Skip to main content

Judy Garber

Professor of Psychology and Human Developent;
Professor of Psychiatry; Investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

Judy Garber, Ph.D. Her research focuses on the etiology, course, outcome, treatment, and prevention of mood disorders in children and adolescents. She studies social-cognitive, environmental, biological, and interpersonal factors that contribute to the onset and maintenance of mood disorders. Dr. Garber is interested in the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral interventions with depressed adolescents, and the prevention of depression, particularly in high-risk offspring of depressed parents.

Dr. Garber’s current research includes (a) a randomized controlled trial (RCT) testing the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy enhanced with training in theory of mind/perspective-taking; (b) a multi-site RCT testing the efficacy of a coached, online mindfulness program with adolescents; and (c) a multi-site RCT testing a family-based cognitive-behavioral/coping intervention for the prevention of depression in offspring of depressed parents. 

In addition, Dr. Garber has conducted a study testing the efficacy of a program for preventing depressive symptoms in high-risk youth, a longitudinal study of the impact on children of their parents receiving treatment for depression, a six-year longitudinal study of the contribution of cognitions, stress, family relationships, and coping in the development of depression during adolescence, a laboratory study aimed at identifying predictors of negative cognitions in young children, and a study testing the efficacy of a short-term, experimental interventions for enhancing positive affect systems in children of depressed parents.

Garber is director of an NIMH-funded training program in the "Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Science to Intervention."

Research Areas

  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • Prevention and treatment of depression
  • Social cognitions (e.g., Theory of Mind) and depression
  • Negative affect and mindfulness interventions
  • Stress and coping
  • Illness behavior in children

Funded Research:


  • Principal Investigator,  NIH/NIMH (1R33 MH115125),  "Social Cognitive Training to Enhance the Efficacy of CBT for Depression in Youth: A Developmental Approach"  07/01/2018 – 06/30/2024  
  • Principal Investigator, NIH/NIMH 1 R61 MH119270-01. "Targeting negative affect through mindfulness training in youth at risk for internalizing problems" Multiple PIs: Emma Adam, Denise Chavira, Michelle Craske, Richard Zinbarg   04/01/2020 – 11/31/2025
  • Principal Investigator, NIMH (2 T32 MH018921-21A1). “Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Science to Intervention” 07/01/2020 - 06/30/2025

Recent Past

  • Multiple Principal Investigators: Compas & Garber.  NIMH (R01MH100258), “Family Cognitive Behavioral Prevention of Depression in Youth and Parents.” 03/01/14 – 02/28/19
  • Co‑Principal Investigator (Lynn Walker, P.I.), NIH (R01HD076983), "Predicting treatment response in pediatric functional abdominal pain."  04/01/14 – 03/31/19
  • Principal Investigator, NIMH (R01MH64735), “Prevention of depression: Impact on the transition to early adulthood.” 3/1/09 – 2/28/15
  • Principal Investigator, “Parents' Adherence to Treatment Recommendations: Do It for the Children.” NIMH (1 RC1 MH088329), 09/30/09 – 08/31/12.


Lab Website

Representative Publications

Garber, J. (2022). The Development of Psychosocial Therapeutic and Preventive Interventions for Mental Disorders (R61/R33): A User's Guide. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 51(3), 360-373. PubMed PMID: 35549571; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9177818.

Abitante, G., Haraden, D.A., Pine, A., Cole, D. & Garber, J . (2022). Trajectories of positive and negative affect across adolescence: Maternal history of depression and adolescent sex as predictors, Journal of Affective Disorders, 315, 96-104, ISSN 0165-0327,

Cullum, K. A., Goodman, S. H., Garber, J., Korelitz, K., Sutherland, S., & Stewart, J. (2022). A positive parenting program to enhance positive affect in children of previously depressed mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 36(5), 692-703.

Nestor B., Sutherland, S., & Garber, J. (2022). Theory of mind performance in depression: A meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 303, 233-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.02.028. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 35176344; NIHMSID: NIHMS1784897.

Pine A.E., Liu, Q., Abitante, G., Sutherland, S., & Garber, J. (2022). Predictors of sleep-problem trajectories across adolescence. Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. doi: 10.1007/s10802-022-00899-0. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 35092529; PMCID: PMC9246962.

Garber, J., & Bradshaw, C. (2020). Developmental psychopathology and the Research Domain Criteria: Friend or foe? Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 49(03), 1–12. DOI:

Nestor, B., Sutherland, S., Kouros, C. D.,Brunwasser, S. M., Hollon, S. D., Weersing, V. R., Gladstone, T. R. G., Clarke, G., Beardslee, W., Brent, D., & Garber, J. (2020). Effects of an adolescent depression prevention program on maternal criticisms and positive remarks. Journal of Family Psychology. Advance online publication. Epub 2020 Jul 13. PMID: 32658515. PMCID: 8022270.

Garber, J., Goodman, S., Brunwasser, S., Frankel, S.A., Herrington, C.G. (2019). The effect of content and tone of maternal evaluative feedback on self-cognitions and affect in young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 182, 151–165. PMC6414248.

Lynch, F. L., Dickerson, J.F., Clarke, G., Beardslee, W., Weersing, V.R., Gladstone, G., Porta, G., Brent, D., Mark, T. L. DeBar, L., Hollon, S.D., & Garber, J. (2019). Cost-effectiveness of preventing depression in at-risk adolescents: Post-intervention and two-year follow-up. Psychiatric Services, 70(4):279-286. 

Sutherland, S., Brunwasser, S. M., Nestor, B. A., McCauley, E., Diamond, G., Schloredt, K., & Garber, J. (2019). Prospective relations between parents’ depressive symptoms and children’s attributional style. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 25, 1-11. DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2019.1567346 PMCID: PMC6761048.

Garber, J., Weersing, V.R., Hollon, S.D., Porta, G., Clarke, G.N., Dickerson, J., Beardslee, W.R., Lynch, F.L., Gladstone, T.G., Shamseddeen, W., & Brent, D. (2018). Prevention of depression in at-risk adolescents: Moderators of long-term response. Prevention Science, Feb;19 (Suppl 1):6-15. PMC4969230,

Hankin, B. L., Young, J. F., Gallop, R., & Garber, J. (2018). Cognitive and interpersonal vulnerabilities to adolescent depression: classification of risk profiles for a personalized prevention approach. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 1-13.

Goodman, S., & Garber, J. (2017). Evidence-based interventions for depressed mothers and their young children. Child Development. 88(2), 368-377. 

Brunwasser, S.M., & Garber, J. (2016). Programs for the prevention of youth depression: Evaluation of efficacy, effectiveness, and readiness for dissemination. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45(6), 763-783.

Garber, J., Brunwasser, S., Zerr, A.A., Schwartz, K.T.G., Sova, K., & Weersing, V.R. (2016). Treatment and prevention of depression and anxiety in youth: Test of cross-over effects. Depression and Anxiety 33, 939–959. 

Garber, J., Frankel, S.A., & Herrington, C.G. (2016). Developmental demands of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression in children and adolescents: Cognitive, social, and emotional processes. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12, 181-216. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032814-112836

Evans, L.D., Kouros, C.D., Samanez-Larkin, S., & Garber, J. (2016). Concurrent and short-term prospective relations among neurocognitive functioning, coping, and depressive symptoms in youth. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45(1), 6-20. 

Klimes-Dougan, B., & Garber, J. (2016). Regulatory control in adolescents with depression: Findings from neuroimaging and neuropsychological research. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 45(1), 1-5.

Korelitz, K., & Garber, J. (2016). Congruence of parents' and children's perceptions of parenting: A meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(10). 1973-1995.   

Evans, L.D., Kouros, C.D., Frankel, S.A., McCauley, E., Diamond, G.S., Schloredt, K.A., & Garber, J. (2015). Longitudinal relations between stress and depressive symptoms in youth: Coping as a mediator. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology43(2), 355–368.

Morris, M.C., Evans, L.D., Rao, U., & Garber, J. (2015). Executive function moderates the relation between coping and depressive symptoms. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 28(1):31-49.

Kouros, C.D., & Garber, J. (2014). Trajectories of individual depressive symptoms in adolescents: Gender and family relationships as predictors. Developmental Psychology, 50(12), 2633-2643.

Morris, M.C., Kouros, C.D., Hellman, N., Rao, U., & Garber, J. (2014). Two prospective studies of changes in stress generation across depressive episodes in adolescents and emerging adults. Development and Psychopathology, 26, 1385-1400.

Beardslee, W.R., Brent, D.A., Weersing, V.R., Clarke, G.N., Porta, G., Hollon, S.D., Gladstone, T.R.G., Gallop, R., Lynch, F.L., Iyengar, S., DeBar, L., & Garber, J. (2013). Prevention of depression in at-risk adolescents: Longer-term effects. Journal of the American Medical Association - Psychiatry, 70(11), 1161-1170.

Kouros, C.D., Quasem, S L, & Garber, J. (2013). Dynamic temporal relations between anxious and depressive symptoms across adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 683-697.

Morris, M.C., Rao, U., Wang, L., & Garber, J. (2013). Cortisol reactivity to experimentally manipulated psychosocial stress in young adults at varied risk for depression. Depression and Anxiety, 31(1), 44- 52. doi: 10.1002/da.22125 PMID: 23606237

Morris, M.C., Compas, B.E., & Garber, J. (2012). Relations among Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, comorbid Major Depression, and HPA Function: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 32(4), 301-315.  

Carter, J.S., & Garber, J. (2011). Predictors of the first onset of a major depressive episode and changes in depressive symptoms across adolescence: Stress and negative cognitions Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(4), 779–796.

Garber, J., Ciesla, J.A., McCauley, E., Diamond, G., & Schloredt, K.A, (2011). Remission of depression in parents: Links to healthy functioning in their children. Child Development, 82(1), 244–261.

Garber, J., & Cole, D.A. (2010). Intergenerational transmission of depression: A launch and grow model of change across adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 22(4), 819-830.

Garber, J., Clarke, G., Weersing, V. R., Beardslee, W.R., Brent, D., Gladstone, T., Debar, L., Lynch, F., D'Angelo, E., Hollon, S.D., Shamseddeen, W., & Iyengar, S. (2009). Prevention of depression in at-risk adolescents: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 301(21), 2215-2224.

Horowitz, J.L., Garber, J., Ciesla, J.A., Young, J., & Mufson, L. (2007). Prevention of depressive symptoms in adolescents: A randomized trial of cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal prevention programs. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 693-706.

Garber, J. (2006). Depression in children and adolescents: Linking risk research and prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31, Supplement 1,104-125.

Horowitz, J.L., & Garber, J. (2006). The prevention of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 401-415.



  • 1988-1993, W. T. Grant Faculty Scholar
  • 1992, Boyd R. McCandless Young Scientist Award for Research in Developmental Psychology
  • 1995, David Shakow Young Investigator Award from the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association
  • 2003-2008, Independent Scientist Career Development Award, National Institute of Mental Health
  • 2010, Chancellor's Research Award, Vanderbilt University
  • 2017-2022, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair 
  • 2019, Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for the Science of Clinical Psychology, Section III of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association