The Catholic University of America

Child Cognition, Affect, and Behavior Laboratory  (C.A.B. Lab)



Lab Director: Brendan A. Rich, Ph.D.

Research Team: Graduate and Undergraduate Students


Conference Presentations

Prospective Students





Recent Lab News

  • Congratulations to Tara Rempel, an undergraduate RA in the lab, who was recently profiled on the CUA website.
  • Congratulations to Sheina Godovich, who was awarded a position on the Student Advisory Board for the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP), Division 53 of the American Psychological Association.
  • Congratulations to Sheina Godovich who has been appointed the CUA campus representative for the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Advocacy Coordinating Team.
  • Congratulations to Sheina Godovich and Chris Senior, whose study “Executive Functioning Predicts Treatment Outcome for Child Anxiety” won the Psi Chi American Psychological Association Convention Society Research Award.
  • Congratulations to the 12 members of the Child CAB Lab who presented papers and posters at the 2017 Catholic University Research Day!


  • Congratulations to Dr. Julia Schmidt Goolsby, who successfully defended her dissertation "Impact of Child and Parent Motivation on Group Therapy Outcomes".  Julia is currently conducting clinical work in Malaysia.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Meagan Wills, who successfully defended her dissertation "Treatment Fidelity and the Mainstream Environment: Predictors of Successful Outcomes for ASD Youth". Meagan is completing her post-doctoral Internship at Yale University.
  • Congratulations to Serene Habayeb, who will begin her postdoctoral Internship at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
  • Congratulations to Sarah Bills, who graduated from our M.A. program and has been accepted to the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at University of South Carolina.
  • Congratulations to Serene Habayeb, 4th year Clinical PhD student.  She was awarded two grants to fund her dissertation "Stress, Coping, Stigma, and Acculturation in Arab American Caregivers of Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities": 1) the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Dissertation Funding Award, and; 2) the Dr. Philip M. Kayal Fund for Arab American Research Dissertation Award. 


Research Programs

The CAB Lab is dedicated to understanding the cognitive, affective, and behavioral deficits associated with childhood psychopathology, in particular mood disorders.

The primary focus of the Lab's work is to determine the effectiveness of a group therapy program for children with deficits in social skills and self-regulation. In collaboration with Mary Alvord, PhD, this project investigates the effectiveness of the Resilience Builder Program (RBP), a manualized resilience-based group therapy program for children in a clinical service setting. Most of these youth have diagnosed anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study explores the effectiveness of this group therapy based on parent, teacher, and child report using measures of internalizing and externalizing symptomatology, emotional arousal and control, and family functioning. In addition, therapeutic outcome is assessed using structured diagnostic interviews as well as objective affective and behavioral indices of self-regulation via a computer task. 

We are extending the Resilience Builder Program to schools in Washington, DC and Maryland.  There, we are administering RBP to youth who are primarily ethnic minorities and from disadvantaged communities in an effort to determine the effectiveness of RBP in the school setting.

Finally, we are also collaborating with researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at NIH to examine potential genetic and neurophysiological predictors of response to the Resilience Builder Program, as well as changes in neurological functioning following the RBP therapy.