Ayelet Meron Ruscio

Associate Professor

BA, Psychology, Brandeis University;

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Pennsylvania State University

Office Location: 
Room 454, Levin Building, 425 S. University Ave.
Research Interests: 
Psychopathology and Psychotherapy
Specific Research Areas: 

Anxiety and mood disorders–their nature, classification, and comorbidity


Research Synopsis:

My research is broadly concerned with the nature, classification, and comorbidity of mental disorders, with a particular focus on anxiety and mood disorders. Research in our lab explores three interrelated questions:

1. What distinguishes normal from pathological experiences of anxiety and depression?

2. Why do anxiety and depression so often co-occur within individuals?

3. What predicts who will develop emotional disturbance and what form it will take over the lifespan?

We address these questions using a variety of methodological approaches, including laboratory experiments, statistical modeling, psychometric research, and longitudinal studies in the community. The aim is to better understand the nature and structure of emotional disorders and to improve their detection, assessment, and diagnosis.


***Now recruiting undergraduate research assistants for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018***



Selected Publications: 

Khazanov, G. K., & Ruscio, A. M. (in press). Is low positive emotionality a specific risk factor for depression? A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin.

Ruscio, A. M., & Khazanov, G. K. (in press). Anxiety and depression. In R. J. DeRubeis & D. R. Strunk (Eds.), Oxford handbook of mood disorders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Ruscio, A. M., Gentes, E. L., Jones, J. D., Hallion, L. S., Coleman, E. S., & Swendsen, J. (2015). Rumination predicts heightened responding to stressful life events in major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 17-26.

Hallion, L. S., & Ruscio, A. M. (2013). Should uncontrollable worry be removed from the definition of GAD? A test of incremental validity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 369-375.

Gentes, E., & Ruscio, A. M. (2011). A meta-analysis of the relation of intolerance of uncertainty to symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 923-933.

Hallion, L. S., & Ruscio, A. M. (2011). A meta-analysis of the effects of cognitive bias modification on anxiety and depression. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 940-958.

Ruscio, A. M., Seitchik, A. E., Gentes, E. L., Jones, J. D., & Hallion, L. S. (2011). Perseverative thought: A robust predictor of response to emotional challenge in generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 867-874.

Andrews, G., Hobbs, M. J., Borkovec, T. D., Beesdo, K., Craske, M. G., Heimberg, R. G., Rapee, R. M., Ruscio, A. M., & Stanley, M. A. (2010). Generalized worry disorder: A review of DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder and options for DSM-V. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 134-147.  

Ruscio, A. M. (2010). The latent structure of social anxiety disorder: Consequences of shifting to a dimensional diagnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 662-671.

Ruscio, A. M., Stein, D. J., Chiu, W. T., & Kessler, R. C. (2010). The epidemiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Molecular Psychiatry, 15, 53-63.

Ruscio, A. M. (2009). Integrating structural and epidemiological research to inform the classification of psychopathology. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 18, 240-250.

Ruscio, A. M., Brown, T. A., Chiu, W. T., Sareen, J., Stein, M. B., & Kessler, R. C. (2008). Social fears and social phobia in the USA: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Psychological Medicine, 38, 15-28.

Ruscio, J., & Ruscio, A. M. (2008). Categories and dimensions: Advancing psychological science through the study of latent structure. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 203-207.

Courses Taught: 
PSYC 162 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 600 Psychopathology Proseminar
PSYC 709 Debates in Classification
PSYC 709 Transdiagnostic Processes in Psychopathology


Gabriela Kattan Khazanov [Psychology Graduate Student]
Anna Franklin [Psychology Graduate Student]