I began my career in 1990 to help improve the functioning of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders. I've worked with several specific patient populations throughout my career, including individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, reading disorders and, more recently, children born prematurely. I focus on executive functioning and attention, reaction time variability, academic executive functions (including organization, planning, study skills, time management, working memory and task initiation), with a specific interest in developing and testing interventions to help youth with neurodevelopmental disorders.
My research career began at a nationally recognized child development center focused on ADHD at UC Irvine in California. Our team used several methods, including intervention development and testing, medication studies and neuroimaging like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The center was one of the sites of the Multimodal Treatment Study (MTA), which included the largest cohort of children with ADHD and evaluated medication, behavioral therapy and their combination compared to treatment as usual in the community. Later, during postdoctoral studies at Stanford, I developed neuroimaging skills and increased our understanding of executive functioning in ADHD, fragile X syndrome and Turner syndrome.
After completing this work, I led a large-scale early intervention and prevention program to educate and train parents in behavioral management strategies in the local California communities. The program, which started with 32 families, grew quickly to include over 900 families each year, and served both Spanish- and English-speaking families. During this time, I also helped develop attention training and executive function interventions for preschoolers.
Later, I transitioned to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to lead the Center for Advanced ADHD Research, Treatment and Education. I brought the parent training program and executive function training interventions for preschool-aged children from California to Dallas, TX. I also investigated "Pay Attention!" as an attention training program for school-aged children with ADHD.
Now, at Cincinnati Children's, I work in the Center for ADHD with a variety of colleagues who explore many areas of neurodevelopmental research. I really enjoy working as part of the team, and I believe team science drives discovery. I've partnered with several other researchers on interesting studies, such as those exploring secondary ADHD following a head injury and using behavioral tools in a provider portal designed to improve pediatricians' assessment and treatment of ADHD.
I also led a multisite study investigating how to treat ADHD and comorbid reading difficulties in children in second through fifth grade. This study was the first of its kind and discovered the best results came from treating reading problems and ADHD simultaneously using the latest evidence-based therapies for each disorder.
I also led a follow-up study to the Multimodal Treatment Study (MTA) where we completed brain imaging and substance use assessments at the 16-year follow-up to understand cannabis use in young adults with childhood ADHD compared to a local normative control group.
Currently, I work on multiple studies focused on various neurodevelopmental challenges, such as:
My overarching goal is to help improve functioning in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Additionally, I enjoy using brain imaging techniques to help understand the cause of neurodevelopmental disorders and related deficits.
PhD: Clinical Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2000.
Internship: University of California, San Diego, CA.
Fellowship: Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, CA.
ADHD; ADHD subtypes; non-medication interventions; early intervention and prevention; treatment outcomes; brain-behavior relationships; gene-environment interactions; motivation
Clinical Psychology, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD
Predicting Help-Seeking Behaviors in Caregivers of Children Newly Diagnosed with ADHD. Evidence-based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 2023; ahead-of-print:1-16.
Executive Functioning as a Predictor of Adverse Driving Outcomes in Teen Drivers With ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2023; 27:1650-1661.
School Challenges and Services Related to Executive Functioning for Fully Included Middle Schoolers with Autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. 2023; 38:90-100.
Examining reaction time variability on the stop-signal task in the ABCD study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS. 2023; 29:492-502.
Mathematics abilities associated with adaptive functioning in preschool children born preterm. Child Neuropsychology. 2023; ahead-of-print:1-14.
Neurocognition in children with cognitive disengagement syndrome: accurate but slow. Child Neuropsychology. 2023; ahead-of-print:1-20.
The shifting role of fluid reasoning in reading among children evaluated for ADHD. Applied Neuropsychology: Child. 2023; ahead-of-print:1-9.
Predictors of risky driving among teen drivers with ADHD during U.S. COVID-19 shelter in place orders. Transportation Research Part F-Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 2023; 93:182-190.
Trial of Training to Reduce Driver Inattention in Teens with ADHD. The New England journal of medicine. 2022; 387:2056-2066.