Jennifer L. Hughes, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Jennifer L. Hughes, PhD, MPH
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Jennifer L. Hughes, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a Psychologist and Clinical Scholar in Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, College of Medicine, and the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion, College of Public Health, at The Ohio State University. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in Psychiatry at UT Southwestern, supporting the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care’s Risk and Resilience Network, which includes partnerships with local schools and youth community organizations to implement mental health promotion, resilience, and suicide prevention programs, and the Texas Youth Depression and Suicide Research Network, an initiative of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. Dr. Hughes’s work has focused on the dissemination and implementation of a school-based mental health promotion and suicide prevention program called Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM).  She is an international trainer for YAM, working with the intervention developers to disseminate this program in the United States (Texas and Montana), Australia, and India. 

Dr. Hughes received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2010 and completed her pre-doctoral internship through UT Southwestern Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She also completed her Master of Public Health degree, with specialization in Global Health, in 2017. Dr. Hughes is currently on the Executive Board of the American Psychological Association Division 53 Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) and served as a past Chair of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Child and Adolescent Depression Special Interest Group (SIG).

Dr. Hughes’ research program includes designing, implementing, and evaluating intervention and prevention for depressed, self-harming, and suicidal youths, in partnership with the community, to improve treatment outcomes and to enhance access to mental healthcare in pediatric populations. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked with Dr. Graham Emslie and Dr. Betsy Kennard on the multi-site NIMH Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters (TASA) project, a feasibility study of treatments for depressed adolescents who had made a recent suicide attempt. Additionally, she collaborated with Dr. Kennard in the development of a Relapse Prevention CBT for youths with depression and assisted on other major childhood depression trials, including the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) and the Treatment for Resistant Depression Adolescents (TORDIA) study.

Dr. Hughes has served as a study therapist and/or intervention developer on multiple NIH-funded intervention trials of interventions for youth suicide attempters, including the first randomized controlled trial of dialectical behavior therapy in the United States (Collaborative Adolescent Research on Emotions and Suicide study,; McCauley et al., 2018; Asarnow et al., 2021), the Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters study (Brent et al., 2009; Stanley et al., 2009), and the SAFETY intervention for suicidal youth and their parents (; Asarnow, Berk, Hughes, & Anderson, 2015; Asarnow, Hughes, Babeva, & Sugar, 2017; Asarnow et al., 2021; Hughes & Asarnow, 2021). Dr. Hughes was awarded a Young Investigator grant through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to adapt the SAFETY intervention to prevent suicide attempts in youth engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), which is an at-risk group for suicide. SAFETY is a cognitive-behavioral family treatment for suicide attempt prevention, one of only 4 interventions deemed promising by the recent SAMHSA guide, “Treatment for Suicidal Ideation, Self-Harm, and Suicide Attempts Among Youth.”

Dr. Hughes has expertise in developing and adapting interventions for youth depression prevention, including for youth depression relapse prevention (Relapse Prevention CBT; Kennard, Stewart, Hughes, Jarrett, & Emslie, 2008; Kennard, Hughes, & Foxwell, 2016), universal school-based depression prevention (Youth Aware of Mental Health, YAM; Hughes et al., 2019; Lindow et al., 2019; Lindow et al., 2020), and resilience-building (Whippy: Resilience web-based application for resilience in youth; Elledge et al., 2019). Additionally, Dr. Hughes has served as a consultant and project therapist on an NIMH-funded intervention development project for younger children with depression (Tompson et al., 2016).

Broadly, Dr. Hughes’ research explores the efficacy and effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for building resilience, the prevention and treatment of youth depression, and addressing suicide in youth. For more information, please visit: