ginsburg, G. S., & Drake, K. (in press). Perceived peer victimization predicts anxiety outcomes in a prevention program for offspring of anxious parents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Schleider, J. L., Lebowitz, E. R., & Silverman, W. K. (2018). Anxiety sensitivity moderates the relation between family accommodation and symptom severity in clinically anxious children. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 49, 187-196.
Schleider, J. L., & Schroder, H. S. (2018). Implicit theories of personality across development: impacts on coping, resilience, and mental health. In V. Ziegler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Personality and Individual Differences. Sage Publications.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2018). A single-session growth mindset intervention for adolescent anxiety and depression: Nine-month outcomes of a randomized trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59, 160-170.
Hungerford, G. M., Schleider, J. L., Wei, M. A., & Weisz, J. R. (2017). Patienthood meets parenthood: Widening the lens of adult psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 24, 392-395.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2017). Can less be more? The promise (and perils) of single-session youth mental health interventions. The Behavior Therapist, 40, 256-261.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2017). Little treatments, promising effects? Meta-analysis of single session interventions for youth psychiatric problems. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56, 107-115.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2017). Family process and youth internalizing problems: A Triadic Model of etiology and intervention. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 273-301.
Nook, E. C., Schleider, J. L., & Somerville, L. H. (2017). A linguistic signature of psychological distancing in emotion regulation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146, 337-346.
Keeton, C. P., Schleider, J. L., & Walkup, J. T. (2017). Separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety. In B. J. Sadock, V. Sadock, & P. Ruiz (Eds.), Kaplan & Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (10 th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2016). Reducing risk for anxiety and depression in adolescents: Effects of a single-session intervention teaching that personality can change. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 170-181.
Schleider, J. L., Schroder, H. S., Lo, S. L., Fisher, M., Danovitch, J. H., Weisz, J. R., & Moser, J. (2016). Parents’ intelligence mindsets relate to child internalizing problems: Moderation through child gender. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12, 3627-3636.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2016). Implicit theories relate to youth psychopathology, but how? A longitudinal test of two predictive models. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 47, 603-617.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2016). Mental health problems and implicit theories of thoughts, feelings, and behavior in early adolescents: Are girls at greater risk? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 35, 130-151.
Schleider, J. L., Abel, M., & Weisz, J. R. (2015). Implicit theories and mental health problems in youths: A random-effects meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 1-9.
Schleider, J. L., Ginsburg, G. S., Keeton, C. P., Weisz, J. R., Birmaher, B., Kendall, P. C., Piacentini, J., Sherrill, J., & Walkup, J. T. (2015). Parent symptoms and treatment outcomes for anxious youth: Roles of family functioning and caregiver strain. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 213-224.
Schleider, J. L., & Weisz, J. R. (2015). Using Mechanical Turk to study family processes and youth mental health: A test of feasibility. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 3235-3246.
Schleider, J. L., Patel, A., Krumholz, L., Chorpita, B. F., & Weisz, J. R. (2015). Relations between parent symptomatology and youth problems: Multiple mediation through family income and parent-youth stress. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 46, 1-9.
Schleider, J. L., Chorpita, B. F., & Weisz, J. R. (2014). Relation between parent psychiatric symptoms and youth problems: Moderation through family structure and youth gender. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 195-204.
Schleider, J. L., Vélez, C. E., Krause, E. D., & Gillham, J. E. (2014). Perceived psychological control and anxiety in early adolescents: The mediating role of attributional style. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38, 71-81 .
Schleider, J. L., Krause, E. D., & Gillham, J. E. (2014). Sequential comorbidity of anxiety and depression in youth: Present knowledge and future directions. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 10, 75-87