Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences
RM 347 - Life Sciences
- Ph.D of Philosophy, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Clinical-Community Psychology, 2018
- Pre-doctoral Clinical Internship, University of Wisconsin – Madison Psychiatric Institute and Clinics, 2018
- Master of Science, North Dakota State University, Clinical Psychology, 2011
- Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, 2023-Present
- Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling and Human Development & Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, 2021-2023
- Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, 2020-2021
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, 2018-2020
My program of research seeks to identify mechanisms that are involved in the initiation and continuance of behaviors that lead to short-term relief but have long-term negative consequences (hereafter dysregulated behaviors) such as nonsuicidal self-injury, substance use, and aggression. Specifically, my work examines the roles of emotions, cognitions, and their interaction as antecedents to these behaviors and how engaging in these behaviors affect emotion. My work uses multiple methods including laboratory-based experiments, ambulatory assessment, and meta-analysis. The majority of my work has focused on understanding the role of negative emotion in dysregulated behaviors. Many theories posit that negative affect is an antecedent to the engagement in a dysregulated behavior and that engagement in a dysregulated behavior has the consequence of temporary relief from negative affect (Baker et al., 2004; Linehan, 1993; Selby & Joiner, 2009).In several studies, I have found support for the role of affect as an antecedent to substance use (Bresin, Mekawi, & Verona, 20018; Bresin & Fairbairn, under review), nonsuicidal self-injury (e.g., Bresin, Carter, & Gordon, 2013), and aggression (Bresin & Gordon, 2013a). My work has also tested the proposal that engagement in dysregulated behaviors leads to temporary relief from negative emotions. Across several experiments and a meta-analysis, my work has shown that negative affect decreases after experiencing acute physical pain, a proxy for nonsuicidal self-injury (Bresin, et al., 2010; Bresin & Gordon, 2013b; Bresin, Kling, & Verona, 2018; Bresin & Verona, 2016). In my future work, I hope to develop a theoretical framework to help understand why some people engage in several dysregualted behaviors and others only one, and what influences people who engage in several dysregulated behaviors to engage in one at any given point in time.
Recently my work has also focused on understanding why dysregulated behaviors are more common among members of the LGBTQ+ community compared to cis-gender, straight peers. On-going studies are exploring the role of sexual and gender minority stress and social safety signally to potentially explain these health disparities.
I also supervise graduate students in the department's Psychological Services Center. We provide individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills groups, and couples counseling. We specialize in working with members of the LBGTQ+ community.
Bresin, K., Nicholas, J. K., Cowand, A. L.,Alacha, H. F.,Rodriguez, A. M., & Parrott, D. J (in press). The effects of Sexual and Gender Minority Stress on Relationship Functioning: A meta-analysis. Personal Relationships.
Bresin, K., & Verona, E. (2021). Craving and illicit substance use: Examining psychophysiological and behavioral moderators. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 163, 92-103.
Bresin, K. (2020). Toward a unifying theory of dysregulated behaviors. Clinical Psychology Review, 80, 101885
Bresin, K. & Mekawi, Y. (2022). Unpacking the construct of dysregulated behaviors using variable-centered and person-centered analytic approaches. Substance Use and Misuse, 57, 603-612.
For a full list see https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=WZ_bt4AAAAAJ&hl=en