Ayelet Meron Ruscio

Associate Professor & Director of Clinical Training

B.A., Psychology, Brandeis University

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Penn 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.


Professor Ayelet Ruscio will be considering new graduate students for admission for Fall 2023.



For more information, please visit our lab's website.


Selected Publications: 

Stade, E. C., & Ruscio, A. M. (in press). A meta-analysis of the relationship between worry and rumination. Clinical Psychological Science.

Stade, E. C., Cohen, R. T., Loftus, P., & Ruscio, A. M. (2022). A novel measure of real-time perseverative thought. Clinical Psychological Science, 10, 534-552.

Franklin, A. R., Mathersul, D. C., Raine, A., & Ruscio, A. M. (2021). Restlessness in generalized anxiety disorder: Using actigraphy to measure physiological reactions to threat. Behavior Therapy, 52, 734-744.

Khazanov, G. K., & Ruscio, A. M., & Forbes, C. (2020). The Positive Valence Systems Scale: Development and validation. Assessment, 27, 1045-1069.

Mathersul, D. C., & Ruscio, A. M. (2020). Forecasting the future, remembering the past: Misrepresentations of daily emotional experience in generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 44, 73-88.

Ruscio, A. M. (2019). Normal versus pathological mood: Implications for diagnosis. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 15, 179-205.  
Khazanov, G. K., Ruscio, A. M., & Swendsen, J. (2019). The “brightening” effect: Reactions to positive events in the daily lives of individuals with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Behavior Therapy, 50, 270-284.

Ruscio, A. M., Hallion, L. S., Demyttenaere, K., Lee, S., & Lim, C. C. W. (2018). Generalized anxiety disorder. In K. Scott, P. de Jonge, D. J. Stein, & R. C. Kessler (Eds.), Mental disorders around the world: Facts and figures from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys (pp. 79-92). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Ruscio, A. M., Hallion, L. S., Lim, C. C. W., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Al-Hamzawi, A., Alonso, J.,… Scott, K. (2017). Cross-sectional comparison of the epidemiology of DSM-5 generalized anxiety disorder across the globe. JAMA Psychiatry, 74, 465-475.

Ruscio, A. M., & Khazanov, G. K. (2017). Anxiety and depression. In R. J. DeRubeis & D. R. Strunk (Eds.), Oxford handbook of mood disorders (pp. 313-324). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Khazanov, G. K., & Ruscio, A. M. (2016). Is low positive emotionality a specific risk factor for depression? A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 142, 991-1015.

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.

Gentes, E. L., & Ruscio, A. M. (2014). Perceptions of functioning in worry and generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38, 518-529.

Hallion, L. S., Ruscio, A. M, & Jha, A. P. (2014). Fractionating the role of executive control in control over worry: A preliminary investigation. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 54, 1-6.

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.

Courses Taught: 
PSYC 162 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 600 Psychopathology Proseminar
PSYC 709 Debates in Classification
PSYC 709 Transdiagnostic Processes in Psychopathology
Rivka Cohen [Psychology Graduate Student]
Betsy Stade [Psychology Graduate Student]