PERT Laboratory

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  • Kim L. Gratz, PhD

     gratz, kim.jpg

    Associate Professor
    Director, Personality Disorders Research
    Director, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic
    Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

    Office: (601) 815-6450
    E-mail: KLGratz@aol.com

    Background

    Dr. Gratz is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UMMC, where she serves as director of Personality Disorders Research and director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic. Dr. Gratz received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2003, following completion of her pre-doctoral internship training (with an emphasis on the treatment of borderline personality disorder) at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. After being awarded the Psychosocial Fellowship from McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School in July 2003, she served as a Clinical and Research Fellow in the Center for the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder at McLean Hospital from 2003-04, and an assistant research psychologist in this program from 2004-05. In 2005, Dr. Gratz joined the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Maryland (where she served as director of the Personality Disorders Division of the Center for Addictions, Personality and Emotion Research for three years), and was awarded the Young Investigator's Award of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD).

    Research interests

    Dr. Gratz's clinical and research interests focus on the role of emotion dysregulation and experiential avoidance in borderline personality disorder (BPD), deliberate self-harm, and other risky behaviors. In particular, her research focuses on understanding the nature and consequences of emotional dysregulation and avoidance in these conditions (through the use of novel behavioral/experimental paradigms), and applying this understanding to the development of more effective treatments. Recent projects include: experimental investigations of emotion dysregulation, experiential avoidance, and emotional unwillingness in BPD and deliberate self-harm; an examination of the personality traits and underlying processes associated with borderline personality symptoms in childhood; an examination of the rates and correlates of deliberate self-harm among children and adolescents in low-income communities; a laboratory-based study of BPD-relevant personality traits and emotion regulation capacity among women and their 12- to 23-month-old children; the further development of an acceptance-based, emotion regulation group therapy for deliberate self-harm among women with borderline personality pathology; and a longitudinal laboratory-based investigation of emotion regulation as a prospective predictor of sexual revictimization and its proximal risk factors. Dr. Gratz currently serves as co-principal investigator on a large operating grant funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PIs: Chapman and Gratz), and co-investigator on an R01 funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: DiLillo), an R21 funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and an R21 funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    Selected publications

    • Gratz, K.L., Latzman, R.D., Young, J. Heiden, L.J., Damon, J.D., Hight, T.L., & Tull, M.T. (2012). Deliberate self-harm among community adolescents in an underserved area: Exploring the moderating roles of gender, race, and school-level and association with borderline personality features. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3, 39-54.
    • Gratz, K. L., & Tull, M.T. (2011). Extending research on the utility of an adjunctive emotion regulation group therapy for deliberate self-harm among women with borderline personality pathology. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 2, 316-326.
    • Kiel, E.J., Gratz, K.L., Moore, S.A., Latzman, R.D., & Tull, M.T. (2011). The impact of borderline personality pathology on mothers' responses to infant distress. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 907-918.
    • Gratz, K.L., Hepworth, C., Tull, M.T., Paulson, A., Clarke, S., Remington, B., & Lejuez, C. W. (2011). An experimental investigation of emotional willingness and physical pain tolerance in deliberate self-harm: The moderating role of interpersonal distress. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 52, 63-74.
    • Gratz, K.L., Breetz, A., & Tull, M.T. (2010). The moderating role of borderline personality in the relationships between deliberate self-harm and emotion-related factors. Personality and Mental Health, 4, 96-107.
    • Gratz, K.L., Rosenthal, M.Z., Tull, M.T., Lejuez, C.W., & Gunderson, J.G. (2010). An experimental investigation of emotional reactivity and delayed emotional recovery in borderline personality disorder: The role of shame. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 51, 275-285.
    • Gratz, K.L., & Tull, M.T. (2010). The relationship between emotion dysregulation and deliberate self-harm among inpatients with substance use disorders. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 34, 544-553.
    • Neumann, A., van Lier, P.A.C., Gratz, K.L., & Koot, H.M. (2010). Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation difficulties in adolescents using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. Assessment, 17, 138-149.  
    • Gratz, K.L., Tull, M.T., Reynolds, E.K., Bagge, C., Latzman, R.D., Daughters, S.B., & Lejuez, C.W. (2009). Extending extant models of the pathogenesis of borderline personality disorder to childhood borderline personality symptoms: The roles of affective dysfunction, disinhibition, and self- and emotion-regulation deficits. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 1263-1291.
    • Gratz, K.L., Tull, M.T., Baruch, D.E., Bornovalova, M.A., & Lejuez, C.W. (2008). Factors associated with co-occurring borderline personality disorder among inner-city substance users: The roles of childhood maltreatment, negative affect intensity/reactivity, and emotion dysregulation. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 49, 603-615.
    • Gratz, K.L. (2007). Targeting emotion dysregulation in the treatment of self-injury. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 63, 1091-1103.  
    • Gratz, K.L., Rosenthal, M.Z., Tull, M.T., Lejuez, C.W., & Gunderson, J.G. (2006). An experimental investigation of emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 850-855.
    • Chapman, A.L.,Gratz, K.L.,& Brown, M. Z. (2006). Solving the puzzle of deliberate self-harm: The experiential avoidance model. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 371-394.
    • Gratz, K.L., & Gunderson, J. G. (2006). Preliminary data on an acceptance-based emotion regulation group intervention for deliberate self-harm among women with borderline personality disorder. Behavior Therapy, 37, 25-35.
    • Gratz, K.L., & Roemer, L. (2004). Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation and dysregulation: Development, factor structure, and initial validation of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 26, 41-54.
    • Gratz, K.L. (2003). Risk factors for and functions of deliberate self-harm: An empirical and conceptual review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10, 192-205.

    Current grants

    • “Sexual Revictimization: Emotional and Psychosocial Mediators”
      Principal Investigator: David DiLillo, PhD
      Role on Project: Co-Investigator (with subcontract to UMMC)
      Agency: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Type and number: R01 HD062226
      Period: July 15, 2010 - June 30, 2015
      Total subcontract costs: $682,500
    • “Emotion Regulation and Self-harm in Borderline Personality Disorder”
      Principal Investigators: Alexander Chapman, PhD, and Kim L. Gratz, PhD
      Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Neurosciences, Mental Health, and Addiction)
      Type: Operating grant
      Period: Oct. 1, 2010 - Sept. 30, 2014
      Total direct costs: $486,916 (Canadian)
      Total subcontract costs: $363,824
    • "Risk-Taking Following Trauma Cue Exposure in Substance Users with PTSD"
      Principal Investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Role: Co-Investigator
      Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
      Type and number: R21 DA030587
      Period: July 14, 2011 - May 31, 2013
      Total direct costs: $275,000
    •  “The Acute Alcohol-Suicide Attempt Relation as a Function of Alcohol Dependence”
      Principal investigator: Courtney Bagge, PhD
      Role on project: Co-investigator
      Agency: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
      Type and number: R21 AA020017
      Period: Aug. 1, 2012 - July 31, 2014
      Total direct costs: $215,000

    Past Grants

    • "Developing an Emotion Regulation Group Therapy for Self-Harm among Women with BPD"
      Principal investigator: Kim L. Gratz, PhD
      Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
      Type and number: R34 MH079248
      Period: Sept. 10, 2008 - May 31, 2011
      Total direct costs: $405,000 
    •  "PTSD and Predictors of Drug Use Treatment Drop-Out"
      Principal investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Role on project: Co-investigator
      Agency: National Institute of Drug Abuse
      Type and number: R21 DA022383
      Period: April 1, 2007 - March 31, 2009
      Total direct costs: $275,000
    • “Development of a Brief Adjunctive Group Therapy Targeting Risky Sexual Behaviors among Substance Users in Residential Treatment”
      Principal investigators: Matthew T. Tull, PhD, and Kim L. Gratz, PhD
      Agency: Mississippi Department of Health
      Type: Research support grant
      Period: Nov. 1, 2009 - Oct. 31, 2011
      Total direct costs: $131,150
    • “Alcohol and Suicide Attempts: A Case-Crossover Pilot Study”
      Principal investigator: Courtney Bagge, PhD
      Role on project: Co-Investigator
      Agency: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
      Type: Pilot research grant
      Proposed duration: 2 years
      Total direct costs: $30,000