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.


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: 

Wade, E. C., Loftus, P., Cohen, R., & Ruscio, A. M. (in press). A novel of real-time perseverative thought. Clinical Psychological Science.

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

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.

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

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., 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.

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.

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]
Betsy Wade [Psychology Graduate Student]