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: Our study provided strategies on increasing respectful and useful conversations to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. We were curious to see how faith leaders in mainly Black congregations can help reduce HIV infections. We found that, although faith leaders felt comfortable discussing sexuality, the Scripture and the stigma around sexuality and homosexuality limited the conversations.

*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: Our study looks at the relationship between parenting and the spirituality of female caregivers who suffered recent domestic violence by a current or former intimate partner. Our findings show that positive parenting practices, more comfort in talking about their experience with domestic violence, and less comfort discussing substance use were all related with increased spirituality. This shows the importance of parenting and communication strategies for female caregivers suffering recent domestic violence.

*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 our study, we were interested in if factors that influence one’s development, such as parents, caregivers, the environment, etc., impacted one’s prejudice against Jewish people. Our findings show that there are several of these factors related with increased prejudice against Jewish people.

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: Our study explores whether an individual’s experience of racial conflict and racial distance affects the relationship between racial discrimination and depression. Results show that this conflict and distance does play a role in the relationship between racial discrimination and depression. However, further research is needed to pinpoint where this experience affects the relationship.

*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: Our study focuses on Black adolescents who go through a 10-week group intervention to prevent their emotional-overeating and binge-eating behaviors. During this intervention, they learn skills like accepting reality, tolerating distress, regulating emotions, achieving personal goals, and more. Our results show the participants found that the acceptance-based skills were 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: Although parent-child communication about substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS may be a preventative factor for future generations experiencing the same, mothers have a hard time with this type of conversations. Our study focuses on factors that affect the mothers’ comfort with having these conversations. Results show that mother’s who are victims of and perpetrators of violence are less willing to communicate with their children about their experiences. We found that the child’s age is a significant factor in this relationship.

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: In our study, we were interested in whether the mother’s exposure to domestic violence by an intimate partner as a child, and the amount of violence experienced with a current partner, has an impact on negative parenting practices. Our findings suggest that the association between current domestic violence severity and negative parenting practices was affected by the exposure as a child to domestic violence. This further shows the intergenerational nature of violence, meaning it carries over to the next generations.


*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: Our study explores the associations between demographics, HIV status, the severity of domestic violence by an intimate partner, spirituality, and symptoms of depressive, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress. Results demonstrate that women living with both HIV and experiencing severe domestic violence have increased mental health symptoms. Findings also revealed that spirituality has an effect on the relationship between HIV and mental health, such that higher spirituality is associated with greater mental health symptoms of depressive, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress.

*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: Our study took a look at how internalized weight stigma (IWS), or self-directed ridicule about one’s body size, is related to depression and how one perceives their body size in young adults. We found that in higher-weight and lean, Black individuals, IWS influences the relationship between how one perceives their body size and depression.

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: Our team designed a 10-week group intervention that teaches dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) skills to adolescents that struggle with binge and emotional eating, called the Emotional Overeating Intervention. In this paper, we describe a checklist that can be used for other researchers and clinicians to apply this intervention.

*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: Our study examines the protective role of resilience when looking at the relationship between stress and binge eating symptoms among adult female college students. While higher stress levels were significantly associated with serious binge eating symptoms, resilience was found to level out this relationship. High resilience levels were also associated with less serious binge eating symptoms in participants who viewed themselves as having high stress levels.

*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