Isaac Ahuvia is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at Stony Brook University, studying under Dr. Jessica Schleider in the Lab for Scalable Mental Health. His research investigates how people understand mental illness (e.g., What causes depression? Am I depressed?) and the consequences of these understandings for mental health outcomes. He is also the creator and instructor of an undergraduate course on the social construction of mental illness. Prior to joining the Lab for Scalable Mental Health, Isaac studied sociology at the University of Michigan and conducted research at the University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology
Stony Brook University
M.A. in Psychology, 2022
Stony Brook University
B.A. in Sociology, 2016
University of Michigan
Isaac and his collaborators have conducted research with depressed adolescents exploring their beliefs about what causes depression, how permanent depression is, and how these beliefs relate to clinical variables. One study found that depressed adolescents who have more pessimistic beliefs about the duration of depression are more likely to use maladaptive coping strategies. This work has also explored the factors that adolescents believe cause depression, as well as the importance of those beliefs. Additional work has examined the implications of adolescents' beliefs about what symptoms constitute depression.
Isaac has led a meta-analysis finding that interventions targeting body dissatisfaction in youth had significant effects on those youths' depression symptoms - even when this was not a target of intervention. This work has inspired a single-session intervention targeting both body dissatisfaction and depression in adolescents, which is under development.
Further projects have explored machine learning approaches for treatment selection among single-session interventions, loss of mental health care among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential of teletherapy to meet these new demands, and more. For a complete list of publications and ongoing projects, click here: CV.
This original course, offered by Stony Brook’s Department of Psychology, explores the way that mental illness is constructed and the consequences of this construction on affected individuals. Topics include different ways of defining mental illness, diagnosis, stigma, medicalization, and more. Course materials are freely available at this link.
Isaac has also developed and delivered materials aimed at introducing students and researchers to the statistical programming language R. These materials are available on github.
Consulting services are available for research teams and anybody else interested in making the most of their data. For more information, please contact me using the email at the bottom of this page.