Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

As an applied quantitative psychologist, I seek to utilize advanced analytical methods to both prevent and mitigate the impact of risk factors facing children and families – to ultimately improve family functioning and child and adult outcomes. Broadly, my research aims to understand changes in human behavior, biological and physiological processes, and examine how familial, contextual, and psychosocial factors may account for such changes. Further, I am interested in evaluating (a) the impact of parent-mediated preventive interventions designed for families and youth with child welfare system involvement; (b) whether culturally-specific adaptions made to interventions can better meet the needs of underserved populations who are overrepresented in the child welfare system; and (c) whether scaling-out and adapting interventions for families experiencing informal kinship care can prevent problems before they raise to the level where child welfare system involvement in necessary.

Over the past 25 years, I have gained expertise in the analysis of psychological data for complex designs (e.g., clustered, longitudinal, multilevel), employing multiple analytic methods—including but not limited to latent variable, mediation, moderated mediation, time-varying effects models, and causal models. Most recently, I have gained expertise in techniques for harmonizing data at the item level across multiple studies, which may have utilized different study designs (e.g., randomized control trials [RCTs], observational studies), assessment schedules (e.g., annual versus biannual assessments) and measures.

I currently serve as PI or Co-I on six federally-funded grants, three of which utilize integrative data analysis (IDA) and data harmonization techniques. I am the MPI of a NIMH R01 grant where data is being harmonized using IDA across seven RCTs for child welfare system-involved families to examine the impacts of seven parent-mediated interventions on youth mental health outcomes (R01MH124437). Additionally, I am the MPI of a NIMH R56 study where propensity score matching and data harmonization techniques are being used to aggregate data across four KEEP studies to evaluate the impact of culturally specific adaptions made to the KEEP program on youth mental health outcomes for sexual and gender minority, and racial and ethnic minority youth, and for youth who have been placed in homes with parents of a different race/ethnicity than their own (R56MH129490). I am also a Co-I on a data harmonization study that aims to better understand intergenerational transmission of internalizing and externalizing behaviors, substance use, and the effects of cannabis legalization (R01DA015485, MPIs: Capaldi/Kerr).

I am the PI of an Administration for Children and Families (ACF) study where a waitlist control RCT design is being used to examine the short- and long-term impacts of the “KEEP Connecting Kin” program, which is a parenting and peer support group for informal kinship caregivers who are caring for youth who are not in the legal custody of the child welfare system. Finally, I also currently serve as a Co-I on two additional RCTs, including: the first “KEEP Connecting Kin” study that examines efficacy for short-term outcomes (ACF, 90XP0468, PI: Chamberlain), and an Institute on Education Sciences study where the efficacy of a parent-mediated intervention for adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders is being evaluated (R324A190122, PI: Buchanan).

In addition to having led prior research studies and collaborated with other investigators, I have authored approximately 55 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. I have served on four NIH grant review committees and as a reviewer for 14 peer-reviewed journals.

Recent Publications

  • Pears, K. C., Tiberio, S. S., & Kim, H. K. (2022). Reducing suicidal ideation in preadolescents with a history of foster care by promoting school readiness in early childhood. Child Maltreatment, 29(1), 165-175. doi.10.1177/10775595221115209

  • Bailey, J. A., Tiberio, S. S., Kerr, D. C. R., Epstein, M., Henry, K. L., & Capaldi, D. M. (2023). Effects of cannabis legalization on adolescent cannabis use across 3 studies. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 64(3), 361-367. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2022.09.019

  • Tiberio, S. S., Pears, K. C., Buchanan, R., Chamberlain, P., Leve, L. D., Price, J. M., & Hussong, A. M. (2023). An integrative data analysis of main and moderated crossover effects of parent-mediated interventions on depression and anxiety symptoms in youth in foster care. Prevention Science, 24(8), 1547-1557. doi.10.1007/s11121-023-01524-22