The Naomi E. Lohr Award for Excellence in Clinical Psychology is awarded to a Clinical Science doctoral student during the internship year. The award recognizes a student who demonstrates a clear commitment to developing clinical expertise and an appreciation for a diversity of theoretical and clinical perspectives and approaches. Read more about the impact of the generous donations to this award by learning about the research of this year’s award recipient, Johnny Berona, below.
Johnny is a flexible and creative clinical scholar who displays a genuine interest in multiple levels of influence on the developmental course of children and adolescents. An active member of Cheryl King’s Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Research Program, he is developing a program of research concerning risk and resilience in adolescents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). As one example, Johnny just completed an innovative, prospective research study that enrolled youth who were seeking psychiatric emergency services for behavioral health crises. By beginning with a high risk sample and following it longitudinally, he has been able to ascertain modifiable risk factors that are possible targets for preventive strategies. In a second study, Johnny has examined the developmental trajectories of sexual orientation and behaviors across adolescence and young adulthood, identifying pathways of consistency and change and their relationship to positive and negative outcomes, including bullying victimization and high risk behaviors. His clinical research is consistently characterized by high clinical and public health significance – with an eye toward obtaining knowledge that has the potential to inform prevention-focused strategies and policies. Johnny is currently completing an internship at the University Center for the Child and Family at the Mary A. Rackham Institute where he is expanding his knowledge of child and adolescent psychopathology and science-based assessment and intervention approaches. Johnny shows an appreciation for the developmental and systemic complexities of children’s and families lives and a strong interest in improving the quality of life of young people.