Jennifer Silk, Ph.D.


4429 Sennott Square 210 S. Bouquet St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15260



My Website >

Research Interests

Anxiety, depression, adolescence, social relationships, emotion regulation, developmental affective neuroscience.


Download CV

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?

Accepting Graduate Students: Yes


  • Society for Research in Child Development Lunch with Leaders Panel (2010, 2012)
  • Editorial Board: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Graduate Student Advisees

  • Marlissa Amole
  • Rosalind Elliott
  • Dana Rosen


  • Ph.D., Temple University


  • National Postdoctoral Association 2015 Mentor Award
  • 2015 Postdoctoral Mentor Award, University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge Award Winner for SmartCAT app (2013)
  • Gerald R. Klerman Award, Honorable Mention, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (2011)
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2007-2009)
  • NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (2005-2010)


  • Publication 1092

    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.

  • Publication 1094

    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.

  • Publication 1093

    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.

  • Publication 1096

    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.

  • Publication 1095

    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):241Ð257.

  • Publication 1098

    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.

  • Publication 1099

    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!: The role of parental encouragement to approach fears in child anxiety treatment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2013 June; 27(5):439-446.

  • Publication 1100

    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.