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  • Ätiologie und soziale und kognitive Mechanismen von Posttraumatischen Belastungsstörungen, Angststörungen und Depression
  • Psychologische Interventionen, inkl. technologiebasierter Interventionen
  • Vergleichsprozesse und Beurteilung
  • Auswirkungen von Kindesmissbrauch, Kriegserlebnissen und Migration auf die psychische Gesundheit
  • Systematische Reviews und Metaanalysen
  • Experimentelle Psychopathologie

Main Research Projects

Efficacy of psychological interventions

We conduct research on the efficacy of psychological interventions for individuals with anxiety and related disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Currently, we are involved in the following two multicenter trials.

ReCAP: Culturally Adapted Psychotherapy for Refugees
funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

This multicenter trial evaluates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of three novel and culturally adapted psychological interventions for asylum seekers and refugees in Germany. The clinical trials are carried out at the universities of Frankfurt (Prof. Ulrich Stangier & Dr. Regina Steil), Marburg (Dr. Cornelia Weise & Dr. Dr. Ricarda Nater-Mewes), Munich (Prof. Thomas Ehring) and Münster. In three randomized controlled trials, a short psychoeducation intervention, a transdiagnostic group intervention (CA-CBT+) and individual Imagery Rescripting are being investigated.

This international multicenter randomized clinical trial investigates the efficacy and mechanisms of Imagery Rescripting (ImRs) and EMDR for adult PTSD due to childhood sexual and physical traumatic experiences. The trial is being conducted at 14 sites in Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Exemplary publications on psychological interventions from our group:

A-Tjak, J. G. L., Morina, N., Topper, M., & Emmelkamp, P. M. G. (2018). A Randomized Controlled Trial in Routine Clinical Practice Comparing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 87, 154–163. Doi: 10.1159/000486807.

Kampmann, I. L., Emmelkamp, P. M. G., Hartanto, D., Brinkman, W.P., Zijlstra, B. J. H., & Morina, N. (2016). Exposure to virtual social interactions in the treatment of social anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 77, 147-156. Doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.016.

Meyerbroeker, K., Morina, N., Kerkhof, G. A., & Emmelkamp, P.M.G. (2013). Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy does not provide any additional value in agoraphobic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 82, 170-176. Doi: 10.1159/000342715.

Comparison processes in judgment

We investigate the role of comparison processes in judgment. Using observational and experimental research, we examine for example how different types of comparison (e.g., social, temporal, or couterfactual comparisons) influence judgments of well-being and other mental or physical attributes of the self.

Exemplary publications on comparative thinking from our group:

Hoppen, T. H. & Morina, N. (2021). I’d do much better, if only … Counterfactual comparisons related to traumatic life events. Cognition and Emotion, 35, 409-416. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2020.1832967.

Kampmann, I. L., Meyer, T., & Morina, N. (2020). Social comparison modulates coping with fear in virtual environments. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 102226. Doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102226

Morina, N. (2021). Comparisons inform me who I am: A general comparative processing model of self-perception. Perspectives on Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/1745691620966788. DOI: 10.1177/1745691620966788.

Impact of war and migration on mental health and behavior

We investigate mental health outcomes in survivors of mass violence and the efficacy of mental health services for this population. Furthermore, we are involved in joint research with colleagues from other field of psychology (personality psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and organizational psychology) aimed at investigating core psychological antecedents of refugee integration (PARI).

Exemplary publications from our group:

Echterhoff, G., Hellmann, J. H., Back, M. D., Kärtner, J., Morina, N., & Hertel, G. (2020). Psychological antecedents of refugee integration (PARI). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15, 856-879. Doi: 10.1177/1745691619898838

Morina, N., ... & Priebe, S. (2013). Co-occurrence of Major Depressive Episode and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among survivors of war. How is it different from either condition alone? Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74, e212-e218, Doi:10.4088/JCP.12m07844.

Morina, N. & Nickerson, A. (2018). Mental Health of Refugee and Conflict-Affected Populations: Theory, Research and Clinical Practice. Cham: Springer. ISBN-13: 978-3319970455

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

We conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses to evaluate the efficacy of treatments for mental disorders as well as the role of cognitive, emotional and social factors in psychopathology.

Exemplary publications from our group:

Hoppen, T. H. & Morina, N. (2020). Is high-quality of trials associated with lower treatment efficacy? A meta-analysis on the association between study quality and effect sizes of psychological interventions for pediatric PTSD. Clinical Psychology Review, 101855. Doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101855

Schubert, T., Eloo, R., Scharfen, J., & Morina, N. (2020). How imagining personal future scenarios influences affect: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 75, 101811. Doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2019.101811

Morina, N., Malek, M., Nickerson, A., & Bryant, R. A. (2017). Psychological interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in young survivors of mass violence in low- and middle-income countries: meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 210, 247-254. Doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.115.180265.