Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher Green and Gold Professor in Psychology
Research and/or Creative Works
My primary research interests are the psychopathology and treatment of adult mood disorders, including:
- cognitive-behavioral models of depression onset, maintenance, and recurrence.
- cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression.
- subtypes of recurrent depression including seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and menstrual distress.
- secondary research interests in the role of the menstrual cycle in the onset and maintenance of anxiety in women.
The Rohan Laboratory is currently conducting a 5-year randomized clinical trial, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, in which 160 community adults with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) will be treated with either SAD-tailored cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-SAD) or with light therapy and followed over 2 years. This project applies the experimental therapeutics approach to determine the mechanisms through which CBT-SAD and light therapy work and to identify the best candidates for each. Consistent with NIMH’s focus on biological endpoints, we will ascertain whether theoretically-derived candidate biomarkers of each treatment’s target and effect are prescriptive of better outcomes in that treatment vs. the other.
Rohan, K. J., Franzen, P. L., Roeckelin, K. A., Siegle, G. J., Kolko, D. J., Postolache, T. T., & Vacek, P. M. (2022). Elucidating treatment targets and mediators within a confirmatory efficacy trial: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy vs. light therapy for winter depression. Trials, 23, 383. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-022-06330-9
Meyerhoff, J., Iyiewuare, P., Mulder, L., & Rohan, K. J. (2021). A qualitative study of perceptions of risk and protective factors for suicide among Bhutanese refugees. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 12(3), 204-214. https://doi.org/10.1037/aap0000235
Perez, J., & Rohan, K. J. (2021). Cognitive predictors of depressive symptoms: Cognitive reactivity, mood reactivity, and dysfunctional attitudes. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 45, 123-135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-020-10174-5
Rohan, K. J., Burt, K. B., Camuso, J., Perez, J., & Meyerhoff, J. (2020). Applying experimental therapeutics to examine cognitive and chronological vulnerabilities as mediators of acute outcomes in CBT-SAD and light therapy for winter depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88(8), 786-797. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000499
Rohan, K. J., Meyerhoff, J., Ho, S., Evans, M., Postolache, T. T., & Vacek, P. M. (2016). Outcomes one and two winters following cognitive-behavioral therapy or light therapy for seasonal affective disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(3), 244-251. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.15060773
Rohan, K. J., Mahon, J. N., Evans, M., Ho, S., Meyerhoff, J., Postolache, T. T., & Vacek, P. M. (2015). Randomized trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy vs. light therapy for seasonal affective disorder: Acute outcomes. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(9), 862-869. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.14101293