David Kosson, Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Psychology
College of Health Professions
Room 2.660
Building: HSB
Phone: 847.578.8761
Fax: 847.578.8765
David.Kosson@rosalindfranklin.edu

Research Lab
Lab News
  • Congratulations to Sarah Tribble who recently married Timothy (T.J.) Hampton!
  • Congratulations to Erica Hynes who recently successfully defended her Masters thesis proposal. Her thesis project is titled “The Relationship between Early Life Events and Psychopathic Tendencies in Adolescents.”
  • Congratulations to Chelsea Brieman who recently completed her Masters thesis, entitled “The Impact of Psychopathy on the Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Substance Use Disorders.” She found that psychopathy moderated the relationship between SES and different categories of substances. She also replicated a unique relationship between scores on the interpersonal facet of psychopathy and cocaine dependence symptoms.
  • Chelsea Brieman and Cody Schraft won Best Scientific Talk at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science 2012 All School Research Consortium.
  • Dr. Marc Swogger received a K23 award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse: The impact of psychopathic traits on a substance use intervention for criminal offenders (K23 DA027720)
  • Dr. Zach Walsh received a three-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: One Size Does Not Fit All: A Prospective Multimethod Examination of Subtypes of Women and Men Involved in Intimate Partner Violence
  • A manuscript based on Mike Brook’s dissertation study, Psychopathic offenders are deficient in cognitive empathy: Evidence from a laboratory measure of empathic accuracy, is now in press at the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The title of this paper is: Psychopathic offenders are deficient in cognitive empathy: Evidence from a laboratory measure of empathic accuracy.
  • A manuscript reporting on the factor structure of psychopathy in adolescent females is now in press at Psychological Assessment. The citation is: Kosson, D. S., Neumann, C. S., Forth, A. E., Salekin, R. T., Hare, R. D., Krischer, M. K., & Sevecke, K. (in press). Factor structure of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL: YV) in adolescent females.
 Current Projects
  • Individual Differences in Personality: This project is designed to understand the personality traits and attitudes that contribute to antisocial and criminal behaviors. Using interviews, questionnaires, we try to understand the attitudes and experiences that lead to differences in personality traits and in personality disorders associated with antisocial behaviors. We also use laboratory tasks to examine emotional processing, cognitive processing, and problem-solving strategies that are more adaptive and that are maladaptive. Our focus is to identify relationships between individual differences in cognitive and emotional processing and in the attitudes and experiences associated with personality pathology.
  • Youth Development Project: This project is designed to understand how individual differences in the ability to manage feelings contribute to successful and unsuccessful outcomes for adolescents. In particular, we examine whether environmental and personological risk factors sometimes associated with poor coping and negative outcomes can be explained by individual differences in emotion regulation ability. Our ultimate goal is to identify emotion regulation mechanisms that can be targeted by counselors and therapists to help teens cope more effectively with challenges to successful development.
  • Neural Substrate of Cognitive and Emotional Deficits in Psychopathy: This project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and conducted in collaboration with Dr. Kent Kiehl, Dr. Carla Harenski, and Dr. Vince Calhoun of the University of New Mexico and the Mind Research Network is designed to provide simultaneous tests of three contemporary perspectives for cognitive and emotional deficits of psychopathic offenders. The project is designed to evaluate predictions of the left hemisphere activation hypothesis, the response modulation hypothesis, and the paralimbic hypothesis.
Recent Lab Presentations
Kosson, D. S., Weir, C. W., Taylor, D. K., & Kotwica, K. (2012, May). Evidence for maladaptive emotion regulation in adolescent detainees with symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Vitacco, M.J., Shirtcliff, E.A., Brieman, C. & Dismukes, A. (2012, March). Beyond physiological hypoarousal: The role of context and callous-unemotional traits in incarcerated adolescent males. Poster presented at the American Psychology and Law Society Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Brieman, C. L., Schraft, C. S., McBride, C. K., Knight, R. A., Daversa, M. T., & Kosson, D. S. (2011, May). The association between parental rejection and psychopathic traits in adolescent offenders. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

Brook, M., & Kosson, D. S. (2011, May). Empathic accuracy in psychopathic and nonpsychopathic offenders. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

Ellingwood, H., Bennell, C., Emeno, K., Forth, A., Kosson, D., & Hare, R. D. (2011, March). A multidimensional scaling analysis of the PCL: YV: Examining the structure of psychopathy in juveniles. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Miami, FL.

Gotisha, A.J., Shirtcliff, E.A., Vitacco, M.J., Graf, A.R., Brieman, C. & Merz, J. (2011, March). Neuroendocrine function of incarcerated youth: A mechanism for the development of psychopathy. Paper Symposium presented at Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Montreal, Canada.

Hynes, E., Tribble, S., Yeh, M., & Kosson, D. S. (2011, May). Psychopathic traits as moderators of the relationship between parental attachment and adolescent antisocial behavior. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

Pham, T., Kosson, D.S., Ducro, C, & Stafford, M.C. (2011, May). The factor structure of psychopathy in a Belgian prison and forensic hospital. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

Pham, T, Kosson, D.S., Ducro, C, & Stafford, M.C. (2011, June). Psychopathy among the forensic defense system in Belgium. Paper presented at the eleventh annual meeting of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, Barcelona, Spain.

Ridder, K., Tribble, S., Vinesar-Porutiu, D., & Kosson, D. S. (2011, May). Correlates of the factors of the Interpersonal Measure of Psychopathy among detained adolescents. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

Riser, R. E., Brieman, C. L., & Kosson, D. S. (2011, May). The relationship of father involvement and family structure in psychopathic offenders. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

Tribble, S., Vitacco, M. J., & Kosson, D. S. (2011, May). The construct validity of the factors of the Interpersonal Measure of Psychopathy. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, Montreal, Canada.

 Research Lab Members
Cody V. Schraft, M.S. Cody is a 6th year doctoral student with Masters in Science degrees in Forensic Psychology and in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests are focused on the relationship between environmental factors associated with childhood abuse, maltreatment, and trauma and the presentation of externalizing psychopathology, including conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and psychopathic traits in youth populations.
 
Sarah Tribble, M. S. Sarah is a 5th year student with a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology who is now working on her PhD. Her research focus has primarily been with adolescents, but her clinical work has spanned child and adult populations in a variety of settings. Her primary focus is the forensic application of clinical psychology. Sarah's research interests include attributional biases exhibited by those with maladaptive personality traits, attachment problems and their relationship to psychopathology, the role of parenting practices in the development of psychopathology, the experience of shame and guilt for those with psychopathic traits, and the forensic assessment of incarcerated individuals.
 
Chelsea L. Brieman, M.S. Chelsea is a 4th year doctoral student with a Masters in Science in Clinical Psychology. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in psychology and social welfare. She is primarily interested in the study of environmental/familial factors associated with the development of psychopathic traits. In addition, her recent research focus has been on psychopathy and its effects on significant others. She is also interested in the development and manifestation of other personality disorders. Chelsea is a research assistant on the “Neural Substrate of Cognitive and Emotional Deficits in Psychopathy” project, and has recently attended fMRI training workshops in Boulder, CO, and Albuquerque, NM.
 
Kristin A. Ridder. Kristin is a fourth year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is involved in the Youth Development Project and also has interests in the relationship between biological factors such as testosterone and psychopathy. Her master's thesis is aimed at investigating the evidence for subtypes of youth with psychopathic traits.
 
Erica J. Hynes. Erica is a third year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2004 where she majored in Psychology and in Law & Criminology. Following graduation she worked as a Research Coordinator in a adolescent neuropsychology lab before enrolling in Rosalind Franklin’s doctoral program. Her clinical training thus far has included practica at a community mental health Center, Youth Build, and at the Lovell Federal Health Care Center working with veterans. Currently, her clinical interests involve adult forensic assessment. Her research interests relate to early environmental factors in the development of psychopathy.
  Christine L. Meltzer. Christine is a third year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She attended Grand Valley State University where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Her research interests relate primarily to psychopathy and aggression but also include studying the etiology of psychopathy. Christine is currently working on her master's thesis proposal which is aimed at understanding the relationship between psychopathy and reactive aggression.

 
Melanie A. Chinchilla. Melanie graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Francisco with a BA in Psychology. After that, she spent four years working with various at-risk populations and has an interest in public health issues. Currently, Melanie is a 2nd year doctoral student working on the youth Development Project. Her research interests focus on personality disorders (specifically psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder), environmental factors, and externalizing behavior in adolescent populations. Currently, Melanie is working on her Masters thesis that examines how psychopathic traits in adolescents may impact the relationship between environmental factors and antisocial outcomes.

 
Kristen M. Klipfel. Kristen is a first year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Italian from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Her research interests include looking at the intimate romantic relationships of men who have been classified as true psychopaths, looking at various subtypes within the larger domain of psychopathy, which she hopes will lead to the development of effective treatment strategies for this population, and examining the early social factors that contribute to the development of this disorder.
  Kathleen M. Montry. Katie is a 1st year doctoral student who completed her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her research interests include structural and functional deficiencies of the amygdala and frontal cortex and cognitive deficits during left hemisphere activation in psychopathic individuals.
  Stephanie Smith. Stephanie is a 2nd year Clinical Counseling Masters student at RFUMS and is currently involved with the Individual Difference in Personality project. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northern Illinois University with a BS in Psychology. Stephanie also volunteers at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center to help veterans with PTSD. Her research interests include personality disorders, primarily psychopathy, specifically with anger rumination and expression, interpersonal identification and disidentification, and vocal affect recognition. She plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology
   Jessica DeBaufer.  Jessica is a 1st year Clinical Counseling Masters student at RFUMS and is also currently involved with the Individual Difference in Personality project.  She graduated from with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Marquette University.  While at Marquette she was in two research labs. The first was with Dr. Saunders researching the way individuals seek help for mental illnesses. The second was with Dr. Gordon researching how emotions impact the way individuals navigate their world. 
Research Lab Alumni
 

 Rebecca E. Riser, Ph.D. Rebecca is a 6th year doctoral student who majored in Psychology and Anthropology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She completed her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology at RFUMS in 2010. Her research and clinical interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying various personality syndromes (namely psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder). Rebecca also has interests in self-injurious, suicidal, and other maladaptive behaviors that may be used to regulate affect but which may lead to avoidance and exacerbate anxiety and mood difficulties. She is interested in understanding the development, course, and treatment of personality disorders and co-morbid conditions, and is especially interested in emotion regulation in individuals with personality disorders. Her dissertation study examines whether individuals with psychopathic traits are characterized by difficulties in emotion regulation. Rebecca is currently completing an adult forensic internship at Tulane School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA.
  Marc Swogger, Ph.D. Dr. Swogger's research focuses primarily on psychopathy and violence among criminal offenders. He studies factors that moderate the relationships between psychopathic traits and key public health outcomes, including general interpersonal violence, intimate partner violence, suicidal behavior, and criminal recidivism. Dr. Swogger has begun a randomized clinical trial to study how personality heterogeneity impacts the efficacy of a substance use intervention among offenders.
   Michael Brook, Ph.D.  Dr. Brook's primary clinical interest is in neuropsychological assessment, particularly as applied to the justice system, including issues of fitness, mitigation, risk assessment, and neuropsychological Independent Medical Evaluations (IMEs) of criminal and civil litigants. He is also interested in neuropsychological evaluation of patients with epilepsy, brain tumors, and other conditions affecting cognitive function including cerebrovascular, metabolic, autoimmune, and genetic disorders. His research focuses on investigating the neuropsychological correlates of interpersonal violence and psychopathy, as well as neurocognition in patients undergoing neurosurgical intervention.
   Zach Walsh, Ph.D. Zach Walsh, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Psychology and Co-Director for the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008 from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and completed a clinical internship and a research fellowship at the Brown University Centre for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. He is a registered clinical psychologist whose research has been supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Health Canada, BC Interior Health Authority, the Peter Wall Endowment and the American Psychological Association. He leads two distinct labs focused on Personality and Violence and Therapeutic, Recreational, and Problematic Substance Use.
Research Lab Links

The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy

Robert Hare’s website for the study of Psychopathy

Paul Frick’s Developmental Psychopathology Lab website

The Aftermath: Surviving Psychopathy Foundation 

Research Lab Photos
 Lab Meetings in Montreal
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lab Meetings in New Orleans
 
 
 
 
 
Chicago Pictures
 
 
Life in Discovery
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