PERT Laboratory

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  • Matthew T. Tull, PhD

     tull, matthew

    Associate Professor
    Director, Anxiety Disorders Research
    Director, Anxiety Disorders Treatment Clinic
    Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
    University of Mississippi Medical Center 

    Office: (601) 815-6518


    Dr. Tull obtained his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston in August 2005, where he worked under the mentorship of Dr. Lizabeth Roemer conducting research on emotion regulation and the anxiety disorders. Further, he received training in acceptance- and mindfulness-based treatment approaches. He completed his internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology with rotations at the Outpatient Clinic, Substance Abuse Residential Treatment Program, and the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Behavioral Sciences Division. In 2005, Dr. Tull joined the Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research at the University of Maryland (College Park) as Director of its Emotion Division. From 2006 to 2008, he served as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland. In 2008, Dr. Tull joined the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he currently holds the positions of Associate Professor and Director of Anxiety Disorders Research. Dr. Tull is the 2009 recipient of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Chaim and Bela Danieli Young Professional Award and the 2010 recipient of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies President's New Researcher Award.

    Research Interests

    Dr. Tull's research focuses on emotion regulation within the anxiety disorders, with a particular focus on PTSD. His research examines the ways in which: (a) emotion regulation strategies that function to avoid emotion (and internal experience in general) may serve as a vulnerability factor for the development and maintenance of posttraumatic symptoms; and (b) emotional approach and acceptance (such as through mindfulness) may serve as a protective factor for anxiety disorder-related pathology. This research stems from a growing body of theoretical and empirical literature that suggests a paradoxical effect of emotional avoidance/control and, conversely, the potential benefits of accepting and being mindful of one's internal experience. Currently, Dr. Tull is investigating specific behaviors associated with emotion dysregulation and avoidance (e.g., substance use, risky sexual behavior) and their association with negative clinical outcomes (e.g., residential substance abuse treatment drop-out, HIV infection) among substance users with PTSD.

    Selected publications

    • Tull, M.T., Gratz, K.L., Coffey, S.F., Weiss, N.H., & McDermott, M.J. (in press). Examining the interactive effect of posttraumatic stress disorder, distress tolerance, and gender on residential substance use disorder treatment retention. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
    • Tull, M.T., Weiss, N.H., Adams, C.E., & Gratz, K.L (2012). The contribution of emotion dysregulation to risky sexual behavior within a sample of patients in residential substance abuse treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 1084-1092.
    • Tull, M.T., & Gratz, K.L. (2012). The impact of borderline personality disorder on residential substance abuse treatment dropout among men. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 121, 97-102.
    • Tull, M.T., Gratz, K.L., & Weiss, N.H. (2011). Exploring associations between borderline personality disorder, crack/cocaine dependence, gender, and risky sexual behavior among substance dependent inpatients. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 2, 209-219.
    • Tull, M.T., McDermott, M.J., Gratz, K.L., Coffey, S.F., & Lejuez, C.W. (2011). Cocaine-related attentional bias following trauma cue exposure among cocaine dependent inpatients with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. Addiction, 106, 1810-1818.
    • Tull, M.T., Gratz, K.L., Aklin, W.M., & Lejuez, C.W. (2010). A preliminary examination of the relationships between posttraumatic stress symptoms and crack/cocaine, heroin, and alcohol dependence. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24, 55-62.
    • Tull, M.T., Jakupcak, M., & Roemer, L. (2010). Emotion suppression: A preliminary experimental investigation of its immediate effects and role in subsequent reactivity to novel stimuli. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 39, 114-125.
    • McDermott, M.J., Tull, M.T., Gratz, K.L., Daughters, S.B., & Lejuez, C.W. (2009). The role of anxiety sensitivity and difficulties in emotion regulation in posttraumatic stress disorder among crack/cocaine users in residential substance abuse treatment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 591-599.
    • Tull, M.T., Trotman, A., Duplinsky, M.S., Reynolds, E.K., Daughters, S.B., Potenza, M.N., & Lejuez, C.W. (2009). The effect of posttraumatic stress disorder on risk-taking propensity among crack/cocaine users in residential substance abuse treatment. Depression and Anxiety, 26, 1158-1164.
    • Tull, M.T., Barrett, H.M., McMillan, E.S., & Roemer, L. (2007). A preliminary investigation of the relationship between emotion regulation difficulties and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Behavior Therapy, 38, 303-313.
    • Tull, M.T., & Roemer, L. (2007). Emotion regulation difficulties associated with the experience of uncued panic attacks: Evidence of experiential avoidance, emotional non-acceptance, and decreased emotional clarity. Behavior Therapy, 38, 378-391.
    • Tull, M.T., Gratz, K.L., Salters, K., & Roemer, L. (2004). The role of experiential avoidance in posttraumatic stress symptoms and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and somatization. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 192, 754-761.
    • Tull, M.T., & Roemer, L. (2003). Alternative explanations of emotional numbing of posttraumatic stress disorder: An examination of hyperarousal and experiential avoidance. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 25, 147-154.

    Current grants

    • "Risk-Taking Following Trauma Cue Exposure in Substance Users with PTSD"
      Principal investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
      Type and number: R21 DA030587
      Period: July 14, 2011 - May 31, 2013
      Total direct costs: $275,000
    • "Emotion Regulation and Self-harm in Borderline Personality Disorder"
      Principal investigators: Alexander Chapman, PhD, and Kim L. Gratz, PhD
      Co-investigator: Matthew T. Tull, 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
    • "Serotonin, Impulsivity and Suicide Attempts"
      Principal investigator: Courtney Bagge, PhD
      Collaborator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Agency: NIH/NCRR-Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience COBRE
      Type and number: P20 RR017701
      Proposed duration: 2 years
      Total direct costs: $100,000

    Past Grants

    • "Developing an Emotion Regulation Group Therapy for Self-Harm among Women with BPD"
      Principal investigator: Kim L. Gratz, PhD
      Co-investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
      Type and number: R34 MH079248
      Period: Sept. 10, 2008 - May 31, 2011 (no cost extension until May 31, 2012)
      Total direct costs: $405,000
    • "PTSD and Predictors of Drug Use Treatment Drop-Out"
      Principal investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      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 investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Agency: Mississippi State Department of Health
      Type: Research Support Contract
      Period: July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010
      Total direct costs: $66,264
    • "Predictors of Drug-Related Attentional Bias among Crack/Cocaine Users with PTSD"
      Principal investigator: Matthew T. Tull, PhD
      Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
      Type and number: R03 DA023001
      Period: May 1, 2007 - April 30, 2008
      Total direct costs: $50,000