Jennifer Silk, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Psychology

Graduate Student Advisees:

  • Marlissa Amole
  • Rosalind Elliott
  • Dana Rosen

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Temple University

Research Interests

My research focuses on social-contextual and neurobiological factors involved in the development and treatment of anxiety and depression from middle childhood through adolescence. This includes both neurobiological and social influences on emotional reactivity and regulation during this window of development. I use a variety of methods at different levels of analysis, including Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), behavioral observation, pupillometry, and neuroimaging. My research is framed around 3 inter-related questions: (1) What are the normative developmental changes in emotional reactivity and regulation that occur from middle childhood through adolescence? (2) How do these normative developmental processes go awry in youth who develop anxiety and/or depressive disorders?; and (3) How can this research be leveraged to improve prevention and intervention approaches for these disorders?

Representative Publications

Forbes EE, Hariri AR, Martin SL, Silk JS, Moyles DL, Fisher PM, Brown SM, Ryan ND, Birmaher B, Axelson DA, Dahl RE. Altered striatal activation predicting real-world positive affect in adolescent major depressive disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;166(1):64-73.

Silk JS, Siegle GJ, Whalen DJ, Ostapenko L, Ladouceur CD, Dahl RE. Pubertal changes in emotional information processing: pupillary, behavioral, and subjective evidence during emotional word identification. Development & Psychopathology. 2009 Winter;21(1):7-26.

Silk JS, Steinberg L, Morris AS. Adolescents emotion regulation in daily life: Links to depressive symptoms and problem behavior. Child Development. 2003 Nov-Dec;74(6):1869-80.

Silk JS, Stroud LR, Siegle, GJ, Dahl, RE, Lee, KH, & Nelson, EE. Peer acceptance and rejection through the eyes of youth: Pupillary, eyetracking, and ecological data from the Chatroom Interact Task. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2012 January; 7(1): 93-105.

Silk JS, Forbes EE, Whalen DJ, Jakubcak JL, Thompson WK, Ryan ND, Axelson DA, Birmaher B, Dahl RE. Daily emotional dynamics in depressed youth: A Cell-phone ecological momentary assessment study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 2011 Oct;110(2):241̐257.

Silk JS, Davis S, McMakin DL, Dahl RE, Forbes EE. Why do anxious children become depressed teenagers?: The role of social evaluative threat and reward processing. Psychological Medicine. 2012 October; 42(10): 2095-2107.

Silk JS, Sheeber L, Tan PZ, Ladouceur CD, Forbes EE, McMakin DL, Dahl RE, Siegle GJ, Kendall PC, Mannarino A, Ryan ND . You can do it!å: The role of parental encouragement to approach fears in child anxiety treatment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2013 June; 27(5):439-446.

Silk JS, Nelson E, Dahl RE, Stroud L, Lee KH, Siegle GJ. Increased neural response to peer rejection in adolescents with major depressive disorder. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2013 Nov; epub ahead of print.

Accepting Graduate Students