Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Colleen Conley


Title: Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology
Office: Coffey Hall 341 
Phone: 773-508-3603 
Email: cconley@luc.edu 

Background Information
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A., Lawrence University
Website: IMPACT Lab
Research Interests
My research examines trajectories toward psychological well- and ill-being in adolescence and emerging adulthood. These pathways are illuminated in the context of developmental transition periods, such as school transitions. Grounded in a developmental psychopathology perspective, my research examines the dynamic interplay between individuals and their developmental contexts over time, and the interacting contributions from multiple systems – biological, psychological, cognitive and social/interpersonal. Toward this end, my research has examined the contributions of individual factors (gender, physical development, cognitive styles) and interpersonal factors (peer and family relationships, interpersonal styles), as well as the interactional and transactional processes by which these factors relate to each other and to psychosocial distress. I am also interested in gender issues, such as exploring the characteristics, contexts, and mechanisms that place adolescent girls and young women at elevated risk for internalizing problems. It is my hope that this program of research will inform family-, school-, and community-based interventions aimed at building resiliency in adolescents and emerging adults, in the face of normative and atypical developmental challenges. Recently, my research team has been reviewing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, both prevention and treatment, for college students. We have several research studies evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for college students (see our IMPACT lab website).
In my experience, the most successful researchers strike a good balance between "zooming in" (being diligent and meticulously attentive to detail), and "zooming out" (envisioning big-picture ideas, being self-directed and inventive). Accordingly, my approach to mentoring graduate students in research combines top-down and bottom-up approaches: While I provide structure, support, and guidance for students, I also urge them to develop their own independent project ideas and research skills. I also encourage my students to take their research endeavors beyond the lab, by publishing in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at national conferences (such as SRA, SSEA, ABCT, APA, APS).
Recent Publications
Conley, C. S. & Durlak, J.A., (2017). Universal mental health promotion and prevention programs for students. In S. Bährer-Kohler & F. J. Carod-Artal (Eds.), Global mental health: Prevention and promotion (pp. 127-139). New York: Springer.  
Conley, C.S., Shapiro, J.B., Kirsch, A. C., & Durlak, J.A. (2017).A meta-analytic review of indicated mental health prevention programs for at-risk higher education students.  Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64(2), 121-140.
Ventura, L. M., Randall, E. T., Shapiro, J.B., Kirsch, A. C., Conley, C. S., & Bohnert, A. M. (2017). Looking good and making it seem easy: A prospective study of effortless perfectionism, body image, and BMI in unhealthy weight-control behaviors among female adolescents and young adults.  Emerging Adulthood.  DOI: 10.1177/2167696817737007
Brewer, S. K., Zahniser, E., & Conley, C. S. (2016). Longitudinal impacts of emotion regulation on emerging adults: Variable- and person-centered approaches.  Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 47, 1-12. DOI:10.1016/j.appdev.2016.09.002
Conley, C.S., Durlak, J.A., Shapiro, J.B., Kirsch, A. C., & Zahniser, E. (2016). A meta-analysis of the impact of universal and indicated technology-delivered interventions for higher education students.  Prevention Science, 17(6), 659-678.  doi: 10.1007/s11121-016-0662-3
Kirsch, A.C., Shapiro, J. B., Conley, C.S., & Heinrichs, G. (2016). Explaining the pathway from familial and peer social support to disorder eating: Is body dissatisfaction the link for male and female adolescents?  Eating Behaviors, 22, 175-181. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.06.018
Riley, T. J., Kirsch, A.C., Shapiro, J.B., & Conley, C. S. (2016). Examining stress and coping as a mediator for internalizing symptomatology: A comparison between sexual minority and majority first-year college students. Journal of Adolescence49, 124-133.  doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.03.005
Conley, C. S. (2015). SEL in higher education. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of social and emotional learning: Research and practice (pp. 197-212). New York: Guilford.
Conley, C.S., Durlak, J. A., & Kirsch, A.C. (2015).A meta-analysis of universal mental health prevention programs for higher education students.  Prevention Science, 16, 487-507.  doi: 10.1007/s11121-015-0543-1
Jenkins, P. E., Hoste, R. R., Conley, C. S., Meyer, C. &. Blissett, J. M. (2015). Social support, eating disorder symptoms, and impairment.  Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203(6), 452-458.
Kirsch, A.C. Conley, C.S., & Riley, T. J. (2015). Comparing psychosocial adjustment across the college transition in a matched heterosexual and lesbian, gay, and bisexual sample. Journal of College Student Development, 56(2), 155-169. 
Travers, L. V., Randall, E. T., Bryant, F. B., Conley, C. S., & Bohnert, A. M. (2015). The cost of perfection with apparent ease: Theoretical foundations and development of the Effortless Perfectionism Scale.  Psychological Assessment, 27, 1147-59.
Conley, C.S., Kirsch, A.,C., Dickson, D. A., & Bryant, F. B. (2014).Negotiating the transition to college: Developmental trajectories and gender differences in psychological functioning, cognitive-affective strategies, and social well-being. Emerging Adulthood, 2(3), 195-210. doi:10.1177/2167696814521808
Lee, C., Dickson, D. A., Conley, C. S., & Holmbeck, G. N. (2014). A closer look at self-esteem, perceived social support, and coping strategy: A prospective study of depressive symptomatology across the transition to college.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33(6), 560-585.
Andersson, M. A., & Conley, C. S. (2013). Optimizing the perceived benefits and health outcomes of writing about traumatic life events.  Stress and Health, 29(1), 40-49. 
Conley, C.S. & Carey, D. C. (2013). Academic mothers on leave (but on the clock), on the line (and off the record): Toward improving parental leave policies and practices.  In M. Castañeda & K. Isgro (Eds.).  Mothers in academia (pp. 200-212).  New York: Columbia University Press.
Conley, C.S., Durlak, J. A., & Dickson, D. A. (2013). An evaluative review of outcome research on universal mental health promotion and prevention programs for higher education students.  Journal of American College Health, 61(5), 286-301.
Conley, C. S., Travers, L. V., & Bryant, F. B. (2013). Promoting psychosocial adjustment and stress management in first-year college students: The benefits of engagement in a psychosocial wellness seminar.  Journal of American College Health, 61(2), 75-86.
Conley, C. S., Rudolph, K. D., & Bryant, F. B. (2012). Explaining the longitudinal association between puberty and depression: Sex differences in the mediating effects of peer stress. Development and Psychopathology, 24(2), 691-701.