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The Advancing Care through Community Engagement, Services, and Outcome Research (ACCESO) Laboratory, located in the Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas, is directed by Omar Gudiño, Ph.D., ABPP.
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Trainee Lab Members
We asked each of the ACCESO Lab student/trainee members:
- What is your area of research interest?
- How has ABCT been helpful to you?
- If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?
Alexandra M. Golik, M.A.
- My research interests focus on examining the influence and interplay of risk and resilience factors, including cultural and familial (e.g., parent-child interactions) factors, on youth internalizing concerns, service use, and treatment response. I focus on studying minority youth in the United States, particularly, Latinx youth.
- I gain so much from being an ABCT member and attending the convention. It is a great resource to learn about the latest research in the field of mental health, gain inspiration for research, and improve clinical practice. It is also a wonderful opportunity to connect with other psychologists and overall expand one’s professional network—not to mention, a great space to reunite with dear friends!
- There are many ABCT resources that I would recommend, but I would say the top ones are: (1) joining a Special Interest Group (SIG) in your area of interest, (2) attending the SIG poster and cocktail event at the annual convention, and (3) if applying to graduate school, attending the ABCT convention panel on how to prepare for this process.
Alexandra Zax, M.A.
- I am broadly interested in how early childhood adversity may give rise to poor self-regulatory behaviors, and how cultural and cognitive factors moderate these pathways. I am also interested in the impact of individual and systemic factors on the delivery of mental health services in Latinx communities.
Christopher Gomez, M.A.
- My research focuses on understanding and bolstering mental health in Latino youth and families. Specifically, I investigate individual, cultural, and environmental characteristics that may buffer the risk for Latino youth to develop mental health problems, with an emphasis on internalizing symptoms.
- I first attended the ABCT annual convention in 2017! Being surrounded by professionals across many fields served as inspiration to pursue a graduate degree in clinical child psychology. I consider ABCT my academic and professional home.
- I would recommend attending the ABCT convention and immersing yourself in the research and presentations. If possible, presenting your research at the convention to create professional opportunities and interactions.
Selena A. Baca, M.A.
- My primary research interests lie in better understanding the role of risk and protective factors within the ecological ecosystem of underserved youth (e.g., Latinx youth), as well as the role these factors play in experiences of adversity and mental health (e.g., trauma). I hope to address questions such as: How can we protect youth from developing poor mental health outcomes following adverse experiences? What factors in a child’s environment differentiate those who experience adversity and have poor outcomes and those who remain resilient? My goal is to develop research that informs intervention efforts for children and adolescents following harmful early life experiences.
- ABCT has been very helpful in developing my career. For example, ABCT has given me the opportunity to present at the annual convention, which has allowed me to familiarize myself with the latest research while networking with individuals who have similar interests. Additionally, being a part of the ABCT List Serve allows me to stay informed on the current research and clinical techniques in the field.
- I would encourage them to participate in ABCT conventions and to take advantage of the many student-related opportunities that are often organized for the conventions. I also recommend joining the ABCT List Serve to stay up-to-date on the latest news, findings, and research in the field.
Omar Gudiño, Ph.D., ABPP
Dr. Omar Gudiño is Associate Professor and Associate Director in the Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas. Dr. Gudiño’s program of research examines racial/ethnic disparities in children’s mental health and the delivery of evidence-based services to diverse youth and families. He is Associate Editor for the Journal of Latinx Psychology; President-Elect of the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology; and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. He is a Beck Institute CBT Certified Clinician and is board-certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
The Advancing Care through Community Engagement, Services, and Outcome Research (ACCESO) Lab conducts research on the mental health and service needs of children and families. With a special focus on Latinx families and youth exposed to adversity, our work seeks to answer two key questions: (1) Why do some youth fare better than others in the face of adversity?; and (2) How do we ensure equitable access to quality services for children in need? We pay particular attention to the cultural, community, and systemic factors that impact the mental health of children as well as the delivery of services. Furthermore, we value community-based research conducted in partnership with the agencies and public service systems that are ultimately responsible for serving the mental health needs of vulnerable children and families.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I joined when I started graduate school in 2003, so 18 years at this point!
How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?
I attend the ABCT convention almost every year. It really is a wonderful place to discuss new ideas while connecting with friends and colleagues.
How do you stay current with developments in the field?
Fortunately, I get to do this as part of my professional role. Conducting research, mentoring graduate student research, teaching courses, delivering trainings and clinical supervision, engaging in professional service, serving on editorial boards, and attending regular trainings all require (and support me in) staying current. Our community partnerships and community service also ensure that we stay current on community needs and relevant policy, so that our research is aligned with community impact.
How has ABCT helped you/your lab professionally?
ABCT has been a wonderful professional home. The ABCT journals (Behavior Therapy and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice) and the Behavior Therapist are excellent sources of information and the convention has been a wonderful catalyst for new ideas and collaboration. I love getting the opportunity to see mentors, friends, and colleagues and to meet new colleagues and prospective students at the convention.
Does your lab have any traditions or do anything together for fun?
We like to find time during the semester to share a meal and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we did a breakout room (“escape room”) as lab. It was a lot of fun and I’m happy to say we broke out of the room just as the time was about to run out (and with only a few extra clues)!
What advice would you give prospective trainees?
My best advice is to enjoy the process! As stressful and uncertain as the application process can be, it is important to stay connected to why you are going through it. For applicants to my lab, I am particularly interested in the kinds of questions that motivate you. Research experience (particularly thesis or independent research projects) is very important, but what is particularly important is having questions that you hope to answer through research. Given our focus on Latinx youth and families, youth exposed to adversity, and community-engaged research, I am particularly interested in trainees who have an interest in conducting research out in the real world. Experiences learning from diverse communities, systems, and settings can be fuel important research questions.