PSI Principal Investigators
The research interests of Allison Caruthers, PhD, center on adolescent gender and sexual socialization and their relationship to sexual behavior, sexual risk taking, and emotional well-being in adolescence and adulthood. She is examining the distinction between normal, healthy sexual exploration and truly problematic behavior, as well as possible mechanisms by which PSI intervention services reduce risky sexual behavior.
Dave DeGarmo, PhD, is interested in family stress models and evaluation of preventive intervention and treatment programs for families at risk for compromised parenting, including families of divorce, families in child welfare systems, and military families. A major focus of his work is on independent and interactive effects of fathering and prevention science methodology. Dave is director of the Center for Assessment, Statistics and Evaluation in the Office of Research Innovation and Graduate Education at the University of Oregon. Vita.
The research focus of Phil Fisher, PhD, is on the effects of early stressful experiences (trauma, maltreatment, poverty) on children’s neurobiological and psychological development, and in designing and evaluating prevention and treatment programs for improving children’s functioning in areas such as attachment to caregivers, relationships with peers, and functioning in school. He is also interested in the brain’s plasticity in the context of therapeutic interventions. Particular areas of neurobiological functioning studied by Dr. Fisher are the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the prefrontal cortex, and neural reward pathways. His laboratory, the Stress Neurobiology and Prevention lab, includes graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other researchers with similar interests. Vita
The translation of basic research to inform preventive interventions is the research focus of PSI’s associate director, Leslie Leve, PhD. Her studies focus on developmental pathways and intervention outcomes for at-risk youths and families. Her research includes intervention studies aimed at preventing risk behaviors and improving public health outcomes among youths in foster care and with adolescents in the juvenile justice system. She is also overseeing adoption studies that examine the interplay between biological (genetic, hormonal), psychological, and social influences on development. Her published work in the area of gene–environment interplay emphasizes the translation of basic research findings to help refine the selection of malleable environmental targets in the context of prevention and intervention studies. She is also interested in issues specific to adjustment and outcomes for girls and women. Vita
Laura Lee McIntyre, PhD, is interested in early identification and treatment of childhood developmental and behavioral problems, with an emphasis on the multiple systems of care that support children (e.g., families, schools, healthcare). Within this broad framework, three specific lines of research emerge: (1) parent training, education, and support; (2) transition to kindergarten; and (3) child risk factors and family well-being. She is especially interested in early intervention and prevention work with families who have young children with developmental problems who are at risk for negative social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes at home and at school. She is the codirector of training in the school psychology program at UO, a licensed psychologist, certified school psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. Vita
Beth Stormshak, PhD, PSI director, has expertise in the area of prevention, including prevention of substance use, problem behavior, and later mental health problems in children and youths. Her research focuses on the development of family-centered, model-driven interventions designed to reduce problem behavior and promote successful developmental transitions. She has served as the principal investigator on multiple grants, including randomized trials that tested the efficacy and effectiveness of family-centered models of prevention to reduce risk behavior in early childhood, in school-age children, and in adolescents, with a primary focus on enhancing parenting skills and behavioral management. She currently is the principal investigator on Project Alliance 2, an NICHD-funded program to test the efficacy of the Family Check-Up (FCU) model of intervention during the early adult years. She has completed an effectiveness trial of the FCU in community mental health agencies and designed a website for dissemination and implementation of the model. She also was the principal investigator on an NIMH T32 award to support the training of predoctoral and postdoctoral students in translational research. She is currently starting a new study funded by the Department of Education to develop the Positive Family Support model and FCU for elementary schools in the Portland, Oregon, area. Vita