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Katherine Dixon-Gordon

Assistant Professor

My research focuses on the role of emotional processes in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, with an emphasis on borderline personality disorder (BPD). In my work, I use laboratory-based methods to examine the influence of emotional processes on other domains, such as interpersonal functioning. Given the complexity of these phenomena, I employ multi-method research designs, using self-report, behavioral, biological, psychophysiological, and naturalistic assessment (i.e., ecological momentary assessment). Furthermore, I translate this basic research to applied settings, with the aim of streamlining existing treatments, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for BPD and related pathology.

Current Research
In my lab, we are currently examining areas of emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder (BPD). For instance, we are examining whether individuals high in BPD features rely on a unique pattern of interpersonal support for emotion regulation. We are also developing a paradigm to examine emotion regulation flexibility among those with BPD.

Learn more at psych.umass.edu/caslab/

Academic Background

  • BSc, Psychology, University of Washington
  • MA, PhD, Clinical Psychology, Simon Fraser University
  • Clinical Psychology Internship, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Chapman, A. L, & Turner, B. J. (2015). A preliminary investigation of the specificity of effects of dialectical behavior therapy emotion regulation skills training. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 6(4), 369-388. doi:10.5127/jep.041714
Whalen, D. J., Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Belden, A. C., Luby, J. L., & Barch, D. (2015). Correlates and consequences of suicidal cognitions and behaviors in children ages 3 to 7 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54 (11), 926-937. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2015.08.009 PMCID: PMC4677777
Knorr, A. C., Tull, M. T., Anestis, M. D., Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Bennett, M. F., & Gratz, K. L. (Accepted, 2015). The interactive effect of major depression and nonsuicidal self-injury on current suicide risk and lifetime suicide attempts. Archives of Suicide Research. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2016.1158679
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Weiss, N. H., Tull, M. T., DiLillo, D., Messman-Moore, T., & Gratz, K. L. (2015). Characterizing emotional dysfunction in borderline personality, major depression, and their co-occurrence. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 62, 187-203. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2015.07.014
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Whalen, D. J., Scott, L. N., Cummins, N. D., & Stepp, S. D. (2015). The main and interactive effects of maternal interpersonal emotion regulation and negative affect on adolescent girls’ borderline personality disorder symptoms. Cognitive Therapy and Research, Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10608-015-9706-4
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Aldao, A., & De Los Reyes, A. (2015). Emotion regulation in context: Examining the spontaneous use of strategies across emotional intensity and type of emotion. Personality and Individual Differences, 86, 271-276. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.06.011
Contact Info

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
617 Tobin Hall
135 Hicks Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003 USA

(413) 545-0226