Constance A. Mara, PhD

  • Quantitative Psychologist, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



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.

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.


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

Research Areas

Clinical Psychology


The Barriers Assessment Tool—A Patient-Centered Measure of Adherence Barriers in Pediatric Kidney Transplantation. Varnell, CD; Hooper, DK; Mara, CA; Modi, AC; Rich, KL. Children. 2023; 10:1435.

Augmenting family based treatment with emotion coaching for adolescents with anorexia nervosa and atypical anorexia nervosa: Trial design and methodological report. Aarnio-Peterson, CM; Mara, CA; Modi, AC; Matthews, A; Le Grange, D; Shaffer, A. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications. 2023; 33:101118.

Predictors of objective treatment adherence in adolescents with epilepsy: The important role of motivation. Lang, AC; Stevens, J; Mara, CA; Patel, AD; Schmidt, M; Tenney, JR; Modi, AC. Epilepsy and Behavior. 2023; 142:109192.

Evaluation of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for Preschoolers in Urban Primary Care. Bignall, WJ R; Mara, CA; Stark, LJ; Taylor, S; Herbst, RB; McClure, JM; Burkhardt, MC; Ammerman, RT. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 2023; 32:1304-1317.

Development and evaluation of the patient-reported outcomes measurement information system (PROMIS) pediatric pain quality item bank and short form. Mara, CA; Carle, AC; Goldschneider, KR; Kashikar-Zuck, S; Sherry, DD; Dampier, C; Morgan, EM. PAIN. 2023; 164:555-562.

Pilot randomized controlled clinical trial of an adherence social norms intervention for adolescents with epilepsy. Modi, AC; Patel, AD; Mara, CA; Schmidt, M; Tenney, JR; Stevens, J. Epilepsy and Behavior. 2023; 140:109082.

Barriers to medication adherence among adolescents and young adults with cancer. McGrady, ME; Ketterl, TG; Norris, RE; Perentesis, JP; Pettee, D; Mara, CA; Breen, G; Pai, AL H. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2023; 70:e30186.

A Pilot Randomized Trial of an Obesity Prevention Program for High-Risk Infants in Primary Care. Rybak, TM; Modi, AC; Mara, CA; Herbst, RB; Lauer, BA; Burkhardt, MC; Stark, LJ. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2023; 48:123-133.

Optimizing Shared Decision Making about Hydroxyurea in Young Children with Sickle Cell Anemia. Hildenbrand, AK; King, AA; Mara, CA; Johnson, Y; Shook, LM; Whitacre, C; Britto, MT; Quinn, CT; Brinkman, W; Hackworth, R; et al. Blood. 2022; 140:10857-10859.

Careful: An administrative child welfare and electronic health records linked dataset. Beal, SJ; Nause, K; Ammerman, RT; Hall, ES; Mara, CA; Greiner, MV. Data in Brief. 2022; 44:108507.