322M Miller

Research Interests

Development of Children & Youth
Social-Emotional Issues

James Mazza


My research interests focus broadly on adolescent mental health issues, particularly internalizing disorders such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, exposure to violence and especially suicidal behavior. I am also interested in the impact of exposure to violence and PTSD and it impacts other mental health problems in youth.  Because youth mental health problems are often under-identified yet related to academic difficulties and disciplinary issues, understanding the complex relationships of how mental health issues impact adolescent social emotional abilities and academic skills is central to the psychological services that are delivered in school-based settings.  Thus, my research focuses on a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) that emphasize the need to provide school-based mental health services and SEL programs to all students as part of their education. 

My current research is focusing on the development and evaluation of a social emotional regulation curriculum that has been designed at the universal level to helps middle and high school students learn adaptive coping strategies and decision-making abilities. The curriculum, called Skills Training for Emotional Problem-Solving for Adolescents (STEPS-A), is developed on the foundation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Linehan, 1993) and utilizes the skills component of DBT.  This research is in the beginning stages of a comprehensive multi-year project of examining the implementation and outcomes in using the STEPS-A curriculum in middle and high school settings.  I expect this line of research to be my major focus for the next 5 to 10 years.

Beyond my STEPS-A line of research, I am also interested in the impact of cyberbullying (social media) and exposure to community violence to PTSD, depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior.  With increased immediate access to information, the use of social media, and the integral nature of smartphone/tablet applications into daily lives, the field is at its infancy in trying to understand the implications and ramifications of instant access on youth mental health issues and intervention programs.  This line of research continues to evolve as the technology and student interests evolve.

Links of Interest:

Professional Associations:

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison 1993


Courses Taught
EDPSY 544: Counseling
EDPSY 549: Consultation in the Schools
EDPSY 572: Socio-Emotional Assessment
EDPSY 581: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
EDPSY 581: Research in School Psychology

Mazza, J. J. (2006). Youth suicidal behavior: A crisis in need of attention. In F.A. Villarruel, & Luster, T. (Eds.). Adolescent Mental Health (pp. 156-177). Greenwood Publishing Group.

Thompson, E.A., Mazza, J.J., Herting, J.R., Randell, B.P., & Eggert, L.L. (2005). Mediating Roles of Anxiety, Depression, and Hopelessness on Adolescent Suicidal Behaviors, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors, 35 (1), 14-34.

Mazza, J. J. & Eggert, L. L. (2001). Activity involvement among suicidal and nonsuicidal high-risk and typical adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors, 31 (3), 265-281.

Mazza, J. J. & Reynolds, W. M. (2001). An investigation of psychopathology in nonreferred suicidal and nonsuicidal adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors, 31 (3), 282-302.

Mazza, J. J. (2000). The relationship between postraumatic stress symptomatology and suicidal behavior in school-based adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30 (2), 91-103.

Mazza, J. J. & Overstreet, S. (2000). Children and adolescents exposed to community violence: a mental health perspective for school psychologists. School Psychology Review, 29 (1), 86-101.

Mazza, J. J. & Reynolds, W. M. (1999). Exposure to violence in young inner-city adolescents: relationships with suicidal ideation, depression, and ptsd symptomatology. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27 (3), 203-213.

Mazza, J. J. & Reynolds, W. M. (1998). A longitudinal investigation of depression, hopelessness, social support, major and minor life events and their relation to suicidal ideation in adolescents . Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors, 28 (4), 358-374.

Reynolds, W. M., & Mazza, J. J. (1998). Reliability and validity of the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale with young adolescents. Journal of School Psychology, 36, 353-376.

Reynolds, W. M. & Mazza, J. J. (in press). Assessment of suicidal ideation in young inner- city youth: Reliability and validity of the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire-JR. School Psychology Review.

Mazza, J. J. (1997). School-based suicide prevention programs: Are they effective? School Psychology Review, 26, 382-396.

Mazza, J. J. (1995, Spring). Assessing suicidal behavior, a necessity for school psychologists. NYSPA - School Notes, 1, 2.

Mazza, J. J. (1995, January). The school psychologist's role in assessing suicidal behavior. NYSPA - Notebook, 7, 25.

Reynolds, W. M. & Mazza, J. J. (1994). Suicide and suicidal behaviors in children and adolescents. In W. M. Reynolds & Hugh F. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of depression in children and adolescents (pp. 525-580). New York and London: Plenum Press.