Dr. Spencer Evans

Spencer Evans

Dr. Spencer Evans is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Beginning in January 2021, he will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami. 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.

Website: http://www.evans-lab.org/ 

Representative Publications

Evans, S. C., Weisz, J. R., Carvalho, A. C., Garibaldi, P. M., Bearman, S. K., Chorpita, B. F., & the Research Network on Youth Mental Health. (2020). Effects of standard and modular psychotherapies in the treatments of youth with severe irritability. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 88(3), 255-268. PDF

Evans, S. C., Bonadio, F. T., Bearman, S. K., Ugueto, A. M., Chorpita, B. F., & Weisz, J. R. (2019). Assessing the irritable and defiant dimensions of youth oppositional behavior using CBCL and YSR items. Journal of Clinical and Adolescent Psychology. Advance online publication. PDF

Evans, S. C., & Fite, P. J. (2019). Dual pathways from reactive aggression to depressive symptoms in children: Further examination of the failure model. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47(1), 85-97. PDF 

Evans, S. C., Frazer, A. L., Blossom, J. B., & Fite, P. J. (2018). Forms and functions of aggression in early childhood. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 48(5), 790-798. PDF

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, 13(2):e0192219. PDF

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. PDF