Lance Swenson, PhD

Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Training
Department of Psychology

Phone: 617-994-6874
Fax: 617-367-2924
Office: Donahue Building, Rm. 636D


  • PhD, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • MA, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • BS, University of Georgia, Athens

Internship: Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium; Postdoctoral Fellowship: Brown University School of Medicine, Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies.

Specialty Areas

NSSI and suicidality, socioemotional development, developmental psychopathology

My research examines risk and protective factors related to self-harm, with a particular focus on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Recently I have been studying how health-related behaviors (e.g., physical activity/exercise and dietary habits) are related to NSSI severity. Other recent and ongoing studies that my students and I are engaged in include linkages between NSSI and alcohol use, social affiliative behavior, sexual orientation, and developmental trajectories. My work in this area more generally is grounded in a developmental psychopathology framework emphasizing connections between normative and atypical developmental processes as well as the reciprocal associations between behavior and the environment. A second set of research interests involves children and adolescents’ socioemotional development and the mechanisms through with peer and other primary social relationships affect functioning. For example, my prior research has examined close friends’ and parents’ perceptions of youth symptomatology, interactions between relationship functioning and perceptions of distress, and the effects of being in a dyadic friendship with a distressed partner. In addition to these primary areas of inquiry, recent research collaborations have involved clinically-oriented research with more severely impaired populations of children and adolescents (e.g., psychiatric inpatients) encompass a wide range of topics (e.g., engagement with inpatient treatment, childhood-onset bipolar disorder, and problematic video game use).

Selected Publications

Batejan, K. L., Swenson, L. P., Jarvi, S. M., & Muehlenkamp, J. J. (in press). Perceptions of the functions of non-suicidal self-injury in a college sample. Crisis.

Bodzy, M. E., Barreto, S., Swenson, L. P., Liguori, G., & Costea, G. (2015, March 9). Self-reported psychopathology, trauma symptoms and emotion coping among child suicide attempters and ideators: An exploratory study of young children. Archives of Suicide Research. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2015.1004469

Batjean, K. L., Jarvi, S. M., & Swenson, L. P. (2015). Sexual orientation and non-suicidal self-injury: A meta-analytic review. Archives of Suicide Research,19, 131 – 150. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2014.957450

Muehlenkamp, J. J., Swenson, L. P., Batejan, K. L., & Jarvi, S. M. (2015). Emotional and behavioral effects of participating in an online study of non-suicidal self-injury: An experimental analysis. Clinical Psychological Science,3, 26-37. doi: 10.1177/2167702614531579

Hill, E. N., & Swenson, L. P. (2014). Perceptions of friendship among youth with distressed friends. Child Psychiatry and Human Development45, 99-109. doi: 10.1007/s10578-013-0381-y.

Courses Taught

PSYCH 233 - Child Development
PSYCH 336 - Developmental Psychopathology
PSYCH 711 - Scientific Writing for the Psychological Sciences
PSYCH 741 - Clinical Supervision and Consultation IIB
PSYCH 748 - Developmental Psychopathology