My Projects

Project S.A.V.E. ("Stop Adolescent Violence Everywhere")

PI: Mallory L. Dobias, M.A.
Co-PIs: Jessica L. Schleider, Ph.D., Kathryn R. Fox, Ph.D.

Supported by Psi Chi International Honors Society

Background: Across 50 years of research, existing interventions for self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) in adolescents have remained largely ineffective and inaccessible to those in acute clinical need. Single-session interventions, well-targeted interventions designed to last one session, may be a low-cost and timely resource for adolescents engaging in SITBs who may not otherwise receive treatment. Method: 565 adolescents (M = 14.95 years) endorsing recent engagement in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) were randomized to receive a 30-minute, web-based, single-session intervention—“Project SAVE”—or an active, attention-matched control program. Proximal outcomes were measured at baseline and immediately post-intervention. Long-term outcomes were measured at baseline and 3-month follow-up. Results: Relative to control-group participants, SAVE participants reported greater increases in their desire to stop future NSSI (d = .25, p = .003) and greater decreases in self-hatred (d = -.35, p<.001), but no significant difference in perceived likelihood of future NSSI (d = -.16, p = .16), immediately post-intervention. Between-group effects were non-significant for 3-month outcomes (self hatred, frequency of NSSI, frequency of suicidal ideation). Conclusions: Project SAVE is an acceptable resource for adolescents engaging in SITBs—with short-term effects on clinically-relevant outcomes. Future research may evaluate SAVE as an easy-to-access, short-term coping resource for youth engaging in SITBs.

The Project SAVE RCT manuscript is currently under review at Behavior Research and Therapy.
The Project SAVE intervention is currently available on Open Science Framework.


Brief Interventions for Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors in Young People: A Systematic Review

First Author: Mallory L. Dobias, M.A.
Co-Authors: Sharon Chen, B.S.E., Kathryn R. Fox, Ph.D., Jessica L. Schleider, Ph.D.

Background: Rates of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) increase sharply across adolescence and remain high in young adulthood. Across 50 years of research, existing interventions for SITBs remain ineffective and inaccessible for many young people in particular need of mental health care. Briefer intervention options may increase access to care. However, many traditional interventions for SITBs take 6 months or more to complete—making it difficult for providers to target SITBs under real-world time constraints. The present study is a systematic review project that aims to (1) identify and (2) evaluate brief psychosocial interventions for SITBs in young people, ages 10 – 24 years. We will conduct searches for randomized and quasi-experimental trials conducted in the past 50 years that evaluate effects of “brief interventions” (i.e. not exceeding 240 minutes, or four 60-minute sessions in total length) on SITBs in young people.

A stage 1 registered report of the manuscript is currently available on Open Science Framework.


Loss of Mental Health Supports as a Result of the Covid-19 Pandemic

First Author: Mallory L. Dobias, M.A.
Co-Authors: Isaac Ahuvia, B.A., Jessica L. Schleider, Ph.D.

This study investigates loss of mental, behavioral, and/or emotional support in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic among undergraduate students at a large university. The goal of this study is to gather evidence on the extent of this loss and whether it differs by individual characteristics. Specifically, we seek to answer the following questions: (1) What is the extent of loss of support during the COVID-19 pandemic among members of a large university community? (2) Does loss of support differ by (a) sociodemographic factors or (b) levels of depression and anxiety symptomatology, including suicidal ideation?

The pre-registered analysis plan for the present project is currently available on Open Science Framework.

My Recent Publications

Dobias, M.L., Sugarman, M.B., Mullarkey, M.C., & Schleider, J.L. (2021). Predicting mental health treatment access in high-symptom adolescents: Machine learning approaches. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. doi: 10.1007/s10488-021-01146-2.

Schleider, J.L., Dobias, M.L., Mullarkey, M.C., & Ollendick, T. (2021). Retiring, rethinking, and reconstructing the norm of once-weekly therapy. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 48, 4-8. doi: 10.1007/s10488-020-01090-7.

Schleider, J.L., Dobias, M.L., Sung, J.Y., Mumper, E., & Mullarkey, M.C. (2020). Acceptability and utility of an open-access, online single-session intervention platform for adolescent mental health. JMIR Mental Health, 7(6):e20513. doi: 10.2196/20513.

Schleider, J.L., Dobias, M.L.*, Sung, J.Y.*, & Mullarkey, M.C. (2019). Future directions for brief and single-session youth mental health interventions. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 49(2), 264-278. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2019.1683852.