Constance A. Mara, PhD

  • Quantitative Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
  • Assistant 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.


Development and Preliminary Validation of a Multidimensional Psychosocial Assessment Strategy for Young Adults With Cancer. McGrady, ME; Mara, CA; Beal, SJ; Chan, SF; Sorge, CE; Pai, AL H. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 47:952-963.

Key predictors of the need for a family-focused pediatric epilepsy adherence intervention. Bakula, DM; Junger, KW; Guilfoyle, SM; Mara, CA; Modi, AC. Epilepsia. 2022; 63:2120-2129.

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. 2022.

Racial Disparities in Medication Adherence Barriers: Pediatric Epilepsy as an Exemplar. Gutierrez-Colina, AM; Wetter, SE; Mara, CA; Guilfoyle, S; Modi, AC. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 47:620-630.

Patterns of healthcare utilization with placement changes for youth in foster care. Beal, SJ; Ammerman, RT; Mara, CA; Nause, K; Greiner, MV. Child Abuse and Neglect. 2022; 128.

Child-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pediatric Abdominal Pain Disorders Reduces Caregiver Anxiety in Randomized Clinical Trial. Kalomiris, AE; Ely, SL; Love, SC; Mara, CA; Cunningham, NR. Journal of Pain. 2022; 23:810-821.

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. 2022; 22:387-395.

Integrated Behavioral Health Increases Well-Child Visits and Immunizations in the First Year. Ammerman, RT; Herbst, R; Mara, CA; Taylor, S; McClure, JM; Burkhardt, MC; Stark, LJ. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 47:360-369.

Establishing Clinical Cut-points on the Pediatric PROMIS-Pain Interference Scale in Youth With Abdominal Pain. Gamwell, KL; Mara, CA; Hommel, KA; Kashikar-Zuck, S; Cunningham, NR. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2022; 38:173-181.

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; 11:1823-1831.