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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer of Clinical Psychology in the School of Health and Social Sciences, registered Clinical Psychologist, and Health Data Analyst/Statistician. I completed my postgraduate studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where I completed a combined Masters/Phd in in Clincial Psychology. My research was focused on family-based interventions for child mental health. I was then fortunate to have postodoctoral research fellowships at the University of Sydney conducting mental health service research focusing on population health-oriented system approaches to prevention and treatment. Clinical psychology is a career change for me. I have also previously worked as a Health Economist implementing components of National Health Reform, including optimisation of hospital funding systems and resource allocation into practice. I aim to combine both professional skills focusing on clinical effectiveness research in mental health.

Current Research Interests

My research area of interest is the science of personalised interventions for children and young people. I approach this through a lens of transdiagnostic research in affective development and psychopathology. I use translational research methods to maximise impact, that includes:

(i) Transdiagnostic modelling of mental disorders. This includes innovations in studying common risk factors that underpin emerging mental illness across childhood and adolescence. I am particularly interested in (i) comorbid internalising and externalising problems, and (ii) multiple pathways in emotional disorders emerging in young people. 

(ii) Evidence-based practice in psychological interventions. The work attempts to address the research-practice gap in child and adolescent mental health. I study the utility of psychotherapy for common mental health problems such as disruptive behaviour, externalising problems, and depression, as well as factors that may either predict or moderate treatment outcomes. My work emphasises the salience of family-based interventions and how parental/family influence treatment outcomes from psychotherapy for young people.

(iii) Mental health service research where the focus is on implementing new systems of transdiagnostic assessment and treatment for children and young people. To that end, I have been focused on 'staged care' which is an integrated care model that promotes prevention of common affective illnesses among young people.

Current research interests

Clinical child and family psychology: depression; comorbid externalising and internalising problems; family-based influences on child neurodevelopment and mental health (e.g., parenting, parent cognition; attachment; early adverse experiences), and child risk characteristics (e.g., temperament, emotion dysregulation, neurobiology).

Collaborative Activity

Data Analytics for the Psychological Sciences Consulting: I am professionally trained in applied statistics (Ms Applied Statistics) and have extensive experience in data management. I would like to expand my work in these areas by colloborating on projects that might require data management and advanced statistical techniques.

Data management resources: data collection, transformation processes, and linking datasets

Statistical analysis: Multivariate statistics, regression, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory facor analysis, structural equation modelling, measurement invariance, mediation and moderation analysis 

Software: SPSS, SAS, Mplus, Access, Excel

contact details: vilas.sawrikar@ed.ac.uk



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