Thomas B Hildebrandt, PsyD
My research interests span three major areas: (1) development and evaluation of clinical interventions for adolescents and adults with eating and weight disorders or adults with alcohol use disorders; (2) psychiatric and physical consequences of appearance and performance enhancing drug (APED) use or anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS)use; (3) the biological basis, especially the neuroendocrine and hormonal contributions to eating and substance use disorders.
Treatment and Intervention: Currently this research involves developing novel therapeutic interventions based on exposure therapy for body image disturbances and the development of family based interventions for pediatric weight disorders, building of off the “Maudsley Method” which is a form of family therapy used to treat anorexia nervosa.
APEDs and AASs: Currently our lab is conducting the first longitudinal study of APED use among active AAS users and seeks to characterize the desirable and undesirable changes that occur in psychological domains (e.g., body image, aggression, etc.), physical domains (e.g., increases in lean muscle mass), and along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes. This research seeks to identify biomarkers of AAS dependence and ultimately to develop interventions and prevention programs for APED users.
Hormones and Psychopathology: Currently our lab is interested in identifying the hormonal contributions to eating pathology, in part, to help explain the gender differences in prevalence rates of eating disorders and AAS use. Specific focuses involve the role of estrogen and other sex hormones in the adolescent onset of anorexia nervosa and the development and maintenance of bulimia nervosa.
In addition to these focuses, I have a strong interest in advanced quantitative methods including structural equation modeling, latent growth curve modeling, factor mixture modeling, and item response modeling. I teach other professionals and am interested in cognitive behavior therapy for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorder not otherwise specified, binge eating disorder across the lifespan.
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