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Caitlin Conner

Caitlin Conner

Graduate Student, Department of Psychology
Graduate Student, Clinical Science


_I am a sixth year clinical psychology student working with Susan White. My interests focus on improving quality of life for children, adolescents,and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families. More specifically, I am interested in assessment and treatment of psychiatric comorbidity and emotion dysregulation, application of mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapies for treatment in ASD, and how parents and family functioning can interplay with individual functioning.

My thesis looked at the effect of maternal mindfulness on stress among mothers of children with or without ASD. My preliminary exam was a review of mechanisms of change in mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions and how these could be utilized for individuals with ASD. I am currently writing up my dissertation, which was a pilot study of a mindfulness-based intervention for adults with ASD.

Additionally, I am also currently co-developing an intervention for adolescents on the spectrum to assist with emotion dysregulation difficulties, and I will be at UC-Denver for my predoctoral internship during 2016-2017!

My non-research interests include cooking and baking, exploring (and getting lost in) new places, watching football and hockey, teaching people Pittsburghese and about how french fries belong on salads, and searching for gelato.

Background

  • M.S., Clinical Psychology, Virginia Tech, 2013
  • B.S., Psychology with Honors & Italian Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Interests

  • parental/family factors and interventions in autism spectrum disorders
  • application of mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapies in ASD
  • psychiatric comorbidity/emotion dysregulation in ASD
  • evidence-based treatments for ASD

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 3014 Abnormal Psychology, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
  • PSYC 4034/4234 Advanced Developmental Psychology, Summer 2014
  • PSYC 4244 Lab in Advanced Learning, Spring 2014

Publications

  • White, S. W., Conner, C. M., & Maddox, B. M. (in press). Behavioral treatments for anxiety in adults with ASD. In Kerns, C., Storch, E., Kendall, P., Wood, J. J., & Renno, P. (Ed.s.) Evidence based assessment and treatment of anxiety in children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Chapter in press.
  • White, S. W., Elias, R., Salinas, C., Capriola, N., Conner, C. M., Asselin, S., Miyazaki, Y., Mazefsky, C., Howlin, P., & Getzel, E. (2016). Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in College: Results from a Preliminary Mixed Methods Needs Analysis. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 56, 29-40. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2016.05.010.
  • White, S. W., & Conner, C. M. (2015). Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Maddux, J. E., & Winstead, B. A. (Ed.s), Psychopathology: Foundations for a contemporary understanding, Fourth Edition. Routledge.
  • White, S. W., Scarpa, A., Conner, C. M., Maddox, B.B., & Bonete, S. (2015). Evaluating change in social skills in adults with autism spectrum disorder using a laboratory-based observation measure. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 30, 3-12. doi: 10.1177/1088357614539836
  • Conner, C. M. & White, S. W. (2014). Stress in mothers of children with autism: Trait mindfulness as a protective factor. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 8, 617-624. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.02.001
  • Conner, C. M., Maddox, B. B., White, S. W. (2013). Parents’ state and trait anxiety: Relationships with anxiety and treatment response in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 1811-1818. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1728-0.
  • Mazefsky, C. A., Anderson, R., Conner, C.M., & Minshew, N. (2011). Child Behavior Checklist scores for school-aged children with autism: Preliminary evidence of patterns suggesting the need for assessment. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 33, 31-37, doi: 10.1007/s10862-010-9198-1.
  • Mazefsky, C.A, Conner, C.M., & Oswald, D. P. (2010). Association between depression and anxiety in high-functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and maternal mood disorders. Autism Research 3, 120-127, doi: 10.1002/aur.133.