The Laboratory for Adolescent Mental Health Promotion

Department of Psychology
George Mason University

Christianne Esposito-Smythers, P.I.


The Lab for Adolescent Mental Health Promotion (AMHP), directed by Dr. Esposito-Smythers, is dedicated toward improving understanding of and promoting healthy adolescent emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral development. Specifically, we focus much of our research on the prevention and treatment of adolescent mental health problems, with a particular focus on adolescent suicidal behavior and substance abuse.  We also study the mechanisms through which adolescents develop mental health problems as well as factors that protect against maladaptive outcomes.

We are currently working on a federally-funded research study in the AMHP lab. The project, called Project ITP, is designed to test a novel Integrative Treatment Program (ITP). ITP integrates a myriad of services (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication management, case management) and employs novel methods to address mental health issues, substance abuse, and HIV risk in court-involved adolescents. The purpose of the research study is to determine whether ITP is more effective than what is currently offered to adolescents involved in the court system.  This is a multi-site randomized clinical trial that is being conducted in collaboration with the Alpert Medical School at Brown University.