Tara Chaplin

Tara Chaplin

Tara Chaplin

Associate Professor

Clinical Psychology: Emotion regulation and the development of psychopathology and substance use in adolescence; Parent-focused interventions; Bio-psycho-social models of emotion

Dr. Tara Chaplin is an Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University and a licensed clinical psychologist. She received a Ph.D. in Child-Clinical psychology in 2003 from Penn State University. She completed post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania from 2003-2006. Following this, she moved to Yale University, where she completed one year as a post-doctoral associate and two years as an Associate Research Scientist from 2006-2009. In 2009, Dr. Chaplin was promoted to Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale. She left Yale to join the Clinical Psychology Faculty at George Mason University in 2013.  

Dr. Chaplin’s research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the ABMRF/Foundation for Alcohol Research. Her papers have appeared in Psychological Bulletin, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Early Adolescence, and others.

Current Research

Dr. Chaplin’s research interests are in the role of emotional arousal and regulation in the development of substance use and psychopathology in adolescence. She is also interested in the role of the family in adolescent emotional development.Dr. Chaplin’s research incorporates multiple methods to study emotion, including self-report, observation, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and neuroimaging.

Related to this, Dr. Chaplin is currently: 1. Examining effects of parenting on adolescents' emotion-related brain function using fMRI, and 2. Examining effects of a parenting-focused mindfulness intervention on parents' emotion-related brain function and on their parenting behaviors. 

Selected Publications

Turpyn, C. C., Poon, J.A., Ross, C.E., Thompson, J.C., & Chaplin, T.M. (in press). Associations between parent emotional arousal and regulation and adolescents’ affective brain response. Social Development.

Chaplin, T. M., Visconti, K. J., Molfese, P., Susman, E., Klein, L. C., Sinha, R., & Mayes, L. C. (2015). Prenatal cocaine exposure differentially affects stress responses in girls and boys: associations with future substance use. Development and Psychopathology, 27,163-180.

Chaplin, T. M. & Aldao, A. (2013). Gender differences in emotion expression in children: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 735-765.

Chaplin, T.M., Sinha, R., Simmons, J., Healy, S., Mayes, L.C., Hommer, R. E., & Crowley, M. J. (2012). Parent-adolescent conflict interactions and adolescent alcohol use. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 605-612. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.01.004.

*Liu, J., *Chaplin, T.M., Wang, F., Sinha, R., Mayes, L.C., & Blumberg, H.P. (2012). Stress reactivity and corticolimbic response to emotional faces in adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 51, 304–312. (* The first two authors contributed equally to the manuscript.)

Chaplin, T. M. & Cole, P. M. (2005). The role of emotion regulation in the development of psychopathology. In B. L. Hankin, & J. R. Z. Abela (Eds.), Development of psychopathology: A vulnerability-stress perspective (pp. 49-74). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Grants and Fellowships

Current Grants:  

1. R01 DA033431-06A1 Chaplin (PI), Thompson (co-PI) 08/01/18-04/30/2023

Agency: NIH/NIDA                          

Total Funding: $2,578,998 (total costs)

Title: Parent-adolescent interactions, gender, and substance use: Brain mechanisms

Role: PI

Aims: This 5-year competing renewal of R01 DA 033431 will use fMRI to examine brain mechanisms of associations between parenting and adolescent substance use, by gender. 

2. Center for Advanced Study Award Sikdar (PI) 02/01/2018-01/31/2023

Agency: George Mason University

Title:  Center for Adaptive Systems for Brain-Body Interactions (CASBBI)

Role: Core Team Member

Aims: This Center seeks to conduct transdisciplinary research on the mechanisms and modulation of complex adaptive systems underlying human movement and behavior. 

3. R01DK117651 Sinha(PI)/Silverman (co-PI)    08/01/18 – 06/30/2023                    

Agency: NIH/NIDDK           

Title: Preventing Childhood Obesity through a Mindfulness-based Parent Stress Intervention

Role: Consultant

Aims: This project will assess the efficacy of a mindfulness-based parent intervention in obese parents to reduce obesity risk in their toddlers. 

Recent Grants:

1. R01DA033431   Chaplin (PI) 09/15/12- 07/30/18 (with NCE)

Agency: NIH/NIDA                                  

Funding: $1,106,250 (direct costs)

Title: Parent-adolescent interactions and substance abuse risk: Gender differences

Role: PI

2. F31DA041790   Turpyn (PI)        08/01/16-07/31/18

Agency: NIH/NIDA                

Title: Neural mechanisms of a parent-focused mindfulness intervention to prevent adolescent substance use

Role: Sponsor

3. R34DA034823   Chaplin (PI) 04/01/13-02/29/17 (with NCE)

Agency: NIH/NIDA                                  

Funding: $550,000 (direct costs)

Title: Reducing stress with parenting-focused mindfulness to prevent youth substance use

Role: PI

4. R01DA033431-S1 Chaplin (PI) 09/01/13- 08/31/15

Agency: NIH/NIDA

Funding: $94,759 (direct costs)    

Title: Parent-adolescent interactions and substance abuse risk: Gender differences, Neuro-imaging Supplement

Role: PI


Courses Taught

PSYC 861: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Youth (Graduate)

PSYC 881: Advanced Practicum in Clinical Psychology (Graduate)

PSYC 648: Developmental Psychopathology (Graduate)

PSYC 314: Adolescent Development (Undergraduate)


2003    Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Penn State, University Park, PA

1997    B.A., Psychology (Minor: Biology), University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Dissertations Supervised

Amy S. Hansen, Understanding Adolescent Weight: The Role of Parenting Styles and Emotion Regulation (2019)

Jennifer Poon, Task-based and Resting State Functional Connectivity Patterns: Links to Adolescent Emotion Regulation & Psychopathology (2018)

Caitlin Turpyn, Parenting Adolescents: A Neurobiological Framework for Parent-focused Intervention (2018)