Nicholas Allen, Department of Psychology

Nicholas Allen, Ann Swindells Professor of Clinical Psychology

Director, Center for Digital Mental Health
Associate Director of Clinical Training
Practice Areas: Adolescent Mental Health, Digital Mental Health, Mood Disorders, Sleep, Developmental Social and Affective Neuroscience, Family Processes, Assessment and Intervention, Prevention Research, Metaverse

Faculty bio | Lab website | @Prof_Nick_Allen

Nick Allen has more than thirty years of experience in clinical psychology, social neuroscience, research and education. His research works to understand the interactions between multiple risk factors for adolescent onset mental health disorders, and to use these insights to develop innovative approaches to prevention and early intervention. His group holds multiple National Institutes of Health-funded grants for work focusing on the use of mobile and wearable technology to monitor risk for poor mental health outcomes including suicide, depression, and bipolar disorder. His team has developed software tools that combine active and passive sensing methods to provide intensive longitudinal assessment of behavior with minimal participant burden. The ultimate aim of these technologies is to develop a new generation of “just-in-time” behavioral interventions for early intervention and prevention of mental health problems. He is currently leading a project with Google to determine the effect that smartphone usage has on mental health.

Nick is also the co-founder and CEO of Ksana Health Inc, a company whose mission is to use research evidence and modern technology to revolutionize the delivery of mental health care through remote behavioral monitoring and adaptive, continuous behavior change support.

Recent Media: 
UO study finds teen girls' text language is linked to mental health (KGW-TV, May 11, 2023)
A new study links social media use to changes in teen brains. Is that a bad thing? (STAT News, Jan. 19, 2023)
Youth mental health crisis across the U.S. deepens (ABC23, Dec. 14, 2022)
Can smartphones help predict suicide? (The New York Times, Sept. 30, 2022)
Expert: Talk with your kids about mental health (WOOD-TV, Aug. 1, 2022)
University of Oregon and Google team up to study how smartphones affect mental health (KEZI, June 6, 2022)
Expanding research on digital wellbeing (The Keyword/Google, May 23, 2022)
Are smartphones making us miserable? A Google study aims to find out (STAT News, May 23, 2022)
‘It’s life or death’: The mental health crisis among U.S. teens (The New York Times, April 23, 2022)
How COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of teens (Healthline, April 6, 2022)
META-MIND experts predict how Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse will change our mental health FOREVER (The Sun, April 3, 2022)
The underdiscussed upsides of screen time for kids (Deseret News, March 24, 2022)
Psychedelic Drug MDMA Shows Promise as Treatment for PTSD (Healthline, March 22, 2022)
Second Nature? (Oregon Business, Feb. 18, 2022)
The Metaverse’s Effects on Mental Health: Trivial or Troubling? (The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9, 2022)
11 Tips to Support Someone Struggling with Mental Health (U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 24, 2021)
Adolescent Brains Are Wired to Want Status and Respect: That’s an Opportunity for Teachers and Parents (Scientific American, May 1, 2021)
6 ways to de-stress that only take 5 minutes (MSN, Oct. 26, 2020)
Scrutinizing the effects of digital technology on mental health (Nature, Feb. 10, 2020)
Is screen time really bad for kids? (The New York Times, Dec. 18, 2019)
Oregon offers tax credit on gifts to venture development fund (Around the O, Nov. 25, 2019)
The kids are not alright (Keizer Times, Sept. 13, 2019)
Smartphones use apps as depression detectives (Voice of America, Jan. 10, 2019)
Teens' screen addiction might be contagious, and parents are patient zero (Popular Science, Aug. 24, 2018)
Need a break? Try these 6 research-backed ways to de-stress in 5 minutes (Today Online, April 11, 2018)
UO professor pushes for more study of teens (Jefferson Public Radio, March 9, 2018)
We shouldn't disregard the ideas that come from teens' developing brains (Popular Science, Feb. 28, 2018)
When a mom feels depressed, her baby's cells might feel it, too (Scientific American, Jan. 23, 2018)
Tech support: how our phones could save our lives by detecting mood shifts (The Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 10, 2017)
Positive parenting may offset brain effects of poverty (Reuters, June 29, 2017)
Growing up in disadvantaged areas may affect teens’ brains, but good parenting can help (The Conversation Australia, June 21, 2017)
Research finds parenting style affects children in unexpected ways (The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 21, 2016)