The Clinical Psychology Program at MSU is committed to understanding and promoting mental health in an increasingly diverse society. Our faculty and students believe that an enhanced understanding of all types of diversity is critical for the development of our individual students and faculty as clinical scientists and professionals in the field. Our program subscribes to an inclusive definition of diversity which includes race, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, disability, geographic region, and other significant reference groups.

Nicole T. Buchanan is interested in the effects of racial and sexual harassment on women’s psychological well-being, physical health, and academic/work lives.

Jae Puckett studies how marginalization impacts transgender and gender diverse individuals as well as ways of coping and being resilient in the face of such challenges. 

Alytia Levendosky and Anne Bogat study intimate partner violence (IPV) and its effects on women and young children. Their interests in diversity include social class (intimate partner violence is more prominent in low-income families) and ethnic/racial differences in IPV experiences.

Alex Burt studies the effect of gene-environment interactions on the development of child conduct problems. She has a particular interest in the interaction between genetic factors and high-risk environments such as those characterized by high-levels of poverty.

Shaunna Clark focuses on the role of epigenetics in the etiology of drug addiction and developing epigenetic biomarkers of addiction risk. She is particularly interested in the epigenetic mechanisms underpinning known gender differences drug addiction. 

Brooke Ingersoll studies the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for children with autism, with a focus on inclusion. In addition, she has conducted research on the impact of living with a child with a disability.

Amy Drahota focuses her translational research on developing and testing interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder as well as helping agencies deliver evidence-based practices to individuals with autism. The goal of these research activities are to help improve quality of life and inclusion for individuals with specialized needs.

Kelly Klump's work focuses on understanding the etiology of eating disorders, with a special focus on gender issues and the ways in which genes, hormones, and social experiences contribute to sex differences in the prevalence of eating pathology.

Jason Moser's recent research focuses on understanding the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders with a special focus on sex differences in cognitive mechanisms underlying anxiety proneness.

Katy Thakkar studies the biological mechanisms underlying the symptoms of schizophrenia and related illnesses. Given that schizophrenia is associated with poorer socioeconomic status and subjective quality of life, she is particularly interested in the relationship between basic cognitive and social processes and real-world social and occupational functioning.