The Behavioral Health Lab is Recruiting Participants for a Study of Anxiety Free Experiences at the Dentist
(November 2023) The lab is looking for individuals to participate in a study that is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Participants must be between 7 and 16 years old; be able to read, write and converse in English or Spanish; experience anxiety symptoms when visiting the dentist; and be able to attend three visits. Participants will earn a $50 gift card for visits 1 and 3 and receive a psychological intervention free of charge for visit 2. For information about study participation and/or to schedule a study visit, please call (956) 665-3304 or send an email to email@example.com. To download a study flyer, please click here.
Dr. Seligman's Research is Featured in Health Affairs Article
(October 2023) Dr. Seligman's research on dental anxiety and phobia prevention is featured in an article entitled, "A Promising Tool for Overcoming Dental Anxiety," published in Health Affairs, a journal published by Project Hope. In the article, Dr. Seligman explains why children in the Rio Grande Valley are at high risk for the development of dental anxiety and phobia. For a copy of the article, please click here.
Dr. Hovey is Interviewed for Vaquero Radio
(September 2023) In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week, Dr. Hovey was interviewed by Vaquero Radio, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's student radio station. Dr. Hovey was interviewed in some depth about suicide risk and protective factors in college students, including a discussion about how living through the COVID pandemic has created a greater risk for suicide. Please click here to hear excerpts of the interview from the Vaquero Radio website.
New Research Article on the Association of Parenting Style to Anxiety in Hispanic Youth
(July 2023) Although studies have shown that Hispanic youth experience more severe anxiety compared to non-Hispanic youth, Hispanic youth have been greatly underrepresented in anxiety research. In a newly published article in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, Dr. Seligman and Dr. Hovey examined whether mothers' psychological control and accommodation are associated with more severe anxiety in Hispanic youth. We found that, for Hispanic mothers, the relationship between ethnicity (Hispanic/non-Hispanic) and childhood anxiety was mediated through psychological control and accommodation. In other words, for Hispanic families, greater maternal control appeared to increase maternal accommodation of child anxiety which, in turn, appeared to increase and maintain anxiety in their children. Our findings suggest that the context of parenting behavior is important to consider in both research and clinical work; and that child anxiety treatments should consider adapting ways for parents to express their desire to communicate warmth and protectiveness while avoiding negative reinforcement of child anxiety. To download a copy of this article, please click here.
Dr. Hovey Presents at the Superior HealthPlan's Ambetter Health Member Advisory Group Meeting
(June 2023) Dr. Joseph Hovey gave a community-based presentation at the Superior HealthPlan's Ambetter Health Member Advisory Group Meeting in McAllen, TX. He spoke about "Mental Health Basics" and discussed signs of mental health difficulties including major depression, the various anxiety disorders, and suicide thoughts and behavior. He also discussed ways to cope against these difficulties. To download the slides for Dr. Hovey's presentation, please click here.
Dr. Hovey and Andrea Caro Torres Make Appearance on TV Azteca
(June 2023) Dr. Joseph Hovey and Andrea Caro Torres were interviewed on the Hablando de... show on TV Azteca, Mission TX. Although they discussed a variety of topics, their main topics of discussion were dental phobia and the lab's project on dental phobia treatment for children.
Dr. Hovey Presents at the Rio Grande Valley Border Health Coalition Meeting
(March 2023) Dr. Joseph Hovey gave a presentation on the topic of dental anxiety at the Rio Grande Valley Border Health Coalition meeting. He discussed the prevalence and etiology of dental phobia, why dental phobia appears to be elevated in Latin groups, and why it appears to be a particularly acute problem in the Rio Grande Valley. In addition, he discussed the major health repercussions associated with dental phobia and poor oral health and he outlined strategies for the prevention and treatment of dental phobia. To download the slides for Dr. Hovey's presentation, please click here.
Dr. Hovey is Re-Appointed to the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation
(January 2023) Dr. Joseph Hovey has been re-appointed as a commissioner on The American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA). The APA-CoA is the chief accrediting body in the United States for doctoral programs in Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology, internship programs in health service psychology, and postdoctoral residency programs that provide education and training in preparation for professional practice. As commissioner, Dr. Hovey fills the APA Board of Scientific Affairs seat and serves as Co-Chair of the Research Workgroup.
The Behavioral Health Lab is Recruiting Participants for a Study on Brain Health
(January 2023) The lab is looking for individuals to participate in a research study on brain health that is funded by The National Institute Aging. Participants must be Hispanic and at least 60 years of age. Participation will consist of cognitive health assessments as well as an interview with questions about health and social relationships. Each participant will receive a $50 gift card after completing the study. For more information about the study, please click here. If you are interested in participating in the study, please call (956) 665-2662 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behavioral Health Lab Holds Their First Holiday Party
(December 2022) The Behavioral Health Lab held a holiday gathering attended by lab faculty, staff, research assistants, family, and friends. Not only did we celebrate the holidays, we celebrated the numerous accomplishments that the lab has achieved during the past year. One of the highlights of the night was a high stakes game of dreidel, led by the junior research assistants of the lab! We look forward to future celebrations!
New Research Article on the Moderating Influences of Coping Competence and Hopelessness on Perceived Burdensomeness in the Prediction of Suicide Behavior
(December 2022) Dr. Joseph Hovey and Dr. Laura Seligman are authors on a new article published in Current Psychology. Although the rapid developmental trajectory experienced by college students often leads to severe stress, and although previous research has documented high suicide rates and behavior in college students, little research has examined the influence of cognitive risk factors on perceived burdensomeness and suicide thoughts and behavior in college students. This study thus assessed how suicidal ideation experienced by college students is significantly impacted by the moderating influences of coping competence and hopelessness on burdensomeness. Their overall findings identify coping competence and hopelessness as ideal targets for prevention and intervention efforts as changes in these variables may attenuate the association between perceived burdensomeness and suicidal ideation and, in turn, decrease the risk for attempted suicide. To download a copy of this article, please click here.
New Research Article on Social Anxiety and Cyberbullying
(December 2022) Several years ago, Dr. Hovey and some of the students in his lab developed the Social Media Cyberbullying Questionnaire (SMCQ), which assesses cyberbullying victimization and perpetration that occur via social media avenues. Some of these findings are now being published including a new article in Heliyon. The findings in this paper indicated that college students who more often socially compare themselves to other people reported greater levels of social anxiety. The experience of social anxiety, in turn, was significantly associated with cyberbullying victimization and cyberbullying perpetration. To download a copy of this article, please click here. If you are interested in learning more about the SMCQ, please contact Dr. Hovey.
Dr. Seligman Gives Her Presidential Address at The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Convention
(November 2022) At the recent annual ABCT convention, Dr. Seligman gave her Presidential Address entitled CBT for the Public Good: Why We Need to Be More Comfortable Using Someone Else's Toothbrush. Dr. Seligman's address was a dynamic, topical, deeply-felt call for action, in which she discussed how although the work of cognitive behavioral psychologists has the potential for broad and meaningful impact, that impact has yet to be fully realized. Dr. Seligman argued that to reach our potential, we should address various factors including aligning the contingencies in our field with those that best serve the public good, a renewed focus on theory, a reorientation toward collaboration and an iterative process over proprietary branding and novelty, and the need for our field to reacquaint itself with transparency and scientific debate.
The Behavioral Health Lab is Recruiting Participants for a Virtual Reality Study for Children and Adults
(November 2022) The lab is looking for individuals to participate in a research study that is funded by The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Participants must be between the 6 and 35 years old; be able to read, write and converse in English or Spanish; have a stable, healthy front tooth; and be able to attend two lab visits, a week apart. Participants will place a hand in cold water, be fitted with a mouthpiece that will blow air on a front tooth, and play a virtual reality (VR) game. Participants will earn a $50 gift card per visit. For more information about the study, please click here. If you are interested in participating in the study, please call (956) 665-3309 or send an email to email@example.com.
The Behavioral Health Lab is Recruiting Participants for a Research Study Examining OCD in Latino/a Adults
(October 2022) The lab is looking for individuals to participate in a research study that is funded by The National Institute of Health (NIH). Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 89, have experienced Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) now or in the past (even if the participant did not seek treatment), have at least one grandparent who identifies as Latino/a or Hispanic, and be able to read and speak English or Spanish. Participation should take approximately two to two and a half hours and participants will receive a $25 gift card after completing the study. For more information about the study, please click here. If you are interested in being a participant in the study, please call (956) 665-3308, send a text to (956) 299-5558, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Grant Awarded from The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
(September 2022) Laura D. Seligman, Ph.D., ABPP, is the Principal Investigator on a two-year, UG3 grant and a five-year, UH3 grant from The NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Joseph D. Hovey, Ph.D., will serve as Investigator on the grants as will Liza Talavera-Garza, Ph.D. Katelyn Villa, M.S., will serve as Study Coordinator. The UG3 grant funds the development of a one-session treatment for youth with dental anxiety and the UH3 grant will provide funding for the assessment of the treatment. The findings from this clinical trial will provide important information to the fields of dentistry and clinical psychology on a cost-effective intervention to combat dental phobia in youth, a common and often deleterious disorder, which may lead to serious short- and long-term health complications.
New Research Article on the Relationships between Childhood Abuse, Emotion Dysregulation, Self-Injury, and Suicide Ideation
(September 2022) Dr. Joseph Hovey is an author on a new article published in Child Abuse Review. This study assessed the extent to which emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between child sexual abuse and non-suicidal self-injury, and child sexual abuse and suicide ideation. Findings supported the latter relationship, thus suggesting that childhood trauma leads to difficulties in emotion dysregulation which, in turn, increases the risk for suicide ideation. Findings highlight the need for interventionists to assist childhood trauma victims in obtaining clarity and acceptance of emotional experiences as a means to mitigate the risk for suicide ideation. To download a copy of this article, please click here.
Presentation at The Suicide Research Symposium
(June 2022) Joseph D. Hovey, Ph.D., presented at the Suicide Prevention Symposium. The title of his presentation was The Influence of Adherence to Traditional Cultural Values on Family Conflict and Emotion Dysregulation in Predicting Suicide Behavior in Latina Adolescents. Dr. Hovey presented on recent research findings that suggest that lack of adherence to traditional cultural values in Latina adolescents may lead to family conflict which, in turn, may lead to suicide behavior. The link from family conflict to suicide behavior is dependent, however, on how much emotional dysregulation the adolescent experiences. To download the PowerPoint slides for this presentation, please click here.
Grand Rounds Presentation at The University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Psychiatry
(February 2022) Joseph D. Hovey, Ph.D., presented at The University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Grand Rounds. Dr. Hovey was invited by the Department's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The title of his Grand Rounds was Mental Health Risk and Protective Factors in Latinx Individuals: Implications for Treatment and Prevention. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the PowerPoint slides for this presentation, please contact the lab.
Dr. Talavera-Garza is Recipient of Grant from The Rio Grande Valley Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research
(February 2022) Liza Talavera-Garza, Ph.D., was awarded grant funds to collect foundational data that assess cognitive health in older Mexican adults who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias (ADRD). These data will inform the development and testing of community-based approaches that mitigate the negative outcomes of ADRD.
New Research Article on the Development of a Measure of Fearful Implication Associations for Dental Anxiety
(November 2021) Drs. Laura Seligman, Liza Talavera-Garza, and Joseph Hovey are authors on a new article published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development. Although youth with dental anxiety are at increased risk for poor oral health, current dental anxiety tools are limited. This study thus assessed the psychometric properties of an implicit measure of dental stimuli, the Affective Misattribution Procedure for Dental Stimuli (AMP-D), in children and adolescents. The AMP-D was associated with dental anxiety and findings indicated that the AMP-D had high internal consistency, good test-retest reliability, and good construct validity. The overall findings suggest that the AMP-D can be an efficient and easy-to-use tool for identifying youth with dental anxiety, especially when concerns regarding self-representation may compromise the validity of self-reported dental anxiety. To download a copy of this article, please click here.
Dr. Seligman is Recipient of Grant from The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
(August 2021) Laura D. Seligman, Ph.D., ABPP, is the principal investigator on a three-year, R01 grant from The NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The grant will fund a series of studies that identify psychological mechanisms that prevent dental fear. The findings from these studies will be extremely relevant as they will inform efforts to prevent dental phobia, a common, debilitating disorder that often leads to poor oral and physical health outcomes.
Dr. Hovey Appointed to the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation
(June 2021) Joseph D. Hovey, Ph.D., has been appointed to serve on the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-COA). The APA-COA is the primary accreditor in the United States for educational and training programs in Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology, internship programs in professional psychology, and postdoctoral residency programs that provide education and training in preparation for professional practice. As commissioner, Dr. Hovey fills the APA Board of Scientific Affairs seat.
Dr. Seligman Elected as President of The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
(December 2019) Laura D. Seligman, Ph.D., ABPP, has been elected by ABCT members to serve as president of ABCT. Congratulations to Dr. Seligman for this well-deserved honor. She joins the list of distinguished scholars who have served as president of ABCT, including numerous pioneers and leaders in the field of clinical psychology.