Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Temperament, Evolving Emotions, and Neuroscience Study (TEENS)

Temperament, Evolving Emotions, and Neuroscience Study (TEENS)

Kristin Buss
PI: Kristin Buss

NIH R01MH114974
Administrative Supplement
Administered in: College of the Liberal Arts


Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is among the most common forms of psychopathology in childhood and adolescence. SAD symptoms peak in adolescence making this developmental transition an important period to study. Broad profiles of fearfulness and anxious behavior first emerge in childhood, impacting functioning across a broad spectrum not limited to discrete diagnoses of anxiety. Extreme fearful temperament is the strongest individual differences predictor of anxiety. Considerable heterogeneity in symptomatology, risk factors, and biomarkers exists across anxious adolescents which has implications for (1) understanding the developmental etiology of who is at highest risk, (2) identifying individual patterns of symptom course. The proposed study will address these two gaps in the literature.  

This study will follow adolescents (N = 240) annually across the transitions from early to mid- adolescence. We will capture a wide range of anxiety symptom presentation (i.e., low risk, temperamental risk, and clinical anxiety) and implement a rich prospective assessment of symptoms, temperament, attention bias, endocrine (cortisol), physiological (RSA) and neurobiological (ERP markers of attention) processes. In addition, we will examine moderators, including sex differences, which are commonly observed in adolescent anxiety, the social/peer context, parenting, and pubertal development.  

Additional Faculty:

Lorah Dorn
Lorah Dorn Nursing and Pediatrics University Park
Sarah Myruski
Sarah Myruski Psychology
Koraly Perez-Edgar
Koraly Pérez-Edgar Psychology
Nilam Ram
Nilam Ram
Stanford Univ.
Martha Wadsworth
Martha Wadsworth Psychology

Research Staff:

Kathryn Gray
University Park
Tennille Hill
Tennille Hill Harrisburg
Annika Kershner
Annika Kershner Harrisburg
Stacey LeVan
Stacey LeVan University Park
Centia Thomas
Centia Thomas Harrisburg

Postdoctoral Researchers:

Frances Lobo
Frances Lobo Psychology
Michelle Ramos Psychology

Graduate Students:

Liu Bai
Liu Bai Human Development and Family Studies
Yushuang Liu
Yushuang Liu Psychology
Austen Trainer
Austen Trainer Psychology
Nora Tucker
Nora Tucker Psychology
Anna Zhou
Anna Zhou Psychology