Hunter psychology professor Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary has been awarded a $1.59 million grant to study adolescent anxiety. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the research will be jointly conducted at Hunter and the New York University Langone Health’s Child Study Center.For many people, adolescence is a time when anxiety emerges at its fullest throttle; this developmental period, which comes with its own stressors and difficulties, can be particularly difficult for people prone to anxiety. The study will examine a novel target of intervention for anxious youth, the anxiety-related attention bias, which is the propensity to over-focus attention on fear-based thoughts and potential threats in the environment.
Using an innovative combination of brain-based and behavioral methods, the primary aim is to establish core subtypes of attention bias in anxious adolescents, and test links with specific anxiety symptoms. Once these subtypes are better understood and more easily identified, early detection and treatment of anxiety for this vulnerable population and prevention of adult mental health problems will be strengthened.
Professor Dennis-Tiwary will collaborate with researchers from NYU and Fordham University, and her research team will include both Master’s and undergraduate students from Hunter’s psychology department. For more information about Professor Dennis-Tiwary’s work, visit her website.