Developmental Psychopathology Lab

In the Developmental Psychopathology Lab at University of Houston our research focus is on the early identification of psychiatric disorders. One line of research focuses on social-cognitive, affective, and reward processing as early markers of psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents. A second line of research focuses on the development of diagnostic measurement tools to facilitate the early identification and treatment of psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents. We use a variety of methods in our research, including behavioral experiments, functional neuroimaging and survey methods. Research typically focuses on childhood disorders associated with deficits in interpersonal functioning (conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, emerging borderline personality disorder, emerging psychopathic traits) or reward processing (problem gambling, depression).

The lab is run by Dr. Carla Sharp and has been funded by the NIMH, the NIH Centers for AIDS Research, NARSAD, the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation, and the Child and Family Program of the Menninger Clinic. The primary outcome of the research is to identify early markers of disorders in youth and to refine and further develop the practice of assessment and diagnosis of childhood psychopathology thereby enabling early identification and treatment of youngsters.

Lab News

  • August 2014: A warm welcome to Salome as she begins her 1st year in the program!
  • August 2014: Carolyn was selected by the local Houston P.E.O. Chapter as a nominee for the P.E.O. International Scholar Award!
  • August 2014: A big thanks to Claire for representing the lab with her posters at APA 2014.
  • July 2014: Kudos to Allison and Will for successfully defending their theses.
  • June: 2014: Welcome to our new undergraduate RAs: Ashley, Robyn, Kaitlin, Kiana, Jacob, Nicholas, Samantha, and Taylor.
  • June 2014: Dr. Sharp publishes new edited volume with Springer.


  • June 2014: Will was one of two students selected by the department to apply for the APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarship.
  • May 2014: Congrats to Tyson for successfully proposing his dissertation!
  • April 2014: UH awards GEAR grant to Drs. Sharp, Zvolensky and Neighbors to study the efficacy of a social-cognitive intervention in HIV-infected individuals with alcohol problems.
  • April 2014: Numerous posters from the lab have been accepted to ABCT 2014!