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Training > Faculty > MUSC/NCVC faculty - Dr. Carla Kmett Danielson

phot Dr. Carla Danielson

Carla Kmett Danielson, Ph.D.   Bio of Dr. Michael de Arellano
[NCVC Rotation; COPE Rotation]

Dr. Carla Kmett Danielson is an Associate Professor at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Danielson received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2003. She completed a Pre-Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology at the Charleston Consortium Psychology Internship Program at MUSC, followed by a 2-year, NIMH-supported Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the NCVC. Broadly, Dr. Danielson’s research interests focus on treatment and prevention with high-risk adolescent and traditionally underserved populations, including basic and translational science studies that inform such applied clinical research.   In the area of treatment, her current program of research, funded by a NIDA R01 award (R01DA031285), involves the evaluation of Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT), an ecologically-based intervention targeting substance abuse, trauma-related psychopathology, and HIV-risk behaviors among adolescent trauma victims.  In the area of prevention, Dr. Danielson is the PI and Program Director on the SAMHSA-funded EMPOWERR Program (1U79SP015156), which focuses on prevention of HIV and substance abuse among local ethnic minority adolescents. As an extension of this HIV prevention work, she is currently investigating web-based approaches to bringing evidence-based HIV prevention curriculum to African American teen girls.  Dr. Danielson also has an active program of translational research focused on possible biomarkers (e.g., candidate genes, serum and hair cortisol) and mechanisms (e.g., methylation, low distress tolerance) underlying the etiology of PTSD, addiction, and other psychopathology among trauma-exposed young people. She serves as PI on an NIAAA-funded Alcohol Research Center Clinical Research Component (P50 AA010761; Center PI: Becker), which is a 5-year lab-based study, examining the relation between acute stress and drinking behavior in trauma and non-trauma exposed emerging adults, as well as an NIMH-funded study (R21MH086313) focusing on the identification of mechanisms underlying the development of PTSD, substance abuse, and other high risk behaviors among disaster-exposed teens.   Finally, Dr. Danielson is actively involved in the training of future researchers, mentoring NCVC predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows and serving as Training Director and Co-PI on a T32 grant (T32MH18869-27). She has published more than 60 papers on issues related to high risk adolescents, addiction, and mental health and been the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her work in the aforementioned areas, such as the inaugural Mid-Career Innovator Award from ABCT (2014) and the Outstanding Research Article of the Year Award from APSAC (2012) for making a significant scientific contribution to the child maltreatment field (for Danielson et al., 2012; see below).

Research Interests:

  • Treatment of co-occurring problems (PTSD, substance use) among trauma-exposed teens
  • HIV prevention among at-risk and traditionally underserved youth populations
  • Developmental psychopathology of PTSD and addiction 
  • e- and m-Health approaches to intervention and prevention with young people

Selected Honors/Awards:

2014Mid-Career Innovator Award (Inaugural awardee in honor of Dr. Alan Marlatt), Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
2012Outstanding Research Article, APSAC (article judged to be a significant advancement to the field of child maltreatment
2012NIDA Early Career Investigator Travel Award
2010Outstanding Professional Role Model/Mentor Award, Dept. of Psychiatry, MUSC
2009Developing Scholars Award, Medical University of South Carolina
2008Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Child Maltreatment, American Psychological Association (Division 37)

Select Publications:
(*denotes an author that was a trainee at the time of manuscript)

  • Sumner, J. A.*, Pietrzak, R., Danielson, C. K., Adams, Z. W., & Ruggiero, K. J. (in press). Elucidating dimensions of posttraumatic stress symptoms and their functional correlates in disaster-exposed adolescents. Journal of Psychiatric Research.
  • Danielson, C. K., McCauley, J. L., Sauffacher-Gros, K., Jones, A., Barr, S., Borkman, A. L., Bryant, B. G., & Ruggiero, K. J. (in press). Development and usability of an evidence-based HIV/STI prevention website for female African-American adolescents. Health Informatics Journal
  • Adams, Z. W.*, Sumner, J.*, Danielson, C. K., McCauley, J. L., Stauffacher-Gros, K., Paul, L., Resnick, H., & Ruggiero, K. J. (2014). Prevalence and predictors of PTSD and depression among adolescent survivors of the spring 2011 tornado outbreak. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 1047-1055.
  • Danielson, C. K., Walsh, K., McCauley, J. L, Ruggiero, K. J., Brown, J., Sales, J., Rose, E., Wingood, G., & DiClemente, R. (2014). HIV-related sexual risk behavior among African-American girls. Journal of Women's Health, 23, 413-419.
  • Davidson, T. M.*, Lopez, C. M.*, Saulson, R., Borkman, A. L., Soltis, K., Ruggiero, K. J., de Arellano, M., Wingood, G., DiClemente, R., & Danielson, C. K. (2014). Development of a behavioral HIV prevention program for Latina adolescents. Culture, Health, and Sexuality, 16, 533-546.
  • Danielson, C. K., McCauley, J., Jones, A*., Borkman, A. O., Miller, S., & Ruggiero, K. J. (2013). Feasibility of Delivering Evidence-Based HIV/STI Prevention Programming to A Community Sample of African-American Teen Girls via the Internet. AIDS Education & Prevention, 25, 394-404.
  • Danielson, C. K., McCart, M., Walsh,  K.*, de Arellano, M. A., White, D., & Resnick, H. S. (2012).  Reducing substance use risk and mental health problems among sexually assaulted adolescents: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 26, 628-635.
  • Walsh, K.*, Danielson, C.K., McCauley, J., Saunders, B.E., Kilpatrick, D.G., & Resnick, H.S. (2012). Prevalence of PTSD Among Sexually Revictimized Adolescent, College, and Community Residing Adult Women: Results from Three Nationally Representative Samples. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 935-942.
  • Amastadter, A. B., Daughters, S. B., MacPherson, L., Reynolds, E. K., Danielson, C. K., Wang, F., Potenza, M. N., Gelernter, J., & Lejuez, C. W. (2012). Genetic Associations with Performance on a Behavioral Measure of Distress Intolerance. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 46, 87-94.
  • Walsh, K*., Danielson, C.K., McCauley, J., et al. (2012). Longitudinal trajectories of PTSD symptoms and binge drinking among adolescent girls: The role of sexual victimization. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50, 54-59. 
  • Ayer, L. A*., Danielson, C. K., Amstadter, A. B., et al. (2011). Latent Classes of Adolescent Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Predict Functioning and Disorder After One Year.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 364-375. 
  • Danielson, C. K., McCart, M., de Arellano, M. A., Macdonald, A.*, Silcott, L., & Resnick, H. (2010).  Risk reduction for substance use and trauma-related psychopathology in adolescent sexual assault victims: Findings from an open trial. Child Maltreatment, 15, 261-268.

Select Presentations:
(*denotes an author that was a trainee at the time of presentation)

  • Danielson, C. K., Adams, Z.*., Youngstrom, E. A., Lejuez, C. L., Amstadter, A. B., Resnick, H. S., & Ruggiero, R. J. (April, 2013). Psychosocial Risk Factors For PTSD And Depression Among Tornado-Exposed Adolescents And Their Caregivers, for Symposium, “Genetic And Psychosocial Risk For PTSD And Depression Across The Lifespan Among Natural Disaster-Exposed Populations: Implications For Technology-Based Prevention And Treatment” (Chairs: Danielson, C. K., & Hankin, B. L.; Discussant: Kaysen, D.). Annual meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, San Diego, CA.
  • Adams, Z.*, Danielson, C. K., Lynam, D. R., Charnigo, R. J., & Milich, R. (Nov., 2012). What’s Shared And What’s Specific? Untangling The Relations Among Impulsive Personality Traits And Externalizing Behaviors for Symposium, “Informing Transdiagnostic Models Of Psychopathology: Implications For Behavior Change“ (Chairs: Adams, Z. *. & Danielson, C. K.; Discussant: Nolen-Hoeksema, S.). Annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, National Harbor, MD.
  • Walsh, K.*, Danielson, C. K., Sales, J. M., Brown, J., Wingood, G. & Diclemente, R. J. (Nov., 2012). Genetic Predictors Of High Risk Sexual Behavior Among African American Adolescent Girls And Young Women: Results From A Latent Class Analysis for Symposium, “Characterization And Prediction Of High Risk Sexual Behaviors: Implications For Prevention and Behavior Change” (Chairs: Walsh, K.* & Danielson, C. K.; Discussant: Lejuez, C. W.). Annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, National Harbor, MD.
  • Danielson, C. K. (Jan., 2012). Risk Reduction through Family Therapy: Targeting Risk for Substance Use and Trauma-Related Psychopathology in Sexually Assaulted Adolescents. Two-part workshop presented at the annual San Diego conference on Child and Family Maltreatment. San Diego, CA.
  • Danielson, C. K. McCauley, J.,  Borkman, A., Goldsmith, B., Miller, S., & Ruggiero, K.J.. (Nov., 2011). Translating Evidence-Based, Behaviorally-Focused HIV Prevention For the Web-Based Delivery: SIHLE Web for female African American Teens for Symposium, “Dissemination Efforts in Behaviorally-Focused HIV Prevention Among High Risk Youth:  From Bench to Desktop to Africa and Beyond“ (Chair: Danielson, C. K.; Discussant: Marsch, L). Annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, Toronto, Canada.
  • Danielson, C. K., McCart, M., de Arellano, M., White, D., & Resnick, H. (Nov., 2010). The Functional Significance of the Ecology in the Treatment of Traumatized Adolescents: Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial of RRFT for Symposium Innovative Applications of CBT to Diverse Traumatized Youth and Young Adult Populations (Chairs: Danielson, C. K. & McCart, M; Discussant: Kolko, D.). Annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, San Francisco, CA.

Current and Past Predoctoral (Intern) and Postdoctoral Trainees:

NameDoctoral ProgramWhere They Are Now
Katie Bountress (pre-doc, post-doc)Arizona State UniversityCurrent MUSC Intern

Joseph Cohen (pre-doc, post-doc)

Rutgers UniversityCurrent MUSC/NCVC T32 Post Doc
Jennifer Sumner Ph.D. (pre-doc)Northwestern UniversityColumbia University
Zachary Adams, Ph.D. (pre-doc, post-doc)University of KentuckyMUSC (Assistant Professor)
Kate Walsh, Ph.D. (pre-doc, post-doc)University of NebraskaColumbia University
Simone Barr, Ph.D. (post-doc)University of Illinois, ChampaignUniversity of Houston
Lynsay Ayer, Ph.D. (pre-doc)University of VermontRand Corporation
Alesia Hawkins, Ph.D. (post-doc)Northern Illinois UniversityUniversity of Illinois
Alexandra Macdonald, Ph.D. (pre-doc, post-doc)Boston UniversityBoston University (Psychiatry)











Curriculum Vitae   (2013)  (Requires Adobe® Reader to view)

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Last Published: May 7, 2015

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