(Clinical Psychology) Research Methods

Clinical Psychology Research Methods

This course is a survey of the major methods utilized in empirical clinical practice and program evaluation. Students learn experimental, quasi-experimental, and systematic single-subject designs, as well as principles and strategies of program evaluation and quality assurance in the delivery of mental health services in a variety of clinical settings. Initial formulations of clinical research proposals are encouraged.

Syllabus (new - January, 2013)

Syllabus (old)


  • Deblinger, E., McLeer, S., & Henry, D. (1990). Cognitive behavioral treatment for sexually abused children suffering post-traumatic stress. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 747-752. (pdf)

  • Wilson, G., Fairburn, C., Agras, W., Walsh, B., & Kraemer, H. (2002). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for bullemia nervosa. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 267. (pdf)

  • Meyer, B., Krupnick, J. L, Simmens, S. J., Pilkonis, P. A., Egan, M. K., & Sotsky, S. M. (2002). Treatment expectancies, patient alliance, and outcome: Further analyses from the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 1051-1055. (pdf)

  • Danner, D., Snowdon, D., & Friesen, W. (2001). Positive emotions in the early life and longevity: Findings from the Nun Study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 804-813. (pdf)


  • American Psychological Association. (2010, June 1). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct.. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/principles.pdf. (pdf)

  • Anestis, M. D., Anestis, J. C., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2011). When it comes to evaluating psychodynamic therapy, the devil is in the details. American Psychologist, 66(2) 149-151. (pdf)

  • APA Ethics Code (pdf)

  • Begley, S.. (2009, May 4). “Why Doctors Hate Science.” Newsweek. (link)

  • Begley, S. (2009, October 2). “Ignoring the Evidence.” Newsweek. (link)

  • Chambless, D. L. (2002). Beware of the dodo bird: The dangers of overgeneralization. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9(1), 13-16. (pdf)

  • Chambless, D.L., & Ollendick, T.H. (2001). Empirically supported psychological interventions: Controversies and evidence. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 685–716. (pdf)

  • Consumer Reports. (1995, November). Mental health: Does therapy help? pp. 734-739. (pdf)

  • Cuijpers, P., de Beurs, D. P., van Spijker,B. A. J., Berking, M., Andersson, G., & Kerkhof, A. J. F. M., (2013). The effect of psychotherapy for adult depression on suicidality and hopelessness: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 144, 183-190. (pdf)

  • Gerber, A. J., Kcosis, A. J., Milrod, B. L., Roose, S. P., Barber, J. P., Thase, M. E., Perkins, P., & Leon, A. C. (2011). A quality-based review of randomized controlled trials of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(1), 19-28. (pdf)

  • Gregorich, S. E. (2006). Do self-report instruments allow meaningful comparisons across diverse population groups? Testing measurement invariance using the confirmatory factor analysis framework. Medical care, 44(11 Suppl 3), S78-S94. (pdf)

  • Hedeker, D. (2004). An introduction to growth modeling. In D. Kaplan (Ed.), Quantitative Methodology for the Social Sciences. (pp. 215-234). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications. (pdf)

  • Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: Examples from the child-clinical and pediatric psychology literature. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 599-610. (pdf)

  • Hunsley, J., & DiGiulio, G. (2002). Dodo bird, phoenix, or urban legend? The question of psychotherapy equivalence. The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice. (link)

  • Imber, S. D., Glanz, L. M., Elkin, I., Sotsky, S. M., Boyer, J. L., & Leber, W. R. (1986). Ethical issues in psychotherapy research: Problems in a collaborative clinical trials study. American Psychologist, 41, 137-146. (pdf)

  • Jacobson, N. S., & Truax, P. (1991). Clinical significance: A statistical approach to define meaningful change in psychotherapy research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 12-19. (pdf)

  • Jacobson, N. S. (1998) The overselling of psychotherapy. In S. O. Lilienfeld (Ed.). Looking into abnormal psychology: Contemporary readings. (pp. 167-173). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. (pdf). {originally published in the March/April 1995 The Family Therapy Networker, 19, pp. 41-47}

  • Kelley, K., & Preacher, K. J. (2012). On effect size. Psychological Methods, 17, 137-152. (pdf)

  • Lilienfeld, S.O. (2007). Psychological treatments that cause harm. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 53-70. (pdf)

  • Maher, B. A. (1978). A reader’s, writer’s and reviewer’s guide to assessing research reports in clinical psychology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 835-838. (pdf)

  • McKay, D. (2011). Methods and mechanisms in the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 66(2) 147-148. (pdf)

  • Russell, R. L., Jones, M. E., & Miller, S. A. (2007). Core process components in psychotherapy: A synthetic review of P-technique studies.Psychotherapy Research, 17(3), 273-291. (pdf)

  • Seligman, M. E. P. (1995). The effectiveness of psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports study. American Psychologist, 50, 965-974. (pdf)

  • Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98-109. (pdf)

  • Shedler, J. (2011). Science or ideology? American Psychologist, 66(2) 152-154. (pdf)

  • Smit, Y. Huibers, M. J. H., Ioannidis, J. P. A., van Dyck, R., van Tilburg, W., & Arntz, A. (2012). The effectiveness of long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy - A meta-analysis of controlled trials. Clinical Psychology Review, 32(2), 81-92. (pdf)

  • Thombs, B. D., Jewett, J. R., & Bassell, M. Is there room for criticism of studies of psychodynamic psychotherapy? American Psychologist, 66(2) 148-149. (pdf)

  • Tryon, W. W., & Tryon, G. S. (2011). No ownership of common factors. American Psychologist, 66(2) 151-52.(pdf)

  • Wilkinson, L., and the Task Force on Statistical Inference (1999). Statistical methods in psychology journals: Guidelines and explanations. American Psychologist, 54, 594-604. (pdf)

Data from class on the Ten Item Personality Inventory from class (opens in SPSS)

Syntax for the Ten Item Personality Inventory from class (scores all scale, as well as computes reliability for only Extraversion [EXT] and Emotional Stability/Neuroticism [NEU])

Link to info on the Ten Item Personality Inventory

Link to information on McDonald's omega in general as well as computational materials using the free R software package. Note with only 2 items, alpha and omega are the same.

  • McDonald's omega for EXT and NEU syntax (text file)

  • McDonald's omega for EXT and NEU output (text file)

Link to MPA's convention page

Link to APS's Clinical Psychological Science journal

Assessing Research

A web site with replication attempts

Web site which says "Scientists claim no further research is necessary."

Reise, S. P., & Waller, N. G. (2003). How many IRT parameters does it take to model psychopathology items? Psychological Methods, 8(2), 164-184. (pdf)

Deblinger, E., McLeer, S., & Henry, D. (1990). Cognitive behavioral treatment for sexually abused children suffering post-traumatic stress. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 747-752. (pdf)

Wilson, G., Fairburn, C., Agras, W., Walsh, B., & Kraemer, H. (2002). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for bullemia nervosa. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 267. (pdf)

Julie's Article

Minnis, H., Green, J. O'Connor, T. G., Liew, A., Glaser, D., Taylor, E., Follan, M., Young, D., Barnes, J., Gillberg, C., Pelosi, A., Arthur, J., Burston, A., Connolly, B., & Sadiq, F. A. (2009). An exploratory study of the association between reactive attachment disorder and attachment narratives in early school-age children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(8), 931-942. (pdf)

Ignatius's Article

Moosa, M. Y. H., & Jeenah, F. Y. (2012). Antidepressants versus interpersonal psychoterapy in treating depression in HIV-positive patients. South African Journal of Psychiatry, 18(2), 47-52. (pdf)

Megan's Article

Meltzer, L.J., & Rourke, M.T. (2005). Oncology summer camp: Benefits of social comparison. Children's Health Care, 34(4), 305-314. (pdf)

Rachel's Article

Hymer, S. M., & Rubin, A. M. (1982). Alternative lifestyle clients: Therapists' attitudes and clinical experiences. Small Group Research, 13(4), 532-541. (pdf)

Zeeshan's Article

Jackson, C. L., & Cohen, R. (2012). Childhood victimization: Modeling the relation between classroom victimization, cyber victimization, and psychosocial functioning. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1(4), 254-269. (pdf)

Jenna's Article

Brumbaugh, C. C., & Fraley, R. C. (2006). Transference and attachment: How do attachment patterns get carried forward from one relationship to the next? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 552-560. (pdf)

Angelica's Article

Lehman, S. J., & Koerner, S. S. (2002). Family financial hardship and adolescent girls' adjustment: The role of maternal disclosure of financial concerns. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48(1), 1-24. (pdf)

Mo's Article

Linehan, M. M., Goodstein, J. L., Nielsen, S. L., & Chiles, J. A. (1983). Reasons for staying alive when you are thinking of killing yourself: The reasons for living inventory. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51(2), 276-296. (pdf)

Dana's Article:


Schultz, L. E. (2007). The influence of maternal loss on young women's experience of identity development in emerging adulthood. Death Studies, 31, 17-43. (pdf)


Lee, S. M., Kushner, J., & Cho, S. H. (2007). Effects of parent's gender, child's gender, and parental involvement on the academic achievement of adolescents in single parent families. Sex Roles, 56, 149-157. (pdf)

Interesting Resources on Regression Discontinuity Designs (this material may not be covered in class)

  • Campbell, D. T. (1969). Reforms as experiments. American Psychologist, 24, 409-429.(pdf)

  • Chapman, S., Alpers, P., Agho, K., & Jones, M. (2006). Australia's 1996 gun law reforms: faster falls in firearm deaths, firearm suicides, and a decade without mass shootings, Injury Prevention, 12, 365-372. (Link)

  • Cook, T. D. (2008). “Waiting for Life to Arrive”: A history of the regression-discontinuity design in psychology, statistics and economics. Journal of Econometrics,142(2), 636-654. (pdf)

  • Imbens, G., & Lemieux, T. (2008). Special issue editors' introduction: The regression discontinuity design - Theory and application. Journal of Econometrics, 142(2), 611-613. (pdf)

  • Imbens, G., & Lemieux, T. (2008). Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice. Journal of Econometrics 142(2), 615-635. (pdf)

  • Kenney, D. A. (1975). A quasi-experimental approach to assessing treatment effects in the nonequivalent control group design. Psychological Bulletin, 82(3), 345-362. (pdf)

  • Lee, D. S., & Card, D. (2008). Regression discontinuity inference with specification error. Journal of Econometrics, 142(2), 655-674. (pdf)

  • Thistlewaite, D., & Campbell, D. (1960). Regression-Discontinuity Analysis: An alternative to the ex post facto experiment, Journal of Educational Psychology, 51(6),309-317. (pdf)

  • Rubin, D. (1977). Assignment to treatment on the basis of a covariate. Journal of Educational Statistics, 2(1), 1-26. (pdf)

Application Articles from Journal of Econometrics, Volume 142, Issue 2