Mary Caruso-Anderson

Mary Anderson

Department Chair
  • Lead Faculty
    Applied Behavioral Analysis Department

  • The Chicago School Washington DC
Applied Behavior Analysis
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.

My primary research interests lie in the study of gene-behavior relationships in developmental and intellectual disabilities (DD/ID). The overarching goal of my research agenda is to utilize my background in behavior analysis and gene-brain-behavior relations to characterize behavioral phenotypes in ID/DD with greater specificity. Over the next three years, my research will focus on understanding the social phenotype in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and through an analysis of contextual variables and behavioral processes. The goal of this set of studies is to gain a more complete understanding of deficits in social behavior in ASD, which in turn, will guide future research on neurobiological correlates of social behavior.

My clinical interests include reducing problem behaviors such as self-injury and aggression in individuals with ID/DD using a bio-behavioral and skills-building approach. I believe a thorough examination of biological and environmental determinants of problem behavior increases the efficacy of treatment for severe problem behavior. It is important that behavioral and pharmacological intervention be applied in a complementary and integrated manner using a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach that involves ongoing assessment.

  • Ph.D., Developmental and Child Psychology, Vanderbilt University/University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2006
    DISSERTATION: A Magnetoencephalgraphic Study of Cognitive and Visual Function in Prader-Willi Syndrome
    Pre-doctoral Internship: Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Dept. of Behavioral Psychology

  • M.A., Behavioral Psychology, University of Judaism, Bel Air, CA, 1999

  • B.A., Psychology/Education, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, 1993

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D)
Areas Of Expertise


  • Book Chapters
    • Hagopian, L., & Caruso-Anderson, M. (2010). Integrating behavioral and pharmacological interventions for severe problem behavior displayed by children with neurogenetic and developmental disorders. In B. K. Shapiro and P. J. Accardo (Editors) Neurobehavioral Disorders: Science and Practice. Baltimore: Paul H Brookes Publishing Co. 

    • Thompson, T., & Caruso, M. (2002). Self-Injury: Knowing what we’re looking for. In S. Schroeder, M. Oster-Granite, & T. Thompson (Eds.) Self-Injurious Behavior: Gene-Brain-Behavior Relationships. Washington, DC: APA. 

  • Refereed Journal Articles
    • Zarcone, J., Napolitano, D., Peterson, C., Breidbord, P., Ferraioli, S., Caruso-Anderson, M., Holsen, L., Butler, M., & Thompson, T. (2007). The relationship between compulsive behaviour and academic achievement across the three genetic subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51, 478-87. 

    • Valdovinos, M., Caruso, M., Roberts, C., Kim, G., & Kennedy, C. H. (2005). Medical and behavioral symptoms as potential medication side effects in adults with developmental disabilities. American Journal on Mental Retardation. 110, 164-170. 

    • Holsen, L., Zarcone, J., Thompson, T., Brooks, W., Anderson, M., Ahluwalia, J., Nollen, N., & Savage, C. (2005). Neural mechanisms underlying food motivation in children and adolescents. Neuroimage, 27, 669-676. 

    • Caruso, M., & Kennedy, C. (2004). Effect of a Reviewer Prompting Strategy on Timely Manuscript Reviews. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 523-526. 

    • Harvey, M. T., Smith, R. L., May, M., Caruso, M., Roberts, C., Patterson, T., & Valdovinos, M. G. (2004). Possible role for the 5-HT1A receptor in the behavioral effects of REM sleep deprivation on avoidance responding. Psychopharmacology, 176, 123-128. 

    • Thompson, T., Caruso, M., & Ellerbeck. (2003). Sex matters in autism and other developmental disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 7, 345-362. 

    • Caruso, M., Harvey, M. T., Roberts, C., & Patterson, T. G. & Kennedy, C. H. (2002). Differential effects of carbamazepine on negatively versus positively reinforced responding. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior, 74, 221-227. 

    • Kennedy, C. H., Caruso, M., & Thompson, T. (2001). Experimental analyses of gene-brain-behavior relations, with some notes on their application. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 539-549.