Our clinicians are actively engaged in psychological research and believe that research can enhance psychotherapy practice, and vice versa. In addition, our therapists are avid consumers of psychological literature, regularly attending and presenting at scientific meetings. Below we provide a brief description of the research interests and experiences of our clinicians.

Dr. Jessica Borelli specializes in the study of relationships -- the majority of work her pertains to parent-child relationships, with a focus on identifying and understanding the self-perpetuating cycles that families can find themselves in with respect to parenting an anxious or depressed child. In addition, Dr. Borelli has conducted research on children experiencing using circumstances, such as adopted children, children born in a prison nursery system, transgender children or children with fluid gender identities, and children whose parents have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Dr. Borelli has also conducted research studies on couples, exploring issues related to divorce, military deployment, and sustaining a long distance romantic relationship. Over the past five years, Dr. Borelli has been working on developing an intervention that can be used to improve relationship quality. Dr. Borelli has published more than 60 articles and book chapters and maintains an active research laboratory at UC Irvine. She is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Child and Family Studies, a member of the editorial board of Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and on the board of directors of River Stones Residential Treatment Facility.

Representative publications:

  • Borelli, J.L., Hong, K., Rasmussen, H. F., & Smiley, P. A. (in press). Reflective functioning, physiological reactivity, and overcontrol in mothers: Links with school-aged children’s reflective functioning. Developmental Psychology.
  • Borelli, J. L., Burkhart, M., Rasmussen, H. F., Smiley, P. A., & Hellemann, G. (2017). Children's and mothers' cardiovascular reactivity to a standardized laboratory stressor: Unique relations with maternal anxiety and overcontrol. Emotion. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/emo0000320
  • Borelli, J. L., Smiley, P. A., Rasmussen, H. F., Gómez, A, Seaman, L. C., & Nurmi, E. L. (2017). Interactive effects of attachment and FKBP5 genotype on school-aged children's emotion regulation and depressive symptoms. Behavioural Brain Research, 325, 278-289. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2016.07.035
  • Borelli, J. L., Ho, L., Sohn, Epps, L., Coyiuto, M., & West, J. L. (2016). School-aged children’s attachment dismissal prospectively predicts divergence of their behavioral and self-reported anxiety. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, 1018-1028. doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0619-y

Gerin Gaskin is in the process of completing her doctorate in positive developmental psychology. For the first part of her research career, Gerin focused on developing and testing behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. Recognizing an unmet mental health need, with her doctoral work, Gerin has devoted herself to developing and testing an intervention for parents of children with ASD. This respecialization has required substantial investment of time and effort, necessitating that Gerin master a new research methodology.

Representative publications:

  • Gaskin, G. E., & Borelli, J. L. (in press). Behavioral assessment techniques of personality in children. In B. J. Carducci (Editor-in-Chief & Vol Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell encyclopedia of personality and individual differences: Vol. II. Research methods and assessment techniques. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.


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