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Mental Health


The Methods research area develops and applies innovative qualitative and quantitative methods for public mental health research, with a focus on statistical methods and economic models. These methods, applied across other program areas, are crucial for generating accurate answers to research questions. Faculty in the methods area address complications regarding missing data and non-adherence in randomized trials, as well as teach students how to analyze complex data such as DNA or complex longitudinal data, how to measure and model variables that are not directly observable and how to model the cost and benefit trade-offs of preventive interventions. There are strong links between the methods research area and other groups in the Department, such as the substance use research group, the Center for Prevention and Early Intervention and the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.

There are three particular research areas within the Methods area: causal inference, latent variables and measurement, and mixed methods.

The Methods research area also has strong links with other departments and centers in the school. This includes joint appointments with the Department of Biostatistics, as well as links to methods-related groups such as the causal inference and health economics working groups. Student involvement in the Methods area consists of research assistance opportunities, as well as advising by faculty members in statistical and economic methods. Relevant coursework includes term-long and summer institute courses in the Department of Mental Health, such as the Methods seminar, courses in the design of cluster-randomized trials, and a two-term sequence on statistics for psychosocial research. Courses in the Biostatistics department are also relevant, including a causal inference course taught by Dr. Stuart. Many students interested in this program area also do a concurrent MHS in Biostatistics.