Quantitative Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


Dr. Mara researches improved methods for measuring and analyzing psychological data in quantitative methods. Her research has focused on developing and investigating improved procedures for analyzing behavioral data. For example, she has studied equivalence testing methods that have recently become popular in psychology for investigating when groups/conditions are equivalent, or when a lack of association between variables exists. Dr. Mara has also investigated novel structural equation models for investigating change in randomized longitudinal studies, and applications of item response theory.

Dr. Mara’s research in the area of pediatric patient-reported outcomes has centered on the measurement and psychometric properties of patient-reported outcomes in a pediatric healthcare setting. In particular, she uses item-response theory (IRT) and factor analysis to examine the psychometric properties of patient-reported outcomes. It is critical that the measures we use are reliable, valid, sensitive, and responsive. Applying contemporary measurement science to assess the measures used as outcomes in research is critical to reducing error and improving the accuracy and replicability of our research findings.

Research Interests

Innovative application of advanced quantitative methods to research in pediatric psychology; pediatric patient-reported outcomes; longitudinal data analysis; randomized behavioral clinical trials

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Clinical Psychology


BSc: Trent University, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, 2008.

MA: York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2009.

PhD: York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.


Engaging Caregivers and Providers of Children With Sickle Cell Anemia in Shared Decision Making for Hydroxyurea: Protocol for a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial. Hood, AM; Strong, H; Nwankwo, C; Johnson, Y; Peugh, J; Mara, CA; Shook, LM; Brinkman, WB; Real, FJ; Klein, MD; et al. JMIR Research Protocols. 2021; 10.

Effects of Child Protective Custody Status and Health Risk Behaviors on Health Care Use Among Adolescents. Beal, SJ; Mara, CA; Nause, K; Ammerman, RT; Seltzer, R; Jonson-Reid, M; Greiner, MV. Ambulatory Pediatrics. 2021.

Mobile health use predicts self-efficacy and self-management in adolescents with sickle cell disease. Hood, AM; Nwankwo, C; Walton, A; McTate, E; Joffe, N; Quinn, CT; Britto, MT; Peugh, J; Mara, CA; Crosby, LE. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2021.

Psychometric evaluation of the brief RCOPE and relationships with psychological functioning among caregivers of children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant. McGrady, ME; Mara, CA; Geiger-Behm, K; Ragsdale, J; Davies, SM; Schwartz, LA; Phipps, S; Pai, AL H. Psycho-Oncology. 2021.

Pilot Executive Functioning Intervention in Epilepsy: Behavioral and Quality of Life Outcomes. Modi, AC; Mara, CA; Schmidt, M; Smith, AW; Turnier, L; Wade, SL. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2021; 46:363-374.

The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 within the first six months of the pandemic on youth with epilepsy and their caregivers. Modi, AC; Patel, AD; Stevens, J; Smith, G; Huszti, H; Guilfoyle, SM; Mara, CA; Schmidt, M; Wagner, JL. Epilepsy and Behavior. 2021; 117.

Understanding Variation in Longitudinal Data Using Latent Growth Mixture Modeling. Mara, CA; Carle, AC. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2021; 46:179-188.

A retrospective multisite examination of depression screening practices, scores, and correlates in pediatric diabetes care. Mulvaney, SA; Mara, CA; Kichler, JC; Majidi, S; Driscoll, KA; Westen, SC; Rawlinson, A; Jacobsen, LM; Adams, RN; Hood, KK; et al. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2021; 11:122-131.

Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the PROMIS Pediatric Pain Intensity Measure in Children and Adolescents with Chronic Pain. Mara, CA; Kashikar-Zuck, S; Cunningham, N; Goldschneider, KR; Huang, B; Dampier, C; Sherry, DD; Crosby, L; Farrell Miller, J; Barnett, K; et al. Journal of Pain. 2021; 22:48-56.

The development of a social norms adherence intervention for adolescents with epilepsy. Modi, AC; Patel, AD; Gutierrez-Colina, AM; Wetter, SE; Heckaman, LM; Debs, A; Mara, CA; Wentzel, E; Schmidt, M; Stevens, J. Epilepsy and Behavior. 2021; 114.