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Summer Institute Courses in Mental Health Research

The Summer Institute in Mental Health Research is offered over the course of a two-week period (previously June 22 - July 2 for Summer 2009) by the Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Institute focuses on methodological and substantive topics in mental health and substance-use research. It is intended for working professionals or students who are interested in developing research expertise in the epidemiology of mental health and substance use disorders, the implementation and evaluation of mental health services and interventions, and/or the methodological issues encountered in mental health research in the population.

After completing the program, participants will understand the latest findings on the occurrences of mental health and substance use disorders in the population and their implications for public mental health; know the steps involved in the scientific, empirical evaluation of services and interventions targeted for mental health outcomes; and acquire the skills and knowledge needed in using the state of the art methodological tools for collecting and analyzing mental health data.

For the 2009 Summer Institute course listing, please click here. For information regarding registration and tuition/fees, visit the General Institute Information page or click here.

Course Descriptions


Gender and Mental Health
Tamar Mendelson
June 24, 2009; 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
330.627.11 (1 credit)
Examines gender differences in critical areas of mental health using a lifespan developmental approach. Contextualizes material using perspectives from biology, genetics, evolutionary theory, theories of socialization, and feminist theories. Focuses primarily on populations, covering mental health issues relevant to childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and late life. Addresses gender differences in normative development (e.g., socialization of emotion) and in major mental and behavioral disorders (e.g., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder). Explores the impact of differential exposure and vulnerability to social stress (e.g., role strain) on psychological functioning. Also discusses implications for intervention and prevention.

Mental Health in the Developing World: Cross-Cultural and Trans-Cultural Perspectives
Judith Bass
June 25, 26, 2009; 8:30 am- 12:30 pm
330.636.11 (1 credit)
Provides information on the prevalence and incidence of mental illnesses in developing countries. Culturally appropriate assessment methods and methods for validating diagnoses in non-Western contexts will be presented. Challenges and feasibility issues for conducting intervention trials in these contexts will be discussed. Case studies will come from Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Introduction to Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics
Peter Zandi
June 22, 23, 24, 2009; 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
330.637.11 (1 credit)
This course provides an overview of research methods and their application to the study of behavioral and psychiatric genetics. The course begins by briefly introducing necessary concepts in molecular and population genetics. It then surveys study designs and analytic methods used to investigate the genetic contribution to human behavior and its disturbances. The study designs covered will include the following: family, twin and adoption studies to evaluate the extent of a genetic contribution; segregations studies to determine the mode of inheritance; linkage and association studies to map genes; and other epidemiologic designs to elucidate genes by environment interactions. These will be illustrated through examples of real studies. At the end of the course, the student will be familiar with our current understanding of the role genetic factors play in human behavior and its disturbances and how our research may further that understanding.

Epidemiology of Major Mental Disorders
William Eaton and Peter Zandi
June 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 2009; 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
330.669.11 (2 credits)
Presents an overview of the epidemiology of schizophrenia and associated syndromes; affective psychosis, including bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder and associated syndromes; and the anxiety syndromes, including panic, agoraphobia, social and specific phobia and generalized anxiety. Assumes basic knowledge of the clinical features of the syndromes, but touches briefly on issues of assessment in the context of epidemiology. Includes the fundamentals of descriptive epidemiology for each syndrome (prevalence, incidence, natural history); consequences of the syndromes for impairment, disability and general health; and an assessment of risk factors for the syndromes, including a discussion of the genetic epidemiology of the syndromes.

Principles of Measurement in Mental Health Research
Christine Koth
June 22, 23, 2009; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
330.671.11 (1 credit)
Good measurement is the cornerstone of all research, and this course introduces procedures and statistics to determine the quality of a survey measure. Using examples from the mental health literature, the course presents the concepts of "reliability" and "validity" and describes tests to assess these properties, such as the alpha coefficient, the kappa coefficient, the intraclass correlation and construct validity. After attending this course, students will know how to assess the quality of a survey measure and what types of information are needed for this evaluation.


Prevention Research in Mental Health
George Rebok and Nicholas Ialongo
July 1, 2009; 8:30-5:30 pm
330.673.11 (1 credit)
Introduces the basic principles and methods that guide research on the prevention of alcohol, drug abuse and mental disorders. Focuses on specific topics in prevention-trial design, including multistage sampling and assessment methods, community and institutional base building, intervention theory and monitoring, and data analysis techniques and findings. Examines developmental epidemiologic and other methodologic approaches from a life-course perspective. No prerequisites; however, knowledge of basic epidemiologic and developmental principles will be helpful in interpreting the research presented.


SS/R: Identifying, Discussing, and Debating Unresolved National Mental Health Policy Issues
Ronald Manderscheid and Anita Everett
June 29, 30, 2009; 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
330.874.11 (1 credit)
Acquaints students with the actual national mental health policy issues currently confronting us and the key frameworks that are used to analyze them. Students choose and prioritize four of these issues for more detailed examination. Students then examine three of these issues in depth, including causes, effects, interactions with other issues, feasible solutions, likely solutions, and prognoses. Finally, students debate and propose feasible solutions for the fourth issue. In this debate, different sets of students take the role of government, the provider community, consumers, family members, and members of the community at large. The debate concludes when a solution is achieved. Students then reflect on the policy process itself.?
Students are evaluated on their mastery of mental health policy issues, analytical strategies that can be applied to these issues, and the major points of view that are reflected in related policy debates.


SS/R: Systems of Care for Youth Involved with Juvenile Justice Systems
Philip Leaf
June 29, 30, 2009; 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
330.877.11 (1 credit)
Describes both strategic plans and evidence-based practices used in Maryland and elsewhere to create and sustain systems of care capable of supporting youth involved in the juvenile justice systems and their families. Emphasizes surveillance and identification of underlying problems and assets, implementation of programs, and developing programs aimed at generation changes at the level of local jurisdictions and states. Donald DeVore, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services will be a guest lecturer.

Evaluation of Mental Health Service Systems
Christine Walrath
July 1, 2009; 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
330.672.11 (1 credit)
Presents foundations of service program evaluation. It will include developing a framework to guide evaluation activities, building consensus among stakeholders, identifying outcomes, developing data collection strategies, and developing data-driven program development. The course will discuss how to use multi-level evaluation strategies to assess the complexity of change within service systems. Examples from the services evaluation field will be used to illustrate key concepts and strategies.


Grant Writing: NIH and Other Funding Sources
William Latimer
June 26, 2009 8:30 a.m. ? 5:30 p.m.
330.632.11 (1 credit)
Introduces students to grant writing strategies, with special focus on NIH applications, including decisions and strategies related to applying for R01s, R03s, Ks and other mechanisms. Also introduces key application components as well as pitfalls to avoid when writing initial applications. Addresses decisions related to responding to Program Announcements versus Request for Applications, variations across NIH institutes, communicating with NIH staff and related issues.

Design and Analysis of Group-Randomized Trials with Applications to Mental Health
David Murray
June 29, 2009; 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm, June 30, 2009; 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
330.634.11 (1 credit)
Introduces students to the design and analysis of group-randomized trials (GRTs), and presents GRT methods that reflect the state of the science. At the end of the course, participants will be able t distinguish between valid and invalid designs for GRTs; distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate analysis methods given information on the design of a trial; discuss recent developments in the state of the science that are not well-reflected in current practice, with particular emphasis to mental-health applications; discuss the two major problems that routinely plague GRTs  extra variation and limited degrees of freedom; discuss analytic approaches that are available to reduce extra variation  modeling time, regression adjustment for covariates; discuss design approaches that are available to reduce extra variation  timing of data collection, spacing of data collection; be familiar with current methods for a priori sample size calculation in a variety of designs currently employed in group-randomized trials.

Longitudinal Analysis with Latent Variables
Hanno Petras and Katherine Masyn
June 24-26, 2009 8:30 a.m. ? 5:30 p.m.
330.666.11 (3 credits)
This course builds upon the two-quarter series on Statistics for Psychosocial Research. It is designed for doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers with an interest in the use of latent variables in longitudinal data analysis as it is conceptualized in the modeling framework implemented in the Mplus V5.2 software.
Analysis with latent variables is a common theme in mainstream statistics, although the term latent variable is typically not used to describe such analysis. The term latent variable is more typically encountered in psychometric analyses of social and behavioral science data, where latent variables are used to represent variables without measurement error or hypothetical constructs measured by multiple indicators. This course explores more general features of latent variable analyses as they are related to longitudinal modeling. Topics to be covered include latent growth analysis with a combination of continuous and categorical latent variables; continuous and categorical variables as predictors and distal outcomes; discrete- and continuous-time survival analysis. The examples for this course will be drawn from the public data set ?Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY).

SS/R: Missing Data Procedures for Psychosocial Research
Elizabeth Stuart
June 22, 23, 2009; 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
330.829.11 (2 credits)
Nearly every study in mental health research suffers from missing data: individuals who did not respond to an entire survey or with partially observed data but some missing items. Analyses that use just the individuals for whom data is observed can lead to incorrect conclusions. This course discusses types of missing data, implications of the misssingness, and solutions for dealing with missing data, including weighting and imputation. Emphasis is on practical implementation of the strategies, including an introduction to recently developed software to implement multiple imputation. Examples come from school-based prevention research as well as drug abuse and dependence. Course attendees are not expected to have extensive background in statistical methods; an emphasis is on making the ideas broadly accessible.

SS/R: The Use and Misuse of Factor Analysis in Mental Health
Christine Koth
June 29-30, 2009; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
330.821.11 (1 credit)
Presents exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the psychological and social sciences. Identifies when factor analysis is appropriate, and develops analytical decision making skills required for the method. Addresses the role of factor analysis in test construction and test validity. Topics include assumptions of the model, indeterminacy, communalities, choosing the number of factors, rotation, sample size, and interpretation of findings. Draws examples from the social sciences including functional impairment and child classroom behavior. Intended for doctoral students, and post-doctoral fellows.

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Registration and Tuition and Fees Information

Where academic credit leading to a degree is desired, students are required to pay the standard school tuition of $815 per credit (2009 rate) for Bloomberg School of Public Health degree students. This rate does not apply to students taking courses for non-credit. The non-credit tuition rate is $400 per credit (2009 rate). No scholarship and/or grant support is available.

For more information about courses and enrollment, contact Patty Scott at (410) 955-1906 or email:

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