Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Child and Adolescent Mood Laboratory

The Child & Adolescent Mood Laboratory's work centers on understanding the ways in which cognitive, social, and biological factors interact in placing youth at risk for depression, and in developing evidence-based prevention and treatment programs for depression, anxiety and suicide among youth. Depression and suicide among youth are important clinical and public health concerns. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death among adolescents, accounting for more deaths than all medical illnesses combined in this age group. Our objective is to develop evidence-based treatments for treating depression and reducing suicidality among children and adolescents.

Our current work include studies of predictors of relapse and recurrence after treatment for depression, gender differences in vulnerability for depression, neurocognitive substrates of depression among youth (with particular attention to reward systems) , and the application of cognitive bias modification strategies with vulnerable youth. In conjunction with colleagues at other universities, we have developed an internet based “resilience” program for at-risk teens. We have been very active in disseminating evidence-based procedures for treating depressed youth and preventing adolescent suicide.

The basic questions that our work seeks to address include:

  1. How can we account for high rates of relapse after treatment of depression?

  2. Are there biological, social or cognitive markers that can be used to identify youth who are most at risk for relapse?

  3. How can we understand the very significant gender difference in relapse rates?

  4. What social factors contribute to the development of maladaptive beliefs and vulnerability for depression among youth?

  5. What are the neurological mechanisms by which CBT exerts its effects on mood? 

  6. Are there neurocognitive markers or predictors of response to treatment?

  7. How can evidence-based approaches for treating depression and preventing suicide be disseminated to schools and communities?  

Our Success


Lab Staff

Graduate Students

Contact Us

Contact Mark Reinecke, PhD, for more information on the Child and Adolescent Mood Laboratory.

Mark Reinecke