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Susanna Sutherland

Graduate Student Researcher, PhD Candidate
Research Area: Clinical Science


Prevention of depression and other psychopathology in offspring of depressed parents, intergenerational transmission of depression

I am a sixth year Clinical Science PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University and am interested in the offspring of depressed parents.

I currently work on four projects. The first project is a multi-site, NIMH-funded randomized controlled trial (RCT) testing a family-based cognitive-behavioral/coping intervention for the prevention of depression in offspring of depressed parents. The second is an examination of developmental skills needed for youth to learn the skills taught in cognitive therapy (e.g., Theory of Mind). The third project is a retrospective examination of perinatal depression in mothers of young children and assessment of child health, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. The fourth is a literature analysis reviewing quantitatively and qualitatively the associations between severity, chronicity, and timing of maternal depression and offspring behavioral and cognitive outcomes.

I am currently beginning a practicum placement with the Adult Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic and I have completed practicums with the Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody, Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Behavioral Health Oncology/Hematology department, all under the umbrella of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

In addition, I have previously worked on 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. 

Representative Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Nestor, B. A., 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.

Sutherland, S., Brunwasser, S. M., Nestor, B. A. G. W., McCauley, E., Diamond, G., Scholoredt, K., & Garber, J. (2019). Prospective relations between parents’ depressive symptoms and children’s explanatory style. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Sutherland, S., & Brunwasser, S. M. (2018). Sex differences in vulnerability to prenatal stress: A review of the recent literature. Current Psychiatry Reports.

Manuscripts Under Review

 Sutherland, S., Nestor, B. A., Pine, A., Garber, J. (submitted for publication). Longitudinal relations between characteristics of maternal depression and children's functioning: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Nestor, B. A., Sutherland, S., Garber, J. (submitted for publication). Theory of mind in depression and anxiety: A meta-analysis.