Dr. Nicole Mahrer
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Assistant Professor of Psychology. Dr. Mahrer received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Arizona State University in 2015. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, followed by a research postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Mahrer’s current interests are in the areas of child psychology, health psychology, culture, and prevention. Her research focuses on understanding the risk and protective factors that predict physical health and mental health functioning in ethnically and culturally-diverse children, adolescents, and young adults. She also does work in pediatric hospital settings, seeking to understand the interplay between physical and mental health symptoms in youth, and to better integrate mental health services into traditional medical settings. Ultimately, Dr. Mahrer hopes to develop culturally-informed, evidence-based preventative interventions that can be delivered within an integrated healthcare setting, in order to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes for underserved youth and their families. Dr. Mahrer is a licensed psychologist and designated as core doctoral faculty. She teaches courses in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, supervision, assessment, and statistics.
My research interests are in the areas of child psychology, health psychology, culture, and prevention. I focus on understanding the risk and protective factors that predict physical health and mental health functioning in ethnically and culturally-diverse children, adolescents, and young adults. Some of my current projects are investigating the role of environmental (e.g., stressors) and family-level (e.g., parenting) factors in the development of mental health and physical health outcomes in youth and examining whether there are ethnic and cultural differences in these processes. I also conduct research in pediatric hospital settings, seeking to understand the interplay between physical and mental health symptoms in youth, and to better integrate mental health services into traditional medical settings. Through collaborations with the Pediatric Pain Management Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, my projects focus on studying the risk factors for the development of chronic pain in children and evaluating interdisciplinary treatment approaches aimed to improve quality of life in this pediatric population. In addition, I have recently partnered with a virtual reality start-up company to develop and test ways to effectively deliver evidence-based mental health interventions in a socially distanced world. Ultimately, I hope to bridge my areas of research together in order to develop culturally-informed, evidence-based preventative interventions that can be delivered safely within an integrated healthcare setting, in order to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes for underserved youth and their families.
I enjoy teaching and mentoring students both in the classroom setting and through collaborative engagement in research. In my courses, my goal is to help students not only learn, but also be able to apply the course material either in their work with clients, in their research, or in future classes and careers. I employ multimodal instruction that includes lecture and skills practice and use multi-faceted teaching tools, such as technology, to complement assigned readings. I encourage my students to identify the limitations in current theory, connect course material to their personal experiences, and develop ideas for future research and/or advocacy. I also help my students build professional competencies in writing, presentation skills, and critical thinking that transcend beyond the course material and will help them to be successful in their academics and subsequent careers. I like to tailor my teaching strategies to the needs of students and therefore solicit student feedback on an ongoing basis to make real-time adjustments to my approach. Additionally, I welcome student involvement in my research lab where they can offer their unique and valuable perspectives and learn about and participate in my work. I support students in selecting independent projects that they feel passionate about and offer guidance throughout the research process spanning from research design to data collection to data analysis, with the goal of presenting their findings at a conference or writing them up for publication.
My clinical interests are in the areas of child/pediatric psychology and assessment. I have worked primarily with underserved children and families with co-occurring physical and mental health concerns, delivering therapeutic services in both English and Spanish. I use an integrated treatment approach that incorporates the family and draws from evidence-based cognitive behavioral and third-wave approaches (i.e. mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy) in order to reduce distress and improve overall quality of life. I have experience conducting psychodiagnostic, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological assessments with both children and adults. I use a therapeutic assessment approach that emphasizes culturally and linguistically-appropriate assessment and delivers feedback in a way that clients can understand and use to advocate for themselves and improve their functioning.
- B.A., University of California, San Diego
- M.A., Arizona State University
- Ph.D., Arizona State University
- Ponting, C., Mahrer, N.E., Zelcer, H., Dunkel Schetter, C., Chavira, D.A. Psychological Interventions for Depression and Anxiety in Pregnant Latina and Black Women in the United States: A Systematic Review (2020). Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 27, 249-265.
- Mahrer, N. E., Ramos, I., Guardino, C., Davis, E. P., Ramey, S. L., Shalowitz, M., & Dunkel Schetter, C. (2020). Pregnancy Anxiety in Expectant Mothers Predicts Offspring Negative Affect: The Moderating Role of Acculturation. Early Human Development, 141, PMID 104932.
- Mahrer, N. E., Holly, L., Wolchik, S. A., Luecken, L. J., & Fabricius, B. (2019). Parenting Style, Familism, and Youth Adjustment in Mexican American and European American Families. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 50, 659-675.
- Safa, D., White, R., Mahrer, N.E., Pasco, M., & Knight, G. E. (2019). U.S. Mexican-origin Adolescents’ Bicultural Competence and Mental Health in Context. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 25, 299-310.
- Mahrer, N. E., O’Hara, K., Sandler, I. N., & Wolchik, S. A. (2018). Does shared parenting help or hurt children in high conflict divorced families? Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, DOI: 10.1080/10502556.2018.1454200
- Yetwin, A., Mahrer, N. E., John, C., & Gold, J.I. (2018). Does pain intensity matter? The relation between coping and quality of life in pediatric patients with chronic pain. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 40, 7-18.
- Mahrer, N. E., Gold, J. I., Luu, M,. & Herman, P. M. (2018) A cost-analysis of an interdisciplinary pediatric chronic pain clinic. The Journal of Pain, 19(2), 158-165.
- Gold, J. I. & Mahrer, N. E. (2018) Is Virtual Reality Ready for Prime Time in the Medical Space? A Randomized Control Trial of Pediatric Virtual Reality for Acute ProceduralPain Management. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43(3), 266-275.
- Knight, G.P., Carlo, G. Mahrer, N.E., & Davis, A.N. (2016). The socialization of culturally related values and prosocial tendencies among Mexican American adolescents. Child Development, 87(6), 1758-1771.
- Herman, P., Mahrer, N. E., Wolchik, S., Porter, M. M., Jones, S., & Sandler, I. N. (2014) Cost-benefit of a preventive intervention for divorced families: Reduction in mental health and justice system service use costs 15 years later. Prevention Science, 1-11.
- Mahrer, N. E., Luecken, L.J., Wolchik, S. A., & Tein, J. (2014). Exposure to maternal depressive symptoms in childhood and cortisol activity in young adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 0165025414537924.
- Mahrer, N. E., Winslow, E., Tein, J., Wolchik, S., & Sandler I. N. (2014). Effect of preventive parenting intervention for divorced families on the intergenerational continuity of parenting attitudes. Child Development, 85, 1771-2105.
- Wolchik, S. A., Sandler, I. N., Tein, J., Mahrer, N. E., Millsap, R. E., Winslow, E., Velez, C., Porter, M. M., Luecken, L.J., & Reed, A. (2013). Prevention of mental health and substance-related disorders: 15-year follow-up of a randomized trial of an intervention for divorced families. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 660-673.
- Mahrer, N. E., Montaño, Z., & Gold, J.I. (2012). Relations between anxiety sensitivity, somatization, and health-related quality of life in children with chronic pain. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37, 808-816.
- Gold, J. I., Mahrer, N. E., Yee, J., Palermo, T. M. (2009). Pain, fatigue and health-related quality of life in children and adolescents with chronic pain. Clinical Journal of Pain, 25, 407-412.
- Rinne, G.R., Mahrer, N.E., Davis, E.P., Guardino, C.M., Shalowitz, M., Ramey, S.L., Dunkel Schetter, C. Maternal depression during late pregnancy strongest predictor of child negative affect. Paper presented at the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology Annual Meeting on October 21, 2020.
- Ponting, C., Mahrer, N. E., Zelcer, H., Dunkel Schetter, C., & Chavira, D. Antenatal Psychological Interventions for Depression and Anxiety in Latina and Black Women in the Unites States: A Systematic Review. Paper presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 53rd Annual Convention, November 21-24, 2019.
- Mahrer, N.E., Guardino, C., Davis, E. P., Shalowitz, M. U., Adam, E., Ramey, S. L., Dunkel Schetter, C. Positive parentings in ethnically diverse families: Associations with cortisol and mental health in early childhood. Symposium presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, March 21 -23, 2019.
- Guardino, C., Mahrer, N. E., Ramey, S. L., Shalowitz, M. U., Dunkel Schetter, C. Diurnal salivary cortisol patterns in preschool-aged children: Associations with maternal pre-pregnancy and prenatal stress. Symposium presentation at the American Psychosomatic Society, March 6 – 9, 2019.
- Mahrer, N. E., Ramos, I., Guardino, C., Davis, E. P., Ramey, S. L., Shalowitz, M., & Dunkel Schetter, C. Ethnic and Acculturation Differences in the Relation between Pregnancy Anxiety and Child Temperament. Paper presented at Association for Psychological Science Convention, May 24 – 27, 2018.
- Mahrer, N. E., Engilman, R., Cabrales, A., Fisher, S., Nguyen, E., Lane, A., Hannani, M., & Gold, J. I. Virtual Reality for Managing Pediatric Pain and Anxiety during Venipuncture. Paper presented at the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference, March 30 – April 1, 2017.
- Mahrer, N. E., Yetwin, A. K., John, C. & Gold. J. I. How to Cope with Pediatric Chronic Pain: Does Pain Intensity Matter? Paper presented at the International Forum on Pediatric Pain, October 1 – 4, 2015.
- Mahrer, N. E., Herman, P., Wolchik, S., Porter, M. M., Jones, S., & Sandler, I. N. Cost-benefit Analysis of the New Beginnings Program, Preventive Intervention for Divorced Families. Symposium presentation at the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention, November 21 – 24, 2013.
- Mahrer, N. E., Winslow, E., Tein, J., Wolchik, S. A., & Sandler, I. N. Effect of Preventive Parenting Intervention for Divorced Families on the Intergenerational Continuity of Parenting Attitudes. Symposium presentation at Society for Research in Child Development, Themed Meeting: Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood, October 18-20, 2012.
- Mahrer, N. E., Carr, C. M., Wolchik, S. A., Sandler, I. N., & Tein, J. Long-Term Effects of a Preventive Intervention for Divorced Families on Offspring’s Problematic Beliefs about Divorce. Paper presented at the 119th American Psychological Association Convention, August 4 – 7, 2011.
- Mahrer, N. E., Luecken, L. J., Wolchik, S. A., Tein, J., & Sandler, I. N. Maternal Depression and Stress Reactivity: The Effect on Offspring in Emerging Adulthood. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, March 31-April 2, 2011.
Awards / Honors
- Randall Lewis Center for Wellbeing & Research Faculty Research Fellowship (2020)
- NIMH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship (2018)
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Exemplary Scholar Award (2017)
- P.E.O. Scholar Award (2015)
- ASU Graduate Excellence Award (2014)
- APF Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Scholarship (2013)
- NRSA Predoctoral Training Fellowship (2012)
- ASU Research Excellence Award (2009)
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