Teen Anxiety, Suicide, and Well-Being

More American teens are suffering from anxiety, depression, and suicidality than ever before. Recent articles call attention to this epidemic, but we need to know much more before we can effectively prevent mental health problems and promote teen well-being. Our current research projects squarely focus on this mission, and also explore the potential impact – both positive and negative – of digital technology on teen well-being.

Please consider participating to help support these efforts, and to gain knowledge that can benefit the teens in your life. Read below to find out more about our projects.

If you have questions, you can call us at 212-650-3878 or email at erlab@hunter.cuny.edu. You can also go here to fill out our contact form, and we will contact you to answer any questions you might have.

Current Teen Anxiety and Well-Being Studies

Investigating Difficult Emotions in Adolescents (IDEA) Study

Principal Investigators

Dr. Regina Miranda (Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY) and Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary (Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY)

Funding

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Grant Press Release:Click here

Challenge & Background

Adolescence is a time when people are most likely to attempt suicide, but identification of youth likely to do so remains difficult. Suicidal thoughts often precede suicide attempts, but for some teens, these thoughts go away while for others they repeatedly return. Because over half of adolescent suicides are first-time attempts, it is crucial to understand how and when suicidal thoughts increase risk for suicide attempts. The goal of this study is to identify cognitive, social, and emotional factors that interact with distinct patterns of suicidal thoughts to increase risk. Findings will serve to improve risk assessment and guide intervention.

Study Description

We are currently recruiting 12- to 17-year-olds from emergency departments and outpatient clinics in Manhattan and Bronx. This study combines measures of brain and behavior, including non-invasive EEG, measures of mood and anxiety symptoms, and clinical assessments.

If you are interested in participating in the study and would like to learn more, please contact the Emotion Regulation Lab at (212) 650-3878 or complete the Website Contact Form below.

Publications

See Dr. Miranda’s publications on adolescent suicide.

See Dr. Dennis-Tiwary’s publications on anxiety and attention biases.

 

Peer e-Emotion Regulation (PEER) Study

Principal Investigators

Dr. Sarah Myruski (Hunter College, CUNY and the NYU School of Medicine) and Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary (Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY)

Funding

Professional Staff Congress-CUNY (PSC-CUNY)
Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)

Challenge & Background

The pervasive use of mobile digital technology has transformed how adolescents communicate with their peers, who serve an increasingly important role in providing social and emotional support. As adolescence is a critical period of social and neural development, it is important to identify the ways in which social regulation of emotion via mobile digital technology can facilitate well-being. This novel study will provide foundational insights and data for future neurodevelopmental investigations into the social regulation of emotion via technology among adolescents and emerging adults.

Study Description

We are currently recruiting pairs of adolescents age 11-17. One adolescent should be 13-15 years old, and the second adolescent should be no more than 2 years younger or older than his/her peer. This study investigates peer-to-peer interactions via mobile technology and combines brain and behavioral measures, including EEG and measures of mood and anxiety symptoms.
If you are interested in participating in this study and would like to learn more, please contact the Emotion Regulation Lab at (212) 650-3878 or complete the Website Contact Form below.

Publications

See Dr. Dennis-Tiwary’s and Dr. Myruski’s publications on technology and well-being, digital mental health, and emotion regulation.

 

Teen Anxiety and the Brain (TAB) Study

Principal Investigators

Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary (Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY); Dr. Amy Roy (Fordham University and NYU School of Medicine); and Dr. Carrie Masia-Warner (Montclair State University and NYU School of Medicine).

Funding

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Grant Press Release:Click here

Challenge & Background

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness among teens, with symptoms frequently emerging during mid-adolescence, a period of rapid and profound brain development. Disruptions in attention towards emotional information are thought to contribute to anxiety. However, these disruptions and their neural bases are poorly understood. Our goal is to learn more about how patterns of brain activity related to how we pay attention to threat inform prevention and treatment of teen anxiety.

Study Description

We are currently recruiting 12- to- 14-year-olds for our research project. To capture a range of anxiety severity and symptoms, we are recruiting teens who show mild anxiety as well as those who show more moderate or severe levels of anxiety. This study combines measures of brain and behavior, including non-invasive fMRI and EEG, eye-tracking technology, and measures of mood and anxiety symptoms.

The outcome of this study will help improve treatment of anxiety disorders in youth by making more personalized intervention approaches possible.

Publications

See Dr. Dennis-Tiwary’s publications on anxiety and attention biases.

Wellness Resources

For some great resources to teach your teen how to stay mindful when in situations of stress or anxiety, click here.

Fill out the contact form below to request more information. Check the appropriate boxes to indicate which studies interest you.

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*For parents interested in participating in a study with their child, please include the child’s age in the “Age” box above.