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  • Cognitive and social mechanisms of posttraumatic stress disorders, anxiety, and depression
  • Efficacy of psychological interventions
  • Comparison processes in judgment and well-being
  • Psychological impacts of natural disasters and extreme weather events
  • Psychological interventions to promote more climate-friendly behaviours
  • Impact of traumatic experiences and forced migration on mental health

  • Experimental psychopathology

  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Main Research Projects

Comparison processes in judgment and well-being

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

Exemplary publications on comparative thinking from our group:

Meyer, T., Schlechter, P., Schlichting, L., & Morina, N. (2023). The struggle is relative: A comparative processing perspective on academic self-concept and student mental health. Collabra-Psychology, 9(1), 88330. Doi: 10.1525/collabra.88330.

Morina, N. (2021). Comparisons inform me who I am: A general comparative processing model of self-perception. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16, 1281-1299. DOI: 10.1177/1745691620966788. DOI: 10.1177/1745691620966788.

Schlechter, P., König, M., McNally, R. J., & Morina, N. (2023). Crying over spilled milk? A Network Analysis of Aversive Well-Being Comparison, Brooding Rumination and Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders. 339, 520–530. Doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.07.088

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.

Kuck, S., Arntz, A., Rameckers, S. A., Lee, C.; Haan, K. Boterhoven de Haan, K. L., Fassbinder, E., & Morina, N. (2023). Intraindividual variability and emotional change as predictors of sudden gains in Imagery Rescripting and EMDR for PTSD in adult survivors of childhood abuse. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 30, 1029-1046. Doi: 10.1002/cpp.2855.

Morina, N., Seidemann, J., Andor, T., Sondern, L., Bürkner, P.-C., Drenckhan, I., Buhlmann, U. (2023). The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder in routine clinical practice. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 30, 335–343. Doi: 10.1002/cpp.2799.

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.

Exemplary publications from our group:

Churbaji, D. & Morina, N. (2024). Cognitive factors underlying the impact of post-migration stressors on subjective well-being: Well-being comparisons and self-efficacy. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 31 (1), e2928. Doi: 10.1002/cpp.2928.

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

Schlechter P., Hellmann, J. H., McNally, R. J., & Morina, N. (2022). The longitudinal course of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in war survivors: Insights from cross-lagged panel network analyses. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 35:879–890. DOI: 10.1002/jts.22795.

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., Meiser-Stedman, R., Kip, A., Birkeland, M. S., & Morina, N. (2024). The efficacy of psychological ns for adult post-traumatic stress disorder following exposure to single vs. multiple traumatic events: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Lancet Psychiatry, 11, 112–122. Doi:  10.1016/S2215-0366(23)00373-5.

Kip, A., Iseke, L. Papola, D., Gastaldon, C., Barbui, C. & Morina, N. (2023). Efficacy of Psychological Interventions for PTSD in Distinct Populations - An Evidence Map of Meta-Analyses using the Umbrella Review Methodology. Clinical Psychology Review, 100, 102239. Doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2022.102239

Morina, N., Hoppen, T. H., & Kip, A. (2021). Study quality and efficacy of psychological interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Psychological Medicine, 51, 1260–1270. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291721001641.