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Cole Barton


Ph.D. University of Utah, Clinical Psychology


I am on sabbatical leave for academic year 2014-15. I will be studying environmental psychology, and working with students on research projects: family dynamics with children on the autism spectrum, strategies for engaging scholars in STEM fields, and observational studies of children’s differences in forms and rates of aggressive behavior.

Aspiring to a Scientist-Practitioner professional model, I have been a licensed clinical psychologist here in North Carolina, which I believe informs my teaching and research.

My clinical research lab team has conducted analogue experiments studying psychophysiological correlates in clinical processes and interpersonal relationships. We have developed laboratory models for clinical interventions while measuring participants' physiology and facial expressions.

Previously, I collaborated with a research group at the University of Utah in developing a systems-behavioral model of family intervention. This model was compiled and nationally disseminated by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as empirically validated.

I've also studied the impact of child abduction on families. In a project for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, I worked with a group at the University of California at San Francisco interviewing several hundred families of missing children across the United States. I then received an NIMH-MacArthur fellowship to study behavioral medicine with a group of scholars at the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford University.

I returned to Davidson College and joined a family medicine training program in a local hospital, where I've performed clinical work and trained primary care physicians in psychosocial issues related to medical care. During this time, my students and I conducted research with several health care professionals at local hospitals and in outpatient medical clinics. I held an appointment as director of clinical research at a local hospital for several years.

I am a past recipient of Davidson College's Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award. In part, my citation read "...this professor exhibits a contagious enthusiasm for life, fly-fishing, Texas music, and the practical application of statistics to human behavior."