Skip to main content

Carla Sharp, Ph.D.

Carla Sharp

John and Rebecca Moores Professor
Director of the Developmental Psychopathology Lab
Clinical Psychology
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Health 1, Room 476
4811 Calhoun Rd.

Carla Sharp, Ph.D. will be reviewing graduate student applications for the 2024-2025 academic year. Application deadline is Dec 1, 2023. Please see Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data for details.

Biographical Summary

Carla Sharp, Ph.D. is a John and Rebecca Moores Professor and associate dean for faculty and research in CLASS. She is also director of the Adolescent Diagnosis Assessment Prevention and Treatment Center and the Developmental Psychopathology Lab at UH. She holds adjunct positions at The University of Texas, Baylor College of Medicine, University College London and the University of the Free State in South Africa. She has a longstanding interest in social cognition (mentalizing) as a cause and correlate of psychiatric disorder across the lifespan with a special focus on youth. She has published over 300 peer reviewed publications, numerous chapters and eight books. A large proportion of her research uses Borderline Personality Disorder (and other personality pathology) to study where social-cognitive function goes awry. As such, she has significantly advanced scientific understanding of the phenomenology, causes and correlates of personality pathology in youth.

She is the recipient of the 2016 Mid-career award, North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders and the 2018 Award for Achievement in the Field of Severe Personality Disorders from the Personality Disorders Institute in New York. She is the current associate editor for APA journal Personality Disorders: Theory, Research and Treatment, and a workgroup member for updating the American Psychiatric Association practice guidelines for BPD. Recent developments in her work reflect a translational focus to carry through the earlier focus on mentalizing to evaluate its function as mechanism of change in personality pathology as well as other attachment-related conditions, and an interest in the DSM-5 alternative model of personality disorder. Her work has been funded by the NICHD, NIAAA, NIMH, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and other foundations.

Research Interests

  • Developmental Psychopathology and social cognition
  • Personality pathology
  • Interventions targeting social-cognitive function
  • Measure development of diagnostic tools


  • PSYC 6317: Psychopathology I (graduate) - past
  • PSYC 7397: Developmental psychopathology: Concepts, methods and application (graduate) – past
  • Scientific Writing – current
  • Clinical supervision – current

Selected Publications

Sharp, C., Van Goozen, S.H.M., & Goodyer, I.M. (2006). Children's subjective emotional reactivity to affective pictures: gender differences and their antisocial correlates in an unselected sample of 7-11 year olds. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(2), 143-150.

Sharp, C., Goodyer, I.M., & Croudace, T.J. (2006). The Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ): a unidimensional item response theory and categorical data factor analysis of self-report ratings from a community sample of children aged 7 through 11. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34(3), 365-377.

King-Casas, B., Sharp, C., Lomax, L., Lohrenz, T., Fonagy, P., & Montague, R. (2008). The rupture and repair of cooperation in borderline personality disorder. Science. 321:806-810.

Sharp, C., Peterson, N., & Goodyer, I.M. (2008). Emotional reactivity and the emergence of conduct problems and internalizing symptoms in children: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(5):565-573.

Sharp, C., *Pane, H., *Ha, C., *Venta, A., *Patel, A., *Sturek, J., & Fonagy, P. (2011). Theory of mind and emotion regulation difficulties in adolescents with borderline traits. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(6), 563-573.

Sharp, C., Monterosso, J., & Montague, R. (2012). Neuroeconomics: A bridge for translational research. Biological Psychiatry, 72(2), 87-92. [IF: 11.412]

Sharp, C. (2012). The use of neuroeconomic games to examine social decision-making in child and adolescent externalizing disorders. Current Directions in Psychological Sciences, 21(3), 183-188.

Sharp, C, *Ha, C., Carbone, C. *Kim, S., Perry, K., Williams, L., & Fonagy, P. (2013). Hypermentalizing in adolescent inpatients: treatment effects and association with borderline traits.  Journal of Personality Disorders, 27(1), 3-18.

Sharp, C., Kim, S., *Pane, H., *Reuter, T. R., Herman, L., & Strathearn, L. (2014). Major depression in mothers predicts reduced reward-related brain processing in adolescent daughters, with or without depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(2), 298-309.

Sharp, C., Michonski, J., Steinberg, L., Fowler, C., Frueh, C., & Oldham, J. (2014). An investigation of differential item functioning across gender of BPD criteria. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(1), 231-236. [IF: 4.133]

Sharp, C., & *Kalpakci, A (2015). Mentalization in borderline personality disorder: From bench to bedside. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 6(4), 347-355.

Sharp, C., & Fonagy, P. (2015). Practitioner review: Borderline personality disorder in adolescence: – Recent conceptualization, intervention, and implications for clinical practice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(12), 1266-1288. [IF: 6.226]

Sharp, C., Wright, A. G. C., Fowler, J. C., Frueh, B. C., Allen, J. G., Oldham, J., & Clark, L. (2015). The structure of personality pathology: Both general (‘g’) and specific (‘s’) factors? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(2), 387-398. [IF: 4.133]

Chanen, A§., Sharp, C§.., Hoffman, P., and the Global Alliance for Prevention and Early Intervention for Borderline Personality Disorder (2017). Prevention and early intervention for borderline personality disorder: a public health priority. World Psychiatry, 16(2), 215-216. [IF: 26.561].§Joint first authors

Sharp, C., *Vanwoerden, S. & *Wall, K. (2018). Adolescence as a sensitive period for the development of personality pathology. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 41(4), 669-683.

Sharp, C., & *Wall, K. (2018). Personality pathology grows up: Adolescence as a sensitive period. Current Opinion in Psychology, 21, 111-116.

Books Co-authored by Dr. Sharp