Recent Publications


*Thurston, I. B., Decker, K. M., Kamody, R. C., Kaufman, C. C., Maye, C. E., Richmond, T. K., & Sonneville, K. R. (2021). The Scale Matters: Assessing Body Size with Figure Rating Scales in a Diverse Sample of Young Adults. Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity.

*Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., & Burton, E. T. (2021). Adolescent Engagement in a Binge-Eating Behavioral Health Intervention: Influence of Perceptions of Physical Appearance and Locus of Control. Children, 8, 102.

Study-In-Brief: Our study provided treatment to adolescents who struggle with binge eating and emotional eating. We were curious about how adolescent’s body image and beliefs about whether they can control their health would influence how well they responded to our emotional overeating treatment. We found that adolescents who believe that they have control over their own health and who have more positive body image had the best responses to our treatment.


Pichon, L.C., Powell, T. W., Stubbs, A. W., Becton-Odum, N., Ogg, S., *Arnold, T., & Thurston, I. B. (In press). An exploration of U.S. southern faith leaders' perspectives of sexuality and sexual health teachings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Study-In-Brief: This study focuses on how U.S. southern faith leaders in predominantly Black congregations can help reduce HIV infections. Results showed that, despite faith leaders feeling comfortable discussing sexuality, they are limited in their ability to due so by the Scripture, as well as the stigma and secrecy surrounding sexuality and homosexuality. The study gives strategies on increasing respectful and effective discussion to decrease the spread of HIV/AIDS.

*Kaufman, C. C., Howell, K. H., *Mandell, J. E., Hasselle, A. J., & Thurston, I. B. (In Press). Spirituality and Parenting among Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Family Violence.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines how parenting is associated with spirituality among female caregivers who experienced recent intimate partner violence (IPV). Findings suggest that positive parenting practices, more comfort discussing IPV, and greater discomfort discussing substance use were associated with increased spirituality, elucidating the importance of communication strategies and communication among mother survivors of IPV.

*Kaufman, C. C., *Paladino, J. P., *Porter, D. V., & Thurston, I. B. (In Press). A Literature Review of Psychological Research Examining Antisemitism in the United States. Antisemitism Studies.

Study-In-Brief: In this systematic review, we examine the relationship between antisemitism and bioecological factors such as person, process, and context, guided by the Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of human development. Findings demonstrate that there are several bioecological factors associated with increased antisemitism.

Marks, L. R., Thurston, I. B., *Kamody, R. C., & Schaeffer-Smith, M. (In Press). The Role of Multiracial Identity Integration in the Relation between Discrimination and Depression in Multiracial Young Adults. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

Study-In-Brief: This study investigates multiracial identity integration as a potential mediator of the relationship between racial discrimination and depression. The results show that multiracial identity integration partially mediates the positive relationship between racial discrimination and depression. Further research is needed to fully understand how racial discrimination affects depression through multicultural identity integration.

*Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., & Burton, E. T. (2020). Acceptance-based skill acquisition and cognitive reappraisal in a culturally responsive treatment for binge eating in adolescence. Eating Disorders, 28, 184-201.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines the acceptability and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill acquisition from the Emotional Overeating Intervention (EOI), a culturally responsive group-based treatment that focuses on training DBT skills, among Black adolescents endorsing emotional-overeating and binge-eating behaviors. Of those who participated in the pilot EOI pilot trial, most identified the acceptance-based DBT skills (especially radical acceptance) as both highly acceptable and the most helpful part of treatment.

*Decker, K. M., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Hasselle, A. J., & *Kamody, R. C. (2020). Associations between profiles of maternal strengths and positive parenting practices among mothers experiencing adversity. Parenting: Science and Practice.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines how patterns of maternal strengths are associated with positive parenting practices using a latent profile analysis, which generated classes of individual, relational, and contextual factors to represent the profiles of mothers experiencing adversity. Results show that mothers who endorse greater individual, relational, and contextual factors utilize more positive parenting techniques.

*Kamody, R.C., Howell, K.H., Schwartz, L.E., & Schaefer, L.M., & Thurston, I.B. (2020). A Cross-Sectional Examination of Intimate Partner Violence and Mother-Child Communication. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29, 1363-1373.

Study-In-Brief: As parent-child communication about substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS may be a protective factor against intergenerational risks, this study examines factors that affect mother’s comfort with having these conversations. Findings demonstrate that mother’s who are victims of and perpetrators of violence are less willing to communicate with their children.

Hasselle, A. J., Howell, K. H., Thurston, I. B., *Kamody, R. C., & Crossnine, C. B. (2020). Childhood Exposure to Partner Violence as a Moderator of Current Partner Violence and Negative Parenting. Violence Against Women, 26, 851-869.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines the joint impact of a mother's exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) as a child and the amount of violence experienced with a current partner on parenting practices. Results suggest that the association between current IPV severity and negative parenting practices is moderated by IPV exposure variables (i.e., total types of IPV witnessed, witnessing sexual IPV, and witnessing psychological IPV) during childhood, highlighting the intergenerational nature of violence.


*Kaufman, C, C., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., & Crossnine, C. B. (2019). Associations between spirituality and mental health in women exposed to adversity. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines the associations between demographics, HIV status, IPV severity, spirituality, and mental health symptomatology, and the moderating effect of spirituality as a moderator between adversity (i.e., HIV and IPV) and mental health. Findings demonstrate that women living with both HIV and experiencing severe IPV have increased mental health symptoms, and revealed spirituality as a moderator between HIV and mental health, such that higher spirituality is associated with greater mental health symptomatology among women with HIV.

*Hardin, R. N., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., *Kamody, R. C., & *Kaufman, C. C. (In Press). External Predictors of Community Cohesion in Women Living with HIV. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Study-In-Brief: How can we increase community cohesion for women living with HIV (WLVH) Dr. Thurston and colleagues discuss how a higher level of resilience and social support can be strongly associated with community cohesion for WLWH as they face adversity on a daily basis. As we know that community connectedness has many benefits, their studies find that it serves as a protective factor along with support networks and positive, resilience resources.

*Kaufman, C, C., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., & Crossnine, C. B. (In Press). Patterns of Mental Health and their Associations with Spirituality in Women Exposed to Adversity. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Study-In-Brief: The current study evaluates predictors of resilience following traumatic experiences in women exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Using a hierarchical linear regression model to examine factors related to resilience, researchers found that greater social support, more spirituality, and fewer violent relationships predicted more resilience in women exposed to IPV.

*Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., Pluhar, E. I., Han, J. C., & Burton, E. T. (2019). Implementing a condensed dialectical behavior therapy skills group for binge eating behaviors in adolescents. Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, 24, 367-372.

Study-In-Brief: Binge Eating disorder (BED) can cause harmful psychological and physical effects on today’s youth. In this impactful study, a condensed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills intervention is used to examine the emotionally driven over eating behaviors in participants ages 14-18. Results reveal that DBT can be a potential remedy to the Symptoms of BED and potentially to the full development of it as well.

*Maclin-Akinyemi, C., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Jamison, L. E., & *Anderson, M. B. (2019). The Protective Role of Ethnic Identity and Community Cohesion on Substance Use among Black Women Experiencing Adversity. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 1-16.

Study-In-Brief: This study seamlessly intertwined the roles that ethnic identity and community cohesion play in lowering substance use among Black women. Results showed that Black women facing adversity can benefit from a strong sense of ethnic identity and greater unity within their community as these protective factors can significantly lower substance use.

Hasselle, A. J., Howell, K. H., Thurston, I. B., *Kamody, R. C., & Crossnine, C. B. (2019). Childhood Exposure to Partner Violence as a Moderator of Current Partner Violence and Negative Parenting. Violence Against Women.

Study-In-Brief: In a community based research study with mothers of school aged children, researchers looked into children’s exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) in relation to parenting practices and community connectedness. Using qualitative evidence, they found that there is significant value in examining the dangerous cycle of IPT that can carry through generations and into negative parenting practices.


*Kaufman, C.C., Thurston, I.B., *Maclin-Akinyemi, C., *Hardin, R.N., *Decker, K.M., & *Kamody, R.C. (2018). Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults with Overweight and Obesity. Journal of American College Health, 1-7

Study-In-Brief: About 33% of college students are considered "overweight" or "obese", so Dr. Thurston and her colleagues looked into what role positive body image plays in their depressive symptoms. In simple terms, the results show that more exercise and body positivity are associated with a lower level of depression symptoms.

Howell, K.H., Thurston, I.B., Hasselle, A.J., *Decker, K., & Jamison, L.E. (2018). Systemic Factors associated with Prosocial Skills and Maladaptive Functioning in Youth Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Study-In-Brief: Unfortunately, It is not rare for children to witness sexual, physical, and /or psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) in their household. Exposure to IPV can be detrimental but can also build resilience as a result. This study found that after examining youth maladaptive functioning and pro social skills, exposure to IPV can produce positive or negative functioning outcomes.

Schaefer, L. M., Howell, K. H., Thurston, I. B., *Kaufman, C. C., Hasselle, A. H. (2018). Protective Factors Associated with Fewer Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms among Women Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Study-In-Brief: There is not enough literature on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as it can co-exist within women who are exposed to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). In this paper, Dr. Thurston and colleagues examine GAD and the protective roles of essential support systems such as family, community, and friends as it relates to IPV. Results showcased the importance of examining various supports for women who are experiencing IPV.

Thurston, I. B., Howell, K.H., *Kamody, R.C., *Maclin-Akinyemi, C., & *Mandell, J. (2018). Resilience as a Moderator between Syndemics and Depression in Mothers Living with HIV. AIDS Care, 30, 1257-1264.

Study-In-Brief: Researchers examined the co-occurrence of substance abuse, violence, and HIV/AIDS (SAVA) adversities in mothers living with HIV. They were also concerned with how resilience can serve as a moderator in this relationship. Using a syndemic conceptual framework, findings showcased that SAVA adversities heightened depression in mothers living with HIV while resilience was a protective factor that lowers these effects.

*Decker, K. M., Thurston, I. B., & *Kamody, R. C. (2018). The Mediating Role of Internalized Weight Stigma on Weight Perception and Depression among Emerging Adults: Exploring Moderation by Weight and Race. Body Image, 27, 202- 210.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines the mediating role of internalized weight stigma (IWS) in the association between perceived weight and depressive symptoms in young adults. Findings revealed that IWS mediated the effect of self-perceived weight on depressive symptoms for higher-weight participants and lean, Black participants. Self-perceived weight had a significant, direct effect of IWS for all groups.

Pluhar, E. I., *Kamody, R. C., Sanchez, J., Thurston, I. B., & Burton, E. T. (2018). Description of an Intervention to Treat Binge-Eating Behaviors among Adolescents: Applying the Template for Intervention Description and Replication. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 51, 1128-1133.

Study-In-Brief: This paper describes a 10-week DBT-skills based group intervention for adolescents exhibiting binge-eating symptomatology, called the Emotional Overeating Intervention (EOI). A checklist is provided within the paper, intended to provide necessary details for implementation and replication

*Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., *Decker, K. M., *Kaufman, C. C., Sonneville, K. R., & Richmond, T. K. (2018). Relating Shape/Weight Based Self-Esteem, Depression, and Anxiety with Weight and Perceived Physical Health among Young Adults. Body Image, 25, 168-176.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines the effects of self-esteem, depression, and anxiety on weight and perceived physical health in young adults. Latent profile analyses revealed 3 profiles: 1) High Shape/Weight Influence (HSWI), 2) Low Shape/Weight, Depression, and Anxiety Influence (LSWDAI), and 3) High Depression and Anxiety Influence (HDAI). Findings demonstrate that overvaluation of shape and weight is associated with elevated weight and worse perceived health.

Thurston, I. B., *Hardin, R., *Kamody, R.C., Herbozo, S., & *Kaufman, C. (2018). The Moderating Role of Resilience on the Relationship Between Perceived Stress and Binge Eating Symptoms among Young Adult Women. Eating Behaviors, 29, 114-119.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines the protective role of resilience in the relationship between stress and binge eating symptoms among adult female college students. While higher perceived stress was significantly associated with severity of binge eating symptoms, resilience was found to moderate this relationship; high levels of resilience was associated with less severe binge eating symptoms in participants with high perceived stress.

*Kaufman, C.C. & Thurston, I.B. (2018). JPP Student Journal Club Commentary: Toward a More Complete Understanding of Disruption and Resilience among Latino and Non-Latino White Youth with Spina Bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43, 120-121.

Study-In-Brief: This commentary discusses a study conducted with Latino and non-Latino White youth with spina bifida and how family functioning impacts their psychosocial functioning. The study highlights the importance of examining disruption and resilience in the context of chronic illness across racial and ethnic identities, and a need for more research that examines psychosocial and family dynamics in Latino youth with spina bifida.

Thurston, I. B., *Hardin, R., *Decker, K., *Arnold, T., Howell, K. H., and Phares, V. (2018). Black and White Parents’ Willingness to Seek Help for Children’s Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74, 161–177.

Study-In-Brief: This study examines factors which influence parent’s intentions of seeking formal and informal help for child internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Results demonstrated that problem recognition was linked with higher intentions of seeking help from almost all informal and formal resources. The study underscores the importance of reducing barriers to help-seeking and increasing parent’s problem recognition to improve health equity.


Thurston, I. B., Sonneville, K. R., Milliren, C., *Kamody, R. C., Gooding, H. C., & Richmond, T. K. (2017). Cross-sectional and Prospective Examination of Weight Misperception and Depressive Symptoms among Adolescents with Overweight and Obesity. Prevention Science, 18, 152-163.

Study-In-Brief: This study examined associations between weight misperception and depressive symptoms among higher weight (BMI categories of “overweight” or “obese”) youth of cross-cultural backgrounds. Findings demonstrate that misperceiving weight as “average” was associated with significantly lower depressive symptoms compared to those whose weight perception matched with their BMI, particularly among White youth. Clinical and population interventions should consider the benefits of weight misperception on mental health in the context of higher weight youth.

*Anderson, M. B., Okwumabua, T. M., & Thurston, I. B. (2017). Adolescent Condom Carnival: Feasibility of a novel group intervention for decreasing sexual risk. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 17, 135-148.

Study-In-Brief: This study examined the effects of a brief, peer-led, group sexual risk reduction program in a predominantly Black young adult population. Participants reported significant increases in lubricant safety awareness and intentions to use condoms, but only three-quarters of participants endorsed the intention to always carry a condom. Findings point to a need to explore the disconnect between the intention to use and the intention to carry a condom and develop strategies to promote condom carrying among young people.

Berlin, K. S., *Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., Banks, G. G., Rybak, T. M., & Ferry, R. J. (2017). Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Nutritional Risk Profiles and Relations to Body Mass Index, Obesity, and Overweight in Eighth Grade. Behavioral Medicine, 43, 31-39.

Study-In-Brief: In this study, varying patterns of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and nutritional intake and its effects on youth demographics, BMI, and psychosocial functioning were determined from the 2007 8th Grade Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Cohort. Differing patterns of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and nutritional intake were found to predict the BMI and psychosocial functioning.

*Denotes CHANGE Lab student author