Research Interests

My research program rests upon the assumption that normal and abnormal development must be understood in context. At the center of my work is the family context, characterized by demographic aspects of the family (e.g., income, race), as well as family systems and processes (e.g., parenting, coparenting). Accordingly, throughout my career I have strived to move the literature beyond the identification of “at-risk” families to more contextualized models of risk and protective processes for specific children and families at-risk for specific negative outcomes. Most recently, I have taken this line of research a step further by conducting applied work that aims to improve service delivery options for vulnerable, yet underserved families. Such work necessitates that I move beyond the disciplinary boundaries of clinical child psychology to a perspective informed by public health, the intersection of clinical, developmental, and community psychology, and, most recently, telehealth. This multidisciplinary approach is critical for work that demands the utilization of innovative engagement strategies for working with vulnerable and, in turn, often difficult to recruit and retain families.

Prospective Ph.D. Students

Please see the following for more information regarding if I will interview for the upcoming academic year: http://clinicalpsych.unc.edu/faculty/#deborahjones.

If I am interviewing, I am generally interested in working with students on:

  1. Parenting and youth outcomes in underserved families, including low income and ethnic/racial minority families
  2. Engaging underserved families in evidence based treatment
  3. Technology as a vehicle to enhance treatment-delivery to and outcomes for underserved families
  4. Understanding the mediators and moderators of efficacious interventions toward more informed tailoring of evidence-based treatment models

Although I generally recruit doctoral students whose primary intellectual home is in the Clinical Psychology program, I am an associate faculty member of the Developmental Psychology program, and welcome opportunities to collaborate.

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