The goal of this award is to support the development of a research career in an academic setting with a focus on implementation science in the service of advancing effective mental health interventions for children and adolescents. The well-documented gap between mental health research and mental health practice has prompted the need for research collaborations between practice and research partners in order to increase the effectiveness of interventions delivered to youth in practice settings;this need is especially salient in the area of adolescent depression. Thus, the paramount goals of the current proposal are a) to use a partnership between researchers and school-based mental health professionals to develop an observational coding method to characterize school-based usual care group psychotherapy for adolescent depression, b) develop a databse of strategies used by usual care providers to increase implementability and engagement, and c) to use the resulting coding system to identify specific procedures and common factors used in group psychotherapy that predict clinical improvement in depression coding sessions from already collected data. A corollary aim, for the independent investigator phase, will be to incorporate the procedures associated with clinical improvement, as well as implementability and engagement, into an enhanced intervention for adolescent depression and to test the effectiveness and feasibility of this intervention in a small randomized trial. This sequence of studies will provide information regarding the effective elements of usual care, which will benefit the direction of future interventions to address adolescent depresison. As well, the research-practice partnership that is central to this proposal targets the oft-criticized unidirectionality of efforts to bridge the research-practice gap via transporting evidence-based treatments designed into real-world practice settings for which they may be ill-suited. These studies will grant me opportunities to consult with leading experts in the areas of services and effectiveness research (Drs. John Weisz and Ann Garland), treatment of adolescent depression (Drs. Laura Mufson, Kevin Stark, Paul Rohde), observational coding (Drs. Bryce McLeod and Stephen Shirk), common factors of effective therapies (Dr. John Norcross), psychodynamic therapies (Stuart Ablon) and multilevel modeling (Dr. Sharon-Lise Normand), as well as expanding my research skills in preparation for a career as an independent investigator.

Public Health Relevance

The prevalence of youth depression constitutes a major public health concern;yet treatment effect sizes from randomized clinical trials are modest. Moreover, the majority of children and adolescents who receive mental health interventions receive them in school, where the interventions remain largely undocumented. Identifying the elements used in these treatments could inform interventions to treat adolescent depression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Transition Award (R00)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
Program Officer
Hill, Lauren D
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Other Domestic Higher Education
New York
United States
Zip Code
Bearman, Sarah Kate; Schneiderman, Robyn L; Zoloth, Emma (2017) Building an Evidence Base for Effective Supervision Practices: An Analogue Experiment of Supervision to Increase EBT Fidelity. Adm Policy Ment Health 44:293-307
Bearman, Sarah Kate; Wadkins, Melanie; Bailin, Abby et al. (2015) Pre-Practicum Training in Professional Psychology to Close the Research-Practice Gap: Changing Attitudes Towards Evidence-Based Practice. Train Educ Prof Psychol 9:13-20
Bearman, Sarah Kate; Weisz, John R (2015) Review: Comprehensive treatments for youth comorbidity - evidence-guided approaches to a complicated problem. Child Adolesc Ment Health 20:131-141
Bearman, Sarah Kate; Garland, Ann F; Schoenwald, Sonja K (2014) From Practice to Evidence in Child Welfare: Model Specification and Fidelity Measurement of Team Decisionmaking. Child Youth Serv Rev 39:153-159
Weisz, John R; Chorpita, Bruce F; Frye, Alice et al. (2011) Youth Top Problems: using idiographic, consumer-guided assessment to identify treatment needs and to track change during psychotherapy. J Consult Clin Psychol 79:369-80