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Sylvie Mrug, PhD

Sylvie Mrug, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Alabama at Birmingham
924 19th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294-2100
Phone: (205) 975-9462
Full CV

Dr. Sylvie Mrug received her PhD in clinical psychology and MS in applied statistics from Purdue University. She has been a faculty member in the UAB psychology department since 2005.

Research Interests:

Her research examines the interplay of risk and protective factors in the development of behavioral and emotional problems in adolescence, including antisocial behavior, substance use, depression and anxiety. This work has focused on the effects of violence exposure and peer influences in conjunction with other individual and contextual risk factors, such as pubertal timing, temperament, stress reactivity, parental practices, and broader influences of schools and neighborhoods. In her current work, Dr. Mrug also examines the role of diet and related biomarkers (e.g., uric acid) in behavior and mental health.

Web Site:



  1. Mrug, S., & Mrug, M. (2016). Uric acid excretion predicts increased aggression in urban adolescents. Physiology and Behavior, 163, 144-148.
  2. Goodman, A., Wheelock, M. D., Harnett, N. G., Mrug, S., Granger, D. A., & Knight , D. C. (In Press). The hippocampal response to psychosocial stress varies with salivary uric acid level. Neuroscience.
  3. *Guo, J., Mrug, S., & Knight, D.C. (in press). Factor Structure of the Emotions as a Child Scale in late adolescence and emerging adulthood. Psychological Assessment.
  4. Jetelina, K.K., Reingle Gonzalez, J.M., Cuccaro, P.M., Peskin, M.F., Elliott, M.N., Coker, T.R., Mrug, S., Davies, S.L., & Schuster, M.A. (in press). The association between familial homelessness, aggression, and victimization among children. Journal of Adolescent Health.
  5. Ladapo, J.A., Elliott, M.N., Kanouse, D.E., Schwebel, D.C., Toomey, S.L., Mrug, S., Cuccaro, P.M., Tortolero, S.R., & Schuster, M.A. (in press). Firearm ownership and acquisition among parents with risk factors for self-harm or other violence. Academic Pediatrics.
  6. Mrug, S., *Tyson, A., Turan, B., & Granger, D.A. (2016). Sleep problems predict cortisol reactivity to stress in urban adolescents. Physiology and Behavior, 155, 95-101.
  7. Burgess, E.E., Sylvester, M.D., Morse, K.E., Amthor, F.R., Mrug, S., Lokken, K., Osborn, M.K., Soleymani, T., & Boggiano, M.M. (2016). Effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on binge-eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders.
  8. *Gardner, M.H., Mrug, S., Schwebel, D., Phipps, S., Whelan, K., & Madan-Swain, A. (in press). Benefit finding and Quality of Life in caregivers of childhood cancer survivors: The moderating roles of demographic and psychosocial factors. Cancer Nursing: An International Journal for Cancer Care.
  9. *Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., Wolfe, K., Schwebel, D., & Wallander, J. (in press). Spiritual coping, psychosocial adjustment, and physical health in youth with chronic illness: A meta-analytic review. Health Psychology Review.
  10. Grossoehme, D.H., Szczesniak, R.D., Mrug, S., Dimitriou, S.M., Marshall, A., & McPhail, G.L. (in press). Adolescents’ spirituality and Cystic Fibrosis airway clearance treatment adherence: Examining mediators. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
  11. Mrug, S., *King, V., & Windle, M. (2016). Brief report: Explaining differences in depressive symptoms between African American and European American adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 46, 25-29.
  12. Mrug, S., *Madan, A., & Windle, M. (2016). Emotional desensitization to violence contributes to adolescents’ violent behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44, 75-86.
  13. *Gardner, M.H., Mrug, S., Schwebel, D.C., Phipps, S., Whelan, K., & Madan-Swain, A. (2015). Demographic, medical, and psychosocial predictors of benefit finding among caregivers of childhood cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology.
  14. *Hill, D.C., & Mrug, S. (2015). School level correlates of adolescent tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use. Substance Use and Misuse, 50, 1518-28.
  15. Windle, M., & Mrug, S. (2015). Parental divorce during adolescence and sex differences in depression in young adulthood as moderated by the oxytocin polymorphism rs53576. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, article 1322, 1-8.
  16. *Morris, A., Mrug, S., and Windle, M. (2015). From family violence to dating violence: Testing the dual-pathway model. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 1819-35.
  17. Harnett, N.G., Wheelock, M.D., Wood, K.H., Ladnier, J.C., Mrug, S., & Knight, D.C. (2015). Affective State and Locus of Control Modulate the Neural Response to Threat. NeuroImage, 121, 217-26.
  18. Schuster, M.A., Bogart, L.M., Klein, D.J., Feng, J.Y., Tortolero, S.R., Mrug, S., Lewis, T.H., & Elliott, M.N. (2015). A longitudinal study of bullying of sexual minority youth. New England Journal of Medicine, 372, 1872-1874.
  19. Boggiano, M.M., Wenger, L.E., Mrug, S., Burgess. E.E., & Morgan P.R. (2015). The Kids-Palatable Eating Motives Scale: Relation to BMI and binge eating risk. Eating Behaviors, 17, 69-73.
  20. Mrug, S., *Madan, A., Cook, E.W., & Wright, R.A. (2015). Emotional and physiological desensitization to real-life and movie violence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 1092-1108.
  21. *Mitchell, E.S., Mrug, S., Patterson, C.S., Bailey, K.J., & Hodgens, J.B. (2015). Summer treatment program improves behavior of children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 2295-310.
  22. Milby, J.B., Conti, K., Wallace, D., Mennemeyer, S., Mrug, S., & Schumacher, J.E. (2015). Comorbidity Effects on Cocaine Dependence Treatment and Examination of Reciprocal Relationships between Abstinence and Depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 45-55.
  23. Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2014). DRD4 and susceptibility to peer influence on alcohol use from adolescence to adulthood. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 145, 168-173. PMC4268151.
  24. *Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., *Hensler, M., *Guion, K., & Madan-Swain, A. (2014). Spiritual Coping and Adjustment in Adolescents with Chronic Illness: A 2-Year Prospective Study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39, 542-51.
  25. *+Reynolds, N., +Mrug, S., Britton, L., *Guion, K., *Wolfe, K.R., & Gutierrez, H. (2014). Spiritual Coping Predicts 5-year Health Outcomes in Adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, 13, 593-600. PMC4134759.
    + Authors made equal contributions
  26. Bogart, L.M., Elliott, M.N., Klein, D.J., Tortolero, S.R., Mrug, S., Peskin, M.F., Davies, S.L., Schink, E.T., & Schuster, M.A. (2014). Peer victimization in fifth grade and health in tenth grade. Pediatrics, 133, 440-7.
  27. Mrug, S., Elliott, M.N., Davies, S., Tortolero, S., Cuccaro, P., & Schuster, M.A. (2014). Early puberty, negative peer influence and problem behaviors in adolescent girls. Pediatrics, 133, 7-14. PMC in progress.
  28. *Madan, A., Mrug, S., and Wright, R.A. (2014). The effects of media violence on anxiety in late adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 116-26.
  29. Bolland, K.A., Bolland, J.M., Tomek, S., Deveraux, R., Mrug, S., & Wimberly, J.C. (2013). Trajectories of Adolescent Alcohol Use by Gender and Early Initiation Status. Youth & Society.
  30. *Garner, A.A., Mrug, S., Hodgens, J.B., & Patterson, C. (2013). Do symptoms of sluggish cognitive tempo in children with ADHD represent comorbid internalizing difficulties? Journal of Attention Disorders, 17, 510-518.
  31. *Goncy, E., & Mrug, S. (2013). Where and when adolescents use tobacco, alcohol and marijuana: Comparisons by age, gender and race. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 74, 288-300. PMC3568168.
  32. Mrug, S., & *McCay, R. (2013). Parental and peer disapproval of alcohol use and its relationship to adolescent drinking: Age, gender, and racial differences. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27, 604-614. PMC4004115.
  33. *Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., & *Guion, K. (2013). Spiritual coping and psychosocial adjustment of adolescents with chronic illness: The role of cognitive attributions, age, and disease group. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52, 559-565. PMC3622779.
  34. Dawoud, D., Lyndon, W., Mrug, S., Bissler, J.J., & Mrug, M. (2012). Impact of ultrasound-guided kidney biopsy simulation on trainee confidence and biopsy outcomes. American Journal of Nephrology, 36, 570-4. PMC in progress.
  35. Zhou, J., Ouyang, X., Schoeb, T.R., Bolisetty, S., Cui, X., Mrug, S., Yoder, B.K., Johnson, M.R., Szalai, A.J., & Mrug. M. (2012). Kidney injury accelerates cystogenesis via pathways modulated by heme oxygenase and complement. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 23, 1161-71.
  36. Wallander, J.L., Fradkin, C.D., Chien, A.T., Mrug, S., Banspach, S.W., Davies, S., Elliott, M.N., Franzini, L., & Schuster, M.A. (2012). Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health-Related Quality of Life and Health in Children Are Largely Mediated by Family Contextual Differences. Academic Pediatrics, 12, 532-8.
  37. *Guion, K., & Mrug, S. (2012). The role of parental and adolescent attributions in adjustment of adolescent with chronic illness. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 19, 262-269. PMC3845819.
  38. Mrug, S., Molina, B.S.G., Hoza, B., Gerdes, A.C., Hinshaw, S.P., Hechtman, L., & Arnold, L.E. (2012). Peer rejection and friendships in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Contributions to long-term outcomes. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 1013-1026. PMCID: PMC3384771.
  39. *Goodwin, N., Mrug, S., Borch, C., & Cillessen, A.H.N. (2012). Peer selection and socialization in adolescent depression: The role of school transitions. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 320-32. PMCID: PMC3277679.
  40. Schwebel, D. C., Roth, D. L., Elliott, M. N., Chien, A. T., Mrug, S., Shipp, E., Dittus, P., Zlomke, K., & Schuster, M. A. (2012). Marital conflict and fifth-graders’ risk for injury. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 47, 30-35. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2012.01.005
  41. Mrug, S., *Madan, A., & Windle, M. (2012). Temperament alters susceptibility to negative peer influence in early adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 201-209. PMCID: PMC3278311.
  42. *Stavrinos, D., Biasini, F.J., Fine, P.R., Hodgens, J.B., Khatri, S., Mrug, S., & Schwebel, D.C. (2011). Mediating factors associated with pedestrian injury in children with ADHD. Pediatrics, 128, 296-302.
  43. Mrug, S., Borch, C., & Cillessen, A.H.N. (2011). Other-sex friendships in late adolescence: Risky associations for substance use and sexual debut? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 875-888. PMCID: PMC3111728
  44. *Madan, A., Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2011). Brief report: Do delinquency and community violence exposure explain internalizing problems in early adolescent gang members? Journal of Adolescence, 34, 1093-1096. PMCID: PMC2962686.
  45. *Jackson, D.O., Mrug, S., Cook, F., Beidleman, W., & Cropsey, K.L. (2011). Factors predicting substance dependence and psychotropic medication use among offenders in community corrections. Addictive Behaviors, 36, 755-758.
  46. *McConley, R., Mrug, S., Gilliland, M.J., Lowry, R., Elliott, M.N., Schuster, M.A., Bogart, L., Franzini, L., Escobar-Chaves, L., & Franklin, F. (2011). Mediators of parental depression and single parenting on child BMI: Parenting quality, sedentary behavior, leisure activity, and healthy diet. Obesity, 19, 345-52.
  47. *Artiga-Garner, A., *Marceaux, J., Mrug, S., Patterson, C., & Hodgens, B.J. (2010). Dimensions and correlates of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 1097-107. PMC3278310
  48. *Su, W., Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2010). Social cognitive and emotional mediators link violence exposure and parental nurturance to adolescent aggression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39, 814-824. PMC3857694.
  49. Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2010). Prospective effects of violence exposure across multiple contexts on early adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 953-961. PMC3857691.
  50. Mrug, S., *Gaines, J., *Su, W., & Windle, M. (2010). School-level substance use: Effects on early adolescents’ alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 71, 488-495. PMCID: PMC2887919
  51. *Oswalt, K.L., Biasini, F.J., Harrison, LL., & Mrug, S. (2009). Outcomes of a massage intervention on teen mothers: A pilot study. Pediatric Nursing, 35, 284-289.
  52. Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2009). Moderators of negative peer influence on early adolescent externalizing behaviors: The roles of individual behavior, parenting, and school connectedness. Journal of Early Adolescence, 29, 518-540.
  53. Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2009). Bidirectional influences of violence exposure and adjustment in early adolescence: Externalizing behaviors and school connectedness. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 611-623.
  54. Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2009). Initiation of alcohol use in early adolescence: Links with exposure to community violence across time. Addictive Behaviors, 34, 779-781. PMC2716795
  55. Coker, T.R., Elliott, M.N., Kataoka, S., Schwebel, D.C., Mrug, S., Grunbaum, J., Cuccaro, P., Peskin, M.F., & Schuster, M.A. (2009). Racial/ethnic disparities in the mental health care utilization of 5th-grade children. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 9, 89-96.
  56. Ramchand, R., Elliott, M.N., Mrug, S., Grunbaum, J., Windle, M., Chandra, A., Peskin, M.F., Cooper, S.P., & Schuster, M.A. (2009). Substance use and delinquency among fifth graders who have jobs. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36, 297-303.
  57. Windle, M., & Mrug, S. (2009). Cross-gender violence perpetration and victimization among early adolescents and associations with attitudes toward dating conflict. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 429–439.
  58. Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2009). Mediators of neighborhood influences on externalizing behavior in preadolescent children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 265-280.
  59. *Guion, K., Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2009). Predictive value of informant discrepancies in reports of parenting: Relations to early adolescents’ adjustment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 17-30.
  60. Mrug, S., Hoza, B., Gerdes, A.C., Hinshaw, S.P., Arnold, L.E., Hechtman, L., & Pelham, W.E. (2009). Discriminating between children with ADHD and classmates: The utility of peer variables. Journal of Attention Disorders, 12, 372-380.
  61. Corry, N., Merritt, R.D., Mrug, S., & Pamp, B. (2008). The factor structure of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 90, 593-600.
  62. Mrug, S., Elliott, M.N., Gilliland, M.J., Grunbaum, J., Tortolero, S., Cuccaro, P., & Schuster, M.A. (2008). Positive parenting and early puberty in girls: Protective effects against aggressive behavior. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162, 781-786.
  63. Mrug, S., & Hodgens, J.B. (2008). Behavioral Summer Treatment Program improves social and behavioral functioning of four children with Asperger’s Disorder. Clinical Case Studies, 7, 171-190.
  64. Mrug, S., *Loosier, P.S., & Windle, M. (2008). Violence exposure across multiple contexts: Individual and joint effects on adjustment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78, 70-84.
  65. Mrug, S., & Hoza, B. (2007). Impression formation and modifiability: Testing a theoretical model. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 53, 631-659.
  66. Mrug, S., Hoza, B., Pelham, W.E., Gnagy, E.M., & Greiner, A.R. (2007). Behavior and peer status in children with ADHD: Continuity and change. Journal of Attention Disorders, 10, 359-371.
  67. Hoza, B., Mrug, S., Gerdes, A.C., Hinshaw, S.P., Bukowski, W.M., Gold, J.A., Kraemer, H.C., Pelham, W.E., Wigal, T., & Arnold, L.E. (2005). What aspects of peer relationships are impaired in children with ADHD? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 411-423.
  68. Hoza, B., Gerdes, A.C., Mrug, S., Hinshaw, S.P., Bukowski, W.M., Gold, J.A., Arnold, L.E., Abikoff, H.B., Conners, C.K., Elliott, G.R., Greenhill, L.L., Hechtman, L., Jensen, P.S., Kraemer, H.C., March, J.S., Newcorn, J.H., Pelham, W.E., Severe, J.B., Swanson, J.M., Vitiello, B., Wells, K.C., & Wigal, T. (2005). Peer outcomes at 14 months in the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (the MTA). Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 74-86.
  69. Mrug, S., Hoza, B., & Bukowski, W.M. (2004). Choosing or being chosen by aggressive-disruptive peers: Do they contribute to children’s externalizing and internalizing problems? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32, 53-65.
  70. Hoza, B., Mrug, S., Pelham, W.E., Greiner, A.R., & Gnagy, E.M. (2003). A Friendship intervention for children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Preliminary findings. Journal of Attention Disorders, 6, 87-98.
  71. Mrug, S., & Wallander, J.L. (2002). Self-concept of young people with physical disabilities: Does integration play a role? International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 49, 267-280.