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Drahota Amy M. Drahota
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, Division of Psychological Studies 2008
Masters San Diego State University, San Diego, California, Pre-Clinical Psychology 2003
Bachelors Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington 1998
Primary Program: Clinical
125B Psychology
(517) 432-0685

Research Statement

Accessing Community Treatments Lab

Guiding Research Philosophy

"I believe effective intervention should be accessible to all individuals in need of them within their own communities. The ACT Lab strives to make this a reality."

**Please note: I will be accepting 1-2 graduate students for the 2018-2019 year**

Research Focus

Dr. Amy Drahota runs the Accessing Community Treatments Lab (ACT Lab) through the Clinical Psychology and Ecological-Community Psychology programs. The ACT Lab conducts research to reduce the research-to-practice gap that is experienced by individuals who are in need of mental, behavioral, and physical health services.

This applied research is accomplished by building up community agencies that provide services to individuals with mental and behavioral health needs, improving access to care, and developing interventions and service systems to meet needs through collaboration with researchers, practitioners and community stakeholders.


Current ACT Lab research projects focus on:

  • Mental and behavioral health services research
  • Dissemination and implementation science research
  • Community-Academic Partnerships


Populations of Interest:

  • Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Under-served communities of color


Specific products developing in the ACT Lab:

  • Autism Community Toolkit: Systems to Measure and Adopt Research-Based Treatment (ACT SMART) 

The ACT SMART Toolkit is an evidence-informed, comprehensive implementation strategy designed to assist ASD community-based agencies successfully implement evidence-based practices. ACT SMART consists of four phases that systematically guide agency leaders and implementation teams in meeting goals that lead to successful decisions about choosing and implementing new treatments.


  • Usual Care for Autism Survey and Research Collaboration

Dr. Drahota is a collaborative partner working to better understand the intervention practices used in usual care settings providing services to youth with ASD. This multi-site collaboration is evaluating services across 6 sites in the US and will inform the dissemination and current implementation of evidence-based practices for ASD.


Clinical and Teaching Focus

Dr. Drahota’s ACT Lab strives to develop knowledge and skills, confidence, independence, and productivity of undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows in the lab by supporting individualized growth. Students and fellows are encouraged to develop independent projects and interests that will provide career development opportunities.

Current Projects

The Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions, NIMHD U54 MD011227, Center PI: Furr-Holden, D&I Core PI: Drahota


Developing the Autism Model of Implementation for ASD Community Providers, NIMH K01 MH093477, PI: Drahota


Usual Care for ASD Survey, Unfunded, PI: Lerner; Co-I: Drahota


University Autism Spectrum Disorder Project, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, PI: Gage; Co-I: Drahota

Research Publications    
2017Wainer, A., Drahota, A., Chacko, A., Cohn, E., Kerns, C., Lerner, M. D., Marro, B., Moskowitz, L., & Soorya, L. (2017). Understanding the landscape of psychological intervention practices for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in youth with ASD: A study protocol. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 10(3), 178-197.
2016Drahota, A., *Meza, R., *Brikho, B., *Naaf, M., *Estabillo, J., *Gomez, E., *Vejnoska, S., Dufek, S., Stahmer, A.C., & Aarons, G.A. (2016). Community-Academic Partnerships: A systematic review of the state of the literature and recommendations for future research. Milbank Quarterly, 94(1), 163-214.
2016*Meza, R., Drahota, A. & *Spurgeon, E. (2015). Community-academic partnership participation. Community Mental Health Journal, 52(7), 793-798.
2016Brookman-Frazee, L., Drahota, A., & Chlebowski, C. (2016). An Individualized Mental Health Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (AIM HI), Volume 2: Therapist Manual. University of California, San Diego. Unpublished training manual developed at the University of California, San Diego.
2016Drahota, A., Chlebowski, C., Stadnick, N., Baker-Ericzén, M. J., & Brookman-Frazee, L. (in press). The dissemination and implementation of psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with ASD and comorbid anxiety. In C. M. Kerns, E. Storch, P. Kendall, J. J. Wood, & P. Renno (Eds.), Evidence Based Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
2015*Matheson, B., Drahota, A., & Boutelle, K. (2015). Transforming Eating, Activity, and Motivation Utilizing Parents (TEAM UP). Unpublished intervention manual developed at the University of California, San Diego.
2014Chavira, D.A., Drahota, A., Garland, A.F., Roesch, S., *Garcia, M., & Stein, M.B. (2014). Feasibility of two modes of treatment delivery for child anxiety in primary care. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 60, 60-66.
2014Drahota, A., Stadnick, N., & Brookman-Frazee, L. (2014). Therapist perspectives on training in a package of evidence-based practice strategies for children with autism spectrum disorders served in community mental health clinics. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Research, 41(1), 114-125.
2014Drahota, A., *Meza, R., & *Martinez, J.I. (2014). The Autism-Community Toolkit: Systems to Measure and Adopt Research-Based Treatments. www.actsmarttoolkit.com
2013Drahota, A., Sterling, L., & Wood, J.J. (2013). Daily living skills in school-age children with and without anxiety disorders. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52(1), 107-112.