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Denise A Chavira

Denise A. Chavira, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, UC Los Angeles
Department of Psychology

Contact Information

Associate Professor
UC Los Angeles, Department of Psychology
Clinical Psychology Program 
Franz office - 3183


Denise Chavira is an Associate Professor of Psychology at UCLA. She received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. from the UC San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Chavira has been a recipient of a NIH/NIMH Mentored Research Scientist Award (K01), which provided funding for projects to examine barriers to service use, engagement strategies, and interventions for children with anxiety disorders in primary care settings; with a subfocus on Latino youth. Dr. Chavira also has received NIH/NIMH funding to support a pilot intervention examining the feasibility of telephone based, cognitive behavior therapy for rural Latino youth with anxiety disorders. She publishes in the areas of child and adult anxiety disorders, Latino mental health, mental health services research, and cognitive behavior therapy.

She is also the Director of the Culture and Anxiety Lab for Mental Health Advances (CALMA). The goal of the this research program is to understand the needs of underserved groups including children with anxiety disorders, Latinos, and rural populations. This program has focused both on understanding factors that facilitate and inhibit appropriate utilization of mental health services, as well as improving both the detection and treatment of mental health problems in community settings, such as pediatric primary care. Additionally, the CALMA program examines how family environment and cultural factors such as acculturative stress, immigration, and conceptualizations of psychological problems influence anxiety and depression in diverse families.

Research Interests

Broadly her research interests include Latino mental health, anxiety, and treatment development. The overarching goals of her research have been: 1) to improve detection and treatment for children with anxiety disorders in underserved communities, particularly Latinos and, 2) to examine genetic, familial, and environmental factors that increase risk for anxiety disorders.

Research Focus

Her research focuses on examining the effectiveness of empirically supported interventions for anxiety disorders in diverse groups, including Latinos, low-income, and rural populations, using feasible modes of service delivery. She is also interested in examining cultural factors that may influence psychopathology in Latinos, as well as the impact of culture on conceptualizations of mental illness and service utilization.


  • Chavira, D. A. & Letamendi, A. (2015). Assessment of Anxiety in Latinos. In K. F. Geisinger, (Ed.). Psychological Testing of Hispanics: Clinical and Intellectual Issues. Washington, D. C., American Psychological Association. 
  • Bomyea, J., Lang, A., Craske, M. G., Chavira, D. A., Sherbourne, C. D., Rose, R. D., ... & Stein, M. B. (2015). Course of symptom change during anxiety treatment: Reductions in anxiety and depression in patients completing the Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management program. Psychiatry Research, 229(1), 133-142. 
  • Chavira, D. A., Golinelli, D., Sherbourne, C., Stein, M. B., Sullivan, G., Bystritsky, A., . . . Craske, M. (2014). Treatment engagement and response to CBT among Latinos with anxiety disorders in primary care. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(3), 392-403. 
  • Chavira, D. A., Garland, A.F., McCabe, K., Yeh, M., & Hough, R.L. (2009). Child anxiety disorders in public systems of care: Comorbidity and service utilization. Journal of Behavioral Health Services Research, 36, 492-504. 
  • Chavira, D. A., Drahota, A., Garland, A. F., Roesch, S., Garcia, M., & Stein, M. B. (2014). Feasibility of two modes of treatment delivery for child anxiety in primary care. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 60, 60-66. 
  • Chavira, D. A., Shipon Blum, E., Hitchcock, C., Cohan, S., & Stein, M. B. (2007). Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety Disorder: All in the family? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 1464-1472.

Current Projects

R01MH101478 (PI: Bilder) Multi-Level Assays of Working Memory and Psychopathology Role: Co-Investigator

Academic Senate Research Grant, University of California Los Angeles (PI: Chavira) Promotora Based CBT for Latinos