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.


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.

Engaging caregivers and providers of children with sickle cell anemia in shared decision-making for hydroxyurea (ENGAGE HU): a study protocol for a multi-center randomized controlled trial (Preprint). 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.

Multisite Examination of Depression Screening Scores and Correlates Among Adolescents and Young Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. Monaghan, M; Mara, CA; Kichler, JC; Westen, SC; Rawlinson, A; Jacobsen, LM; Adams, RN; Stone, JY; Hood, KK; Mulvaney, SA. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 2021.

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.

Feasibility and acceptability of an innovative adherence intervention for young adults with childhood-onset systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Harry, O; Crosby, LE; Mara, C; Ting, TV; Huggins, JL; Modi, AC. Pediatric Rheumatology. 2020; 18.

The relationship of the UPPS model of impulsivity on bulimic symptoms and non-suicidal self-injury in transgender youth. Peterson, CM; Mara, CA; Conard, LA E; Grossoehme, D. Eating Behaviors. 2020; 39.

Validation and confirmatory factor analysis of the pediatric Adherence Barriers to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Questionnaire. Carmody, JK; Simon, SL; Mara, CA; Byars, KC. Sleep Medicine. 2020; 74:1-8.

Validity of Data Collected from Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Mara, CA; Peugh, JL. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2020; 45:971-976.