Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D.

Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; Co-Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Professor of Psychology & Human Development, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics
Investigator

Contact Info

Phone
(615) 322-8242

Email
elisabeth.dykens@vanderbilt.edu

Address
405C One Magnolia Circle

Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D.

Overview

Elisabeth Dykens’s research examines psychopathology and areas of strength in persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially those with genetic syndromes. Her studies focus on the development and correlates of psychopathology and behavioral problems in Prader-Willi syndrome, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. These include marked obsessive-compulsive behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome, heightened anxiety in Williams syndrome, and increased withdrawal and depression in Down syndrome. Dykens also examines profiles of neurocognitive and adaptive strengths and weaknesses in these disorders, and how these unusual profiles refine treatment and shed light on normal development. Current studies include: (1) physiological and neurological mechanisms of compulsive behavior in persons with Prader-Willi syndrome; (2) visual-spatial strengths in persons with Prader-Willi syndrome; (3) relations between musical strengths and anxiety in persons with Williams syndrome; (4) the trajectory of adaptive skills and maladaptive behaviors in syndromes, including in older adults; (5) families of persons with intellectual disability, including stress, coping, and positive outcomes for family members; and (6) contributions from positive psychology to research and intervention in intellectual and developmental disabilities.

BioSketch

View Biographical Sketch (.pdf)

Grants

  • Predicting Phenotypic Trajectories in PWS

Topics

Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D. is recruiting participants for research studies (4/19/201)

Much of the research completed at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is made possible by the generous contributions of the people and families who participate in research studies. This researcher needs research subjects to complete the studies listed below.

Follow these links to learn more:

In the News

Podcast, Video, and Images

  • Research Infrastructure

    One of a series of presentations given at the Down Syndrome Research Plan of the National Institutes of Health on June 18, 2008.

  • Community Forum: What's On the Forefront of Down Syndrome Research?

    The community forum held on March 30, 2010 discussed how the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is advancing Down syndrome research.

  • State of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Address

    Vanderbilt Kennedy Center director, Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., spoke on April 6, 2010 about the current state of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, reflecting on its long history of success and how it will continue to thrive in the future.

  • Reducing Stress in Parents of Children With Disabilities

    Developmental Disabilities Grand Rounds: Elisabeth Dykens highlights her research on "Reducing Stress in Parents of Children With Disabilities"

  • Real-Time Data Analysis Demonstration with Efficacy Data from a Parent Stress Intervention Project

    March 22, 2013
    Statistics and Methodology Core Training Seminar
    Real-Time Data Analysis Demonstration with Efficacy Data from a Parent Stress Intervention Project
    Frank Harrell, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Biostatistics
    Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

  • Mental Health Assessment Across Settings

    December 5, 2013
    Participant Recruitment and Assessment Core Training Series
    * Elisabeth M. Dykens, Ph.D., Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair; Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; Co-Director, University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics
    * D. Catherine Fuchs, M.D., Director, Psychological and Counseling Center; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    * Evon Batey Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychology, and Psychiatry; VKC Psychological Assessment Coordinator; UCEDD Training Director; LEND Program Associate Director (Moderator)
    * F. Joseph McLaughlin, Ph.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology & Human Development