The Psychology Newsletter for Spring 2013 (.PDF, 690 KB) covers updates for the Science IV and V Buildings, profiles some of our faculty and alumni (both Graduate & Undergraduate), and highlights our Honors students and awards winners from 2012.
Associate Professor of Psychology; Director of Clinical Training
Ph.D., Temple University
Internship: Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium
Areas: Clinical Psychology
Phone: (607) 777-2511
Office: Clearview Hall, Room 56
Director of the Mood Disorders Institute, which specializes in understanding the etiology and treatment of unipolar depression. Associate Editor: Frontiers in Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics. Editorial board: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Cognitive Therapy and Research, International Journal of Cognitive Therapy. Professional Societies (Memberships): Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, American Psychological Association, American Association of Suicidology, International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research in Psychopathology, Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12, Section 3).
Research Interests: Information-processing biases (attention, interpretation, and memory) that increase risk for depression; development and impact of these biases; developmental psychopathology, psychiatric genetics; integrating cognitive and genetic models of depression risk.
My research focuses on cognitive, genetic and environmental risk factors for the development of depression and anxiety in children, adolescents and adults. Specifically, we are seeking to integrate cognitive and psychiatric genetic theories of psychopathology by evaluating whether information-processing biases (attention, interpretation and memory) featured in the cognitive theories may represent intermediate phenotypes for specific genetic influences. We are also evaluating gene x cognition x environment models of risk for depression. We are particularly interested in examining how multiple levels of analysis work together to increase depression risk, spanning genetic and epigenetic influences, physiology, cognition, affect and environmental influences. Our work incorporates a number of approaches including experimental psychopathology and prospective multi-wave designs, and methodologies including next-generation gene sequencing and methylation analyses, eye tracking, psychophysiology, ERPs and structured, detailed assessments of various environmental influences and psychiatric symptoms/diagnoses.
We currently have two large-scale projects in progress. The first is an NICHD-funded multi-wave longitudinal study examining the development of children's information-processing biases and their role as a mechanism of risk in the intergenerational transmission of depression. This project focuses on 255 mother-child pairs drawn from the community. Children are aged 8-14 at the start of the study and then are followed every 6 months for 2 years, with genotyping conducted at the initial assessment and then assessments of information-processing biases, environmental influences, symptoms and diagnoses collected at each assessment point. The second project is an NIMH-funded study addressing the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) domain of Negative Valence Systems. This project involves a one-time assessment of 1,000 children aged 7-11 years and their parent. The goal of this study is to provide a fine-grained examination of children's attentional biases using both behavioral (eyetracking) and physiological (event-related potential; ERP) indices to determine which specific components of children's attention are biases in relation to their broad symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as the more specific symptom domains of low positive affect and physiological hyperarousal. In this study, we are also examining environmental, genetic, and epigenetic influences on these biases.
My primary goal as a mentor is to share my enthusiasm for research with my students and to help them develop into independent researchers. Students who are the best match for this lab, therefore, are those interested in research careers. Students are treated as junior colleagues, and I try to adjust the amount of supervision versus independence given based upon each student's needs. Although graduate students are expected to assist in the implementation and dissemination of ongoing lab studies, emphasis is also given to helping students design, implement, and publish their own studies. Consistent with the scientist-practitioner model, students receive training not only in designing and implementing developmental psychopathology studies of depression, but also in providing cognitive therapy for depression.
Gibb, B.E., Benas, J.S., Grassia, M., & McGeary, J. (2009). Children’s attentional biases and 5-HTTLPR genotype: Potential mechanisms linking mother and child depression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38, 415-426.
Gibb, B.E., Uhrlass, D.J., Grassia, M., Benas, J.S., & McGeary, J. (2009). Children’s inferential styles, 5-HTTLPR genotype, and maternal expressed emotion-criticism: An integrated model for the intergenerational transmission of depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 734-745.
Hankin, B.L., Gibb, B.E., Abela, J.R.Z., & Flory, K. (2010). Selective attention to affective stimuli and clinical depression among youth: Role of comorbid anxiety and specificity of emotion. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 491-501.
Gibb, B.E., Grassia, M., Stone, L.B., & Uhrlass, D.J. (2012). Brooding rumination and risk for depressive disorders in children of depressed mothers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 317-326.
Gibb, B.E., Beevers, C.B., & McGeary, J.E. (in press). Toward an integration of cognitive and genetic models of risk for depression. Cognition and Emotion.
Last Updated: 5/17/13