College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychology

 Diversity Interests of the Clinical Faculty


I am currently using latent variable modeling procedures (e.g., confirmatory factor analysis, structural regression analysis, latent growth analysis, item response theory) to study ADHD, Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, and ODD within and across countries. Current projects focuses on the usefulness of the sluggish cognitive tempo symptoms to improve understanding of ADHD (e.g., longitudinal research with Spanish colleagues on the development of SCT and ADHD-IN symptom dimensions in Spanish children). Students who work with me have the opportunity to examine ethnic and cultural differences in child behavior problems as well as learn advanced measurement and analytic procedures.

Relevant Papers:

Burns, G. L., Servera, M., Bernad, M. M., Carrillo, J., & Cardo, E. (in press). Distinctions between Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, ADHD-IN and Depression Symptom Dimensions in Spanish First-Grade Children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

McBurnett, K., Villodas, M., Hinshaw, S. P., Beaulieu, A., & Pfiffner, L. J. (in press). Structure and Validity of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Using an Expanded Item Pool in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Lee, S.Y., Burns, G. L., Snell, J., & McBurnett, K. (2013). Validity of the sluggish cognitive tempo symptom dimension in children: Sluggish cognitive tempo and ADHD-Inattention as distinct symptom dimensions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10-1007/s10802=-013-9714-3. 17 January 2013.

Khadka, G., & Burns, G. L. (2013). A measurement framework to determine the construct validity of ADHD/ODD rating scales: Additional evaluations of the Child and Adolescent Disruptive Behavior Inventory. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 35, 283-292.

Burns, G. L., Walsh, J. A., Severa, M., Lorenzo-Seva, U., Cardo, E., & Rodríguez-Fornells, A. (2013). Construct validity of ADHD/ODD rating scales: Recommendations for the evaluation of forthcoming DSM-V ADHD/ODD scales. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 15-26.

Shipp, F., Burns, G. L., & Desmul, C. (2010) Construct validity of ADHD-IN, ADHD-HI, ODD toward Adults, academic and social competence dimensions with teacher rating of Thai adolescents. Journal of Pyschopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32, 557-564.

Moura, M. A. & Burns, G. L. (2010). Oppositional defiant disorder toward adults and oppositional defiant disorder toward other children: Evidence for two separate constructs with mothers’ and fathers’ ratings of Brazilian children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry., 51, 23-30.

Severa, M., Lorenzo-Seva, U., Cardo, E., Rodríguez-Fornells, A., & Burns, G. L. (2010). Understanding trait and source effects in ADHD and ODD rating scales: Mothers’, fathers’ and teachers’ ratings of children from the Balearic Islands. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology., 39, 1-11.



I have established a collaborative relationship with Helena Slobodskaya, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, State Research Institute of Physiology Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, exchanging visits and pursuing a variety of projects. Most recently, Dr. Slobodskaya and I collected longitudinal data in Russia and the U.S., evaluating parental report of temperament for infants and toddlers, as well as the development of behavior problems in the toddler period. Prior cross- cultural research provided support for the reliability and validity of the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised (IBQ-R) with a Russian sample, and yielded a number of significant mean differences between the two cultures. Parents of infants in the U.S. reported higher levels for infant characteristics associated with surgency/extraversion (i.e., positive emotionality), compared to parents of infants in Russia. In addition, Russian infants’ scores for the anger/frustration dimension were higher relative to their U.S. counterparts, based on parent-report indicators. Further comparisons of the structure of infant temperament for U.S. and Russia were conducted (via confirmatory factor analysis), demonstrating a generally consistent pattern of factor loadings across these two cultures. In addressing infant temperament predictors of toddler attention-based effortful control (EC), infant regulatory capacity/orienting was demonstrated as predictive of later EC for U.S. and Russian toddlers, with infant surgency/extraversion making a significant contribution to EC development for American but not Russian children. Temperament data has also been collected in other countries (e.g., Spain, Japan, Poland) and comparisons between these cultures have indicated a pattern of similarities along with significant differences between parents’ perceptions of their infants. Some of these differences, but not all, were consistent with the idea that the individualistic/collectivistic cultural orientation of the respective countries may be in part responsible for the observed discrepancies in child attributes.

Relevant Papers:

Montirosso, R., Cozzi, P., Putnam, S. P., Gartstein, M. A., (2010). Studying cross-cultural differences in temperament in the first year of life: United States of America (US) and Italy. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35, 27-37.

Gartstein, M.A., Slobodskaya, H.R., Żylicz, P.A., & Nakagawa, N. (2009). A Cross-cultural Evaluation of Temperament Development: Japan, United States of America, Poland and Russia. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Gartstein, M.A., Slobodskaya, H.R., Putnam, S.P., Kinsht, I.A. (2009). A Cross-Cultural Study of Infant Temperament: Predicting Preschool Effortful Control in the United States of America (U.S.) and Russia. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 6, 337-364.

Gartstein, M.A., Peleg, Y., Young, B.N., & Slobodskaya, H.R. (2009). Infant temperament in Russia, United States of America, and Israel: Differences and similarities between Russian-speaking families. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 40, 241-256.

Gartstein, M.A., Gonzalez, C., Carranza, J.A., Ahadi, S.A., Ye, R., Rothbart, M.K., & Yang, S.W. (2006). Studying the Development of Infant Temperament through Parent Report: Commonalities and Differences for the People’s Republic of China, the United States of America, and Spain. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 37, 145-161.

Gartstein, M.A., Knyazev, G.G., & Slobodskaya, H.R. (2005). Cross-cultural differences in the structure of infant temperament: United States of America (U.S.) and Russia. Infant Behavior and Development, 28, 54-61.

Gartstein, M.A., Slobodskaya, H.R., Kinsht, I.A. (2003). Cross-cultural differences in the first year of life: United States of America (U.S.) and Russian. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 316-328.



My research program includes the use of a positive psychology approach examining resiliency to life stress. My past work has examined the roles of variables such as hope and humor in avoiding depressive reactions to negative life events. I am interested in extending this work to examine how individuals from stigmatized groups [e.g., lesbian/gay/bisexual (LGB) individuals, ethnic minority individuals] maintain positive mental health outcomes in the face of societal discrimination.

Along these lines, we have completed a longitudinal study which examined how some lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals are able to remain resilient in the face of life stress and experiences of discrimination. Data from a sample of LGB individuals from both a rural and urban setting revealed that hope (high expectations of achieving future goals) is a buffering variable that allows individuals to maintain life satisfaction in the face of high levels of job discrimination. I am also interested in applying this work to ethnicminority individuals.

Relevant conference presentations:

Hugelshofer, D. S., Kwon, P., Sams, N. C., Hines, P., & Draggie, M. (2005, May). The influence of lesbian, gay, and bisexual speaker panels on undergraduates' behavior toward sexual minorities. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Los Angeles, CA.[Winner of the APS RiSE-UP (Research on Socially and Economically Underrepresented Populations) research competition]

King, L., Hugelshofer, D. S., Kwon, P., Sams, N. C., & Thompson, J. A. (2005, May). The effectiveness of LGB speaker panels in facilitating attitude change toward bisexuals. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Los Angeles, CA.

Thompson, J. A., Hugelshofer, D. S., Kwon, P., King, L., & Hines, P. (2005, May). Identifying the intervention selection bias in research examining attitudes toward sexual minorities. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Los Angeles, CA.



Current research interests include anxiety, isolated sleep paralysis, psychoanalytic therapy research, prefessional issues (e.g., the evaluation of psychologists' research competence), and the intersections of philosophy with clinical psychology. Current areas of diversity interest include cataloguing and understanding certain experiences and interpretations of sleep paralysis phenomena (esp. hallucinations), assessing whether or not specific manifestations of anxiety are indeed culture-specific (e.g., taijin kyofusho), and professional issues.

Relevant Papers:

Sharpless, B.A., & Barber, J.P. (2013).  Predictors of Program Performance on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 44(4), 208-217.

Sharpless, B. A., & Barber, J. P. (2011).  Lifetime prevalence rates of sleep paralysis: A systematic review.  Sleep medicine Reviews.

Sharpless, B. A., &. Barber, J. P. (2011). A clinician’s guide to PTSD treatments for returning veterans. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42, 8-15.

Sharpless, B. A., McCarthy, K. S., Chambless, D. L., Milrod, B. L., Khalsa, S. R., & Barber, J.P. (2010).  Isolated sleep paralysis and fearful isolated sleep paralysis in outpatients with panic attacks.  Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66,1292-1306.

Sharpless, B. A., & Barber, J. P. (2009).  A conceptual and empirical review of the meaning, measurement, development, and teaching of intervention competence in clinical psychology. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 47-56.

Sharpless, B. A., & Barber, J. P.  (2009).  The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in the era of evidence-based practice.  Professional Psychology:  Research and Practice, 40.



I am interested in native language and ethnicity as a factor in the social and academic development of children. Consistent with this objective, we explore differential outcomes for preschoolers from Spanish- and English-speaking homes that participate in structured learning environments. Results of our investigations suggest differences in how the two groups make sense of emotionally powerful stimuli, how they participate in small-group learning activities, and how teachers evaluate them. Such differences may account for differential educational outcomes across ethnic groups. These investigations are in the service of developing instructional curricula that improve the social and academic performances of preschoolers at risk for school failure.

Relevant Papers:

Strand, P.S., Cerna, S., Downs, A. (2008). Shyness and Emotion Processing Skills in Preschoolers: A 6-month Longitudinal Study. Infant and Child Development, 17, 109- 120.

Downs, A. Strand, P., & Cerna, S. (2007). Emotion Understanding In English- and Spanish-speaking Preschoolers Enrolled in Head Start. Social Development, 16, 410-439.

Strand, P.S., Cerna, S., & Skucy, J. (2007). Assessment and decision-making in early childhood education. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16, 209-218 Downs, A. & Strand, P.S. (2006). Using assessment to improve the effectiveness of early childhood education. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15, 671-680.

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