Dr. Spencer Evans

Spencer Evans

Dr. Spencer Evans is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Dr. Evans earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Kansas, where he later completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology. After completing an APA-accredited internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (Child Track), he joined the Harvard Youth Mental Health Lab. Currently, Dr. Evans works on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based assessment and treatment methods, with a focus on transdiagnostic, personalized, and measurement-based approaches. He previously served as Project Director for the Connecticut Child STEPs Study (a randomized controlled trial of MATCH). Dr. Evans’s research has examined subtypes of aggressive and disruptive behavior (proactive and reactive aggression; irritable and defiant dimensions of oppositionality) and their associations with emotional, social, and academic outcomes. For several years he worked with the World Health Organization in their development of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) section on Mental and Behavioural Disorders, particularly Disruptive Behaviour and Dissocial Disorders. Clinically, he has worked as a therapist, examiner, consultant, and trainer, emphasizing evidence-based services for common emotional and behavioral problems affecting youth in school, outpatient, pediatric, and inpatient settings.

Broadly, Spencer’s research seeks to advance the understanding and treatment of emotional and behavioral dysregulation in youth, with three interrelated areas of interest: (a) examining developmental correlates and outcomes of disruptive behavior, mood disturbance, and irritability; (b) leveraging assessment techniques to improve diagnosis and treatment in youth mental health care; and (c) quantitative methods, research design, and scientific issues in clinical psychology.


Representative Publications

Evans, S. C., Frazer, A. L., Blossom, J. B., & Fite, P. J. (2018). Forms and functions of aggression in early childhood. Advance online publication. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. doi:10.1080/15374416.2018.1485104

Evans, S. C., & Fite, P. J. (2018). Dual pathways from reactive aggression to depressive symptoms in children: Further examination of the failure model. Advance online publication. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-018-0426-6

Evans, S. C., Amaro, C. M., Herbert, R., Blossom, J. B., & Roberts, M. C. (2018). “Are you gonna publish that?” Peer-reviewed publication outcomes of doctoral dissertations in psychology. PLOS ONE. doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192219

Evans, S. C., Burke, J. D., Roberts, M. C., Fite, P. J., Lochman, J. E., de la Peña, F. R., & Reed, G. M. (2017). Irritability in child and adolescent psychopathology: An integrative review for ICD-11. Clinical Psychology Review, 53, 29-45. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2017.01.004

Evans, S. C., Blossom, J. B., Canter, K. S., Poppert-Cordts, K., Kanine, R., Garcia, A., & Roberts, M. C. (2016). Self-reported emotion reactivity among early-adolescent girls: Evidence for convergent and discriminant validity in an urban community sample. Behavior Therapy, 47, 299-311. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2016.01.003

Evans, S. C., Pederson, C. A., Fite, P. J., Blossom, J. B. & Cooley, J. L. (2016). Teacher-reported irritable and defiant dimensions of Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Social, behavioral, and academic correlates. School Mental Health, 8, 292-304. doi:10.1007/s12310-015-9163-y

Evans, S. C., Fite, P. J., Hendrickson, M. L., Rubens, S. L, & Mages, A. K. (2015). The role of reactive aggression in the link between hyperactive-impulsive behaviors and peer rejection in adolescents. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 46, 903-912. doi:10.1007/s10578-014-0530-y