Reprinted with permission from Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Results of independent t-tests contrasting current density for healthy versus depressed adolescents following negative words in the Self-Referential Encoding Task (Blue: Healthy Control (HC) (3), 401-417.
Auerbach conducts multidisciplinary research in children, adolescents and young adults using a multimodal approach to determine why depressive symptoms unfold, how self-injurious and suicidal behaviors develop, and what changes in the brain during treatment. Recent epidemiological data show that approximately 11 percent of youth will experience depression (Avenevoli, Swendsen, He, Burstein, & Merikangas, 2015), and these episodes are associated with downstream negative consequences later in adolescence (e.g., academic difficulties, risky behavior engagement, nonsuicidal self-injury) and adulthood (e.g., lower income levels, higher divorce rates, suicidality) (e.g., Auerbach, Kim, et al., 2014; Auerbach, Tsai, & Abela, 2010; Avenevoli, Knight, Kessler, & Merikangas, 2008).
This work is funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, the Dana Foundation and several private foundations, and it has resulted in over 60 published scientific papers and book chapters, as well as a book (with C. Most notably, an alarming 75 percent of individuals experiencing depression during adolescence will make a suicide attempt in adulthood (Nock, Green, et al., 2013).
Despite these unsettling statistics and associated negative consequences, the etiological mechanisms contributing to the onset and maintenance of depression in adolescence remain unclear.
To address this key gap, my research uses a multidisciplinary and multimodal approach to determine why depressive symptoms emerge and how self-injurious and suicidal behaviors develop in response to depression.
Auerbach is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Auerbach is the recipient of several awards, including the David Shakow Early Career Award and the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Early Career Award.
He also is the director of clinical research for the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the director of the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Laboratory at Mc Lean Hospital. Author website Depression in adolescents is a serious public health concern. Emotion-processing biases and resting EEG activity in depressed adolescents.
Therefore, our work has continued to test integrated models incorporating behavioral, neurobiological and genetic indicators to advance understanding of key contributors to depression onset, depression recurrence and response to depression treatment.
As outlined in our earlier work, major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by depressogenic biases (Auerbach, Ho, et al., 2014), and recent research has explored the behaviors and neural substrates underlying these biases (Auerbach, Webb, Gardiner, & Pechtel, 2013; Shestyuk & Deldin, 2010).