PERT Laboratory

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  • Matthew T. Tull, PhD


    Associate Professor with Tenure
    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 Ph.D. 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. He also received training in acceptance- and mindfulness-based treatment approaches for the anxiety disorders. 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 (with Tenure) and Director of Anxiety Disorders Research. He also oversees the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Clinic. 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.

    Clinical Interests

    Dr. Tull specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of patients with anxiety disorders, with particular expertise in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD. Dr. Tull also has training in mindfulness- and acceptance-based behavioral therapies for the anxiety disorders. He also has interests in the treatment of anxiety disorders that co-occur with physical health conditions, such as asthma or chronic pain. Dr. Tull directs the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Clinic and the Program in Integrative Health within the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

    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. Dr. Tull utilizes a multi-method approach in his investigations, examining biological (e.g., cortisol, genetics), psychophysiological (e.g., heart rate variability), behavioral, and subjective indices of emotion dysregulation.

    Selected Publications

    • Tull, M.T., Bardeen, J.R., DiLillo, D., Messman-Moore, T., & Gratz, K.L. (2015). A prospective investigation of emotion dysregulation as a moderator of the relation between posttraumatic stress symptoms and substance use severity. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 29, 52-60. 
    • Tull, M.T., Gratz, K.L., Coffey, S.F., Weiss, N.H., & McDermott, M.J. (2014). Examining the interactive effect of posttraumatic stress disorder, distress tolerance, and gender on residential substance use disorder treatment retention. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 763-773.
    • Tull, M.T. & Gratz, K.L. (2013). Major depression and risky sexual behavior among substance dependent patients: The moderating roles of distress tolerance and gender. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 37, 483-497.
    • 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., 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.
    • 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.

    Current Grants

    • "Effects of Maternal Interpretation Biases on Child Anxiety and Related Responses"
      Principal Investigator: Andres G. Viana PhD
      Agency: National Institute of Mental Health 
      Type and number: R21 MH101309
      Period: May 1, 2014 - April 30, 2016
      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 (no cost extension)
      Total subcontract costs: $363,824

    Past 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 (no cost extension until May 31, 2014) 
      Total direct costs: $275,000
    • "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: $450,000
    • "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 Investigators: Matthew T. Tull, PhD, and Kim L. Gratz, 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