Current Research Projects

Gregory A. Aarons, Ph.D.

"Testing the Leadership and Organizational Change for Implementation (LOCI) Intervention in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs" (NIDA R01 DA038466) (2015-2020)
  • This study will test the effects of the LOCI intervention in facilitating evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation in substance use disorder (SUD) and HIV services settings. LOCI improves implementation leadership and organizational support to develop strategic climate for EBP implementation. 
"Development and Testing of an Evidence Based Intervention Sustainment Measure" (NIMH R03 MH117493) (2018-2020)
  • The purpose of this study is to develop and test a measure of an important stage of the implementation process labeled sustainment. The scale will facilitate measurement of the degree to which an evidence-based intervention is integrated into practice with the organizational capacity to support its continued use.
"Community Academic Partnership for Translational Use of Research Evidence (CAPTURE) in Policy and Practice" (187931 William T. Grant Foundation) (2018-2022)
  • Investigators will study a CAPTURE in a large child welfare (CW) service system, with aims to identify, develop, and test the social and structural conditions for improving use of research evidence (URE) in CW. This study examines the processes that shape URE (e.g. in contracts, research evidence summaries) and conceptual URE (e.g. climate for URE, URE goal setting), and also investigates how change mechanisms (e.g. cultural exchange, embedding mechanisms) influence URE.
"System of Care Evaluation (SOCE)" (SD County Contract 551730, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency) (2016-2020)
  • As part of the Mental Health Services Act planning process, CASRC completed a gap analyses on the Children’s Mental Health System, identifying areas in which youth are being underserved. CASRC also developed a set of maps to elucidate where different populations are located within the County and assist in determining where new services.
"In-Home Outreach Teams Services Evaluation (IHOT)-Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)" (SD County Contract 552733, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency) (2016-2020)
  • The purpose of this project is to provide outcome and program evaluation of In-Home Outreach Teams (IHOT) services.  The IHOT program offers outreach and engagement services to adult individuals with severe mental illness and their families who are reluctant to seek outpatient mental health services.  
"Randomized trial of a leadership and organizational change strategy to improve the implementation and sustainment of digital measurement-based care in youth mental health services" (NIMH R01 MH119127-01) (2019-2024)
PI: Nathaniel Williams, Boise St. University; Consortium PI: Aarons, UCSD
  • This study uses a cluster randomized controlled trial, in 20 children’s mental health clinics, to test the effects of the Leadership and Organizational Change for Implementation (LOCI) strategy on the implementation and sustainment of a digital measurement-based care (MBC) intervention. The study examines LOCI's main effects on clinician fidelity and youth clinical outcomes as well as multilevel mechanisms that explain LOCI's effects.
"Effectiveness Research for Common Mental Disorders in Low and Middle-Income Countries:  A sequential, multiple assignment randomized trial for non-specialist treatment strategies in Kenya" (NIMH R01 MH113722-01) (2018-2023)
PI: Susan Meffert, UCSF; Consortium PI: Aarons, UCSD
  • Sequential, Randomized Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) to test non-specialist mental health treatment strategies for communities served by the Family AIDS Care Education and Services (FACES) UCSF collaborative. The goal is to sustain evidence-based practices for depression and trauma-related disorders to reduce the population burden of mental disorders in Kenya.

Mary Baker-Ericzen, Ph.D.

"Measuring Health, Function and Social Well-begin in Adults on the Autism Spectrum" (NIMH R01) (2019-2024)
Christina Nicolaidis, Portland State University; Consortium PI: Mary Baker-Ericzén, UCSD

"Disseminating the College SUCCESS (Supported, Comprehensive Cognitive Enhancement and Social Skills)  Program for Individuals with ASD and Developmental Disabilities in College Settings" (Foundation for Developmental Disabilities (FDD) - Program Development Grant) (2018-2020)
  • The purpose of this grant is to adapt our existing soft skill program (SUCCESS) for college students to enhance their executive functioning and social cognitive skills to improve postsecondary education outcomes.
"Disseminating the Command and Control Cognitive Training to Community Schools" (National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR) (2018-2020)

"High School SUCCESS: Vocational Soft Skills Program for Transition-Age ASD Youth" (NIMH R34 MH111491) (2016-2019)
  • The purpose of this research is to develop and pilot test a vocational “soft skills”, cognitive enhancement and social skills, program for transition-age youth with ASD to be delivered within community High School and Transition Programs to increase skills necessary for improved life outcomes.

Concepcion Barrio, Ph.D.

"Informed Consent for Latinos with Schizophrenia" (NIMH R01 MH097274) (2012-2016)
Multiple-PIs: B.W. Palmer and C. Barrio
  • Latinos are the largest ethnic minority group in the U.S., yet are vastly underrepresented in mental health research. The proposed study will provide data essential to ensuring that investigators are able to enroll a diverse range of Latinos with schizophrenia using linguistically, culturally appropriate, and effective procedures for obtaining informed consent for participation.

Lauren Brookman-Frazee, Ph.D.

"Sustainment of Multiple EBP's Fiscally Mandated in Children's MH Services" (NIMH R01 MH100134-01A1) (2014-2018)
Multiple-PIs: Brookman-Frazee & Anna Lau
  • The proposed study will examine EBP sustainment of fiscally mandated mental health EBPs in Los Angeles county inform the development of implementation interventions to promote the sustained delivery of EBPs to maximize the public health impact of community mental health services.
"Effectiveness and Implementation of a Mental Health Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders" (NIMH R01 MH094317) (2012-2017)
PI: Brookman-Frazee, UCSD; Consortium PIs: Mary Baker, RCHSD & Scott Roesch, SDSU
  • The proposed study is a randomized controlled trial of AIM HI, an intervention designed specifically for implementation in community mental health clinics, to reduce problem behavior among school-age children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Sandra A. Brown, Ph.D.

"Facilitating Adolescent Self-Change for Alcohol Problems" (NIAAA R01AA012171)
  • Multi-site clinical trial of an innovative intervention to facilitate youth efforts to stop hazardous drinking. This voluntary, school-based brief intervention will be tested in three cities at six socioculturally and ethnically diverse schools. The proposed block randomized clinical trial will serve the critical step of replicating initial intervention effectiveness findings in diverse communities and test important treatment factors in facilitating behavior change of adolescents. The proposed study also examines the therapy process measure of therapeutic alliance and a new Motivational Interviewing specific construct of group level change talk, hypothesized to influence adolescent efforts to reduce hazardous drinking and alcohol related problems.
"National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence: Admin" (NIAAA UO1AA021695)
Multiple-PIs: Sandra Brown & Susan Tapert
  • Proposes the Administrative Component of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (N-CANDA), located at UCSD, to determine the effects of alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain. This consortium was designed to provide a nationally representative sample of adolescents and to integrate the diverse scientific expertise and research experience with youth represented by researchers at each site.

Patricia Chamberlain, Ph.D.

"Teens' Risk During Transition: Preventing Drug Use, HIV & School Problems" (NIDA R01 DA032634) (2012-2017)
PI: Chamberlain, OSLC; Consortium PI: Joseph Price, UCSD
  • The Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) working with the Child and Adolescent Research Services Center (CASRC) is planning to implement an intervention in San Diego County designed to strengthen the skills of foster parents. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate and test a model for dissemination of research-based interventions to broad-based community child welfare systems. The subcontract to the San Diego CASRC allows the inclusion of that organization’s substantial experience and track record with California child welfare systems that makes the implementation of the intervention in the San Diego County sites possible.
"Foster Teens Risk During Transition: Preventing Drug Use, HRSB & School Problems" (NIDA R01 DA032634) (2012-2016)
  • This study will examine the effectiveness of a randomized trial to prevent academic and behavior problems among youth as they transition to middle school. This effectiveness trial integrates and links the goals of the San Diego Child Welfare System and school districts in San Diego County.
"Translational Drug Abuse Prevention Center (TDAP)" (NIDA P50 P50DA035763) (2013-2018)
  • The purpose of the TDAP Center is to serve as a national resource in drug abuse prevention research, with the ultimate goal of reducing drug use and related outcomes for CWS youth.

Christina Corsello, Ph.D.

REACH Project: Relating genes to Adolescent and Child mental health
  • Investigating the genetic causes of neurodevelopmental conditions and seeking an improved understanding of the effects of certain genetic variants on the brain.
"Developing the Autism Model of Implementation for ASD Community Providers" (NIMH K01 MH093477) (2012-2016)
  • This Mentored Research Scientist Development Award will provide advanced training and skills necessary to meet immediate career goals; specifically, developing an independent program of research focusing on improving the services received by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families in community contexts by increasing the implementation of evidence-based practices delivered by ASD community providers. Longer term, the experience and data generated by this project are expected to lead to larger scale studies focusing on refining the AMI, including specific aspects of the AMI Process Materials, as well as studies to test the implementation effectiveness, generalizability, and sustainability of the AMI across various ASD agencies and geographic locations.

Mark Ehrhart, Ph.D.

"Development and Validation of Implementation Climate Measures" (NIMH R21) (2013-2015)
PI: Ehrhart, SDSU; Consortium PI: Gregory Aarons, UCSD
  • The purpose of this project is to extend the development of an initial measure of implementation climate. Building on our research on developing training for leadership and implementation in mental health services, we developed a preliminary measure of implementation climate. We will extend our work to larger scale examination of the factor structure, reliability, and validity of our preliminary measure of implementation climate.
"Promoting Parent Participatory Engagement in Youth Mental Health Services" (NIMH K23 MH080149) (2010-2016)
  • This Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development (K23) award is designed to provide the applicant with knowledge, skills, and pilot data necessary to launch an independent program of research to increase PPE and improve the effectiveness of public sector child mental health care.

Andrea Hazen, Ph.D.

"California Screening, Assessment and Treatment Initiative, Administration for Children and Families" (Primary grant awarded to Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children’s Hospital)

"Trauma Informed Systems Dissemination and Implementation Project, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration" (Primary grant awarded to Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children’s Hospital)

Michael Hurlburt, Ph.D.

"Interagency Collaborative Teams to Scale-up Evidence Based Practice" (NIMH R01 MH092950) (2011-2016)
Multiple-PIs: Michael Hurlburt, USC and Gregory Aarons, UCSD
  • This project will test a new and promising implementation approach developed for transporting EBPs like SafeCare into existing networks of community-based organizations. The implementation approach uses Interagency Collaborative Teams (ICTs) to develop local expertise in an EBP, to provide in-vivo coaching to therapists in training, and to counter common threats to implementation by distributing expertise, responsibility, and workload across multiple agencies.

Katina M. Lambros, Ph.D.

“Collaborative Interventions to Improve English Learners’ Outcomes CI2ELO” (U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs)
  • Preparation of school psychologists and speech-language pathologists to collaborate with each other and classroom teachers to provide classroom-based literacy interventions for young English-learners at risk or identified with disabilities. Partnership with a multilingual elementary school in San Diego City Schools.
“Transdisciplinary Approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorders (TAASD)” (U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs)
  • Preparation of speech-language pathologists and school psychologists in transdisciplinary approaches for services to children and youth with ASD, their families, and their teachers. Field experiences in partnership with San Diego City Schools.
“Parental Perspectives of an Integrated Educational and Mental Health Treatment Model in San Diego Unified Schools" (SDSU University Grants Program)
  • The parental perspectives of an integrated educational and mental health treatment program in San Diego Unified Schools will be explored. A random sample of 75 parents will be asked about (a) their level of satisfaction with MHIT program services, (b) specific mental health symptoms in their child as a function of intervention services, and (c) family demographics. This evaluation includes important stakeholder input (i.e., parents) in the examination of school-based mental health services for students receiving special education for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).

Alan Litrownik, Ph.D.

"Drug Use Trajectories and the Transition to Adulthood Among Maltreated Youth" (NIDA R01 DA031189) (2012-2017)
PI: Howard Dubowitz, University of Maryland; Consortium PI: Litrownik
  • The goal of this project is to contribute to the prevention of three interrelated, harmful and costly behaviors that peak in early adulthood: drug abuse, HIV/AIDS-related sexual risk behaviors and intimate partner violence (IPV). The project builds on the 20-year multisite prospective Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN).

Katherine Nguyen-Williams, Ph.D.

Lawrence A. Palinkas, Ph.D.

"Measuring Sustainment in Prevention Programs and Initiatives" (NIDA R34 DA037516-01A1) (2015-2018)
  • Sustaining effective programs, practices and initiatives targeting adolescent substance abuse and suicide risk after federal grant support ends has proven to be challenging. This project is built on a partnership between the NIDA-funded Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) for Drug Abuse and Sex Risk Behavior and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the major provider of these prevention services to states and communities. This work is intended to improve sustainment of the supporting prevention infrastructure, activities and outcomes in communities.

Joseph Price, Ph.D.

"Program Evaluation of Foster Youth and Homeless Educational Service Programs" (San Diego County Office of Education Foster Youth & Homeless Education Services Program) (2014-2015)

"Program Evaluation of KEEP Foster Parent Intervention Program" (San Diego County Child Welfare Services) (2014-2015)

Laura Proctor, Ph.D.

"Mixed Methods Study to Explain Heterogeneity in Drug Use After Early Foster Care" (NIDA R21 DA034834) (2013-2015)
  • This project will increase our knowledge of the development of substance use disorders among current and former foster youth, who are a highly vulnerable but understudied and underserved population. Identification of context-specific risk and protective processes will inform the development of urgently needed cost-effective, empirically-based, targeted, and well-timed interventions and policies to prevent and treat substance use disorders.

Scott Roesch, Ph.D.

"Interagency Collaborative Teams to Scale-up Evidence Based Practice" (NIMH R01 MH092950) (2011-2016)
Multiple-PIs: Aarons & Hurlburt; Consortium PI: Roesch, SDSU
  • This project will test a new and promising implementation approach developed for transporting EBPs like SafeCare into existing networks of community-based organizations. The implementation approach uses Interagency Collaborative Teams (ICTs) to develop local expertise in an EBP, to provide in-vivo coaching to therapists in training, and to counter common threats to implementation by distributing expertise, responsibility, and workload across multiple agencies.
"Effectiveness and Implementation of a Mental Health Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders" (NIMH R01 MH094317) (2012-2017)
PI: Brookman-Frazee, UCSD; Consortium PI: Roesch, SDSU
  • The proposed study is a randomized controlled trial of AIM HI, an intervention designed specifically for implementation in community mental health clinics, to reduce problem behavior among school-age children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Fernando Soriano, Ph.D.

Nicole Stadnick, Ph.D.

"Adapting and Implementing an Integrated Care Model for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Psychiatric Comorbidity" (NIMH K23MH110602) (2017-2021)
PI: Stadnick, UCSD
  • This is a mixed-methods study aiming to adapt and implement an integrated mental health care model for children with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring mental health concerns.

Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D.

"Examining the Efficacy of Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching in Classroom Environments" (U.S. Dept. of Education R324A140005) (2012-2017)
  • The purpose of the current project is to examine the efficacy of an evidence-based intervention specifically adapted for classroom settings. The intervention, Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching (CPRT), represents a collaborative adaptation of Pivotal Response Training (PRT). PRT is a naturalistic behavioral intervention that is soundly supported in the scientific literature. PRT has been shown to be efficacious for improving behavior, communication, play and social interaction in children with ASD.
"Optimization of Fidelity Procedures for Pivotal Response Training in Autism" (NIMH 4R33MH097033-03) (2012-2017)
PI: Stahmer, UC Davis; Consortium PI: Jessica Suhrheinrich, UCSD
  • Researchers aim to develop and assess a fidelity of implementation instrument and assessment procedures for an ESBT for children with autism. The overall goal of this project is to inform strategies for enhancing fidelity of Pivotal Response Training (PRT) in community service settings.
"Training Community Providers to Implement an Evidence-Based Early Intervention Program" (Autism Speaks Foundation) (2013-2016)
PI: Stahmer, UC Davis; Consortium PI: Lauren Brookman-Frazee, UCSD
  • This project utilizes a train-the-trainer model to provide instruction in an evidence-based practice for toddlers with ASD to early intervention providers in local agencies. The goal of the project is to build local community capacity to deliver evidence-based treatment to young children with ASD and their families.
"Adapting an Evidence-Based Program for Infants and Toddlers at High Risk for Autism" (U.S. Dept. of Education/IES R324A140004) (2013-2016)
PI: Stahmer, UC Davis; Consortium PI: Lauren Brookman-Frazee, UCSD
  • This study examines the effectiveness and sustainment of a community-developed training model for an evidence-based early intervention practice (EBP) for infants/toddlers (ages 12-24 months) at- risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families.

Jessica Suhrheinrich, Ph.D.

"Use of Real-Time Video Feedback to Enhance Teacher Training" (Autism Science Foundation) (2014-2015)
  • Although evidence-based practices for educating children with autism are being applied and studied in school settings, there is less information about the best ways to train teachers to use these practices. In this project, teachers of students with autism receive training and on-going coaching in an adapted evidence-based practice. The ASF research enhancement funding will support an investigation of the benefit of immediate video feedback, as compared to verbal and written feedback alone, during classroom coaching sessions.

V. Robin Weersing, Ph.D.

"Brief CBT for Pediatric Anxiety and Depression in Primary Care" (NIMH 5R01MH084935-05) (2010-2016)
  • Two-site collaborative R01 to test the effects of a brief cognitive behavioral therapy (BCBT) protocol for youths (age 8-15) presenting with anxiety and/or depression in primary care. Over a five year period, 210 youths (105 per site) will be randomly assigned to (a) BCBT delivered in primary care or (b) enhanced referral to specialty mental health care (SMHC).
"Family Cognitive Behavioral Prevention of Depression in Youth and Parents" (NIMH 5R01MH100260-02) (2014-2019)
  • Two-site randomized controlled trial will test a Family Depression Prevention (FDP) program for children (ages 9-15) and their parents with depressive disorders (past or current). This "dual prevention" approach is a novel synthesis of existing evidence-based intervention techniques drawn from child prevention and adult treatment models.