Alyson Gerdes, Ph.D.

Gerdes Headshot
Alyson Gerdes, Ph.D.Marquette University

Cramer Hall, 328C

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-6145



Dr. Gerdes’ clinical and research interests center around childhood ADHD and Latino mental health disparities.

Research Lab: ADHD and Latino Mental Health Lab
Clinic: ADHD Clinic

To date, her research has involved both basic and applied work that serves to inform and guide clinicians when treating childhood ADHD. Primary research interests include examining evidence-based assessment and treatment of childhood ADHD, culturally-appropriate clinical practices and Latino mental health disparities, and parent-child and peer relationships of youth with ADHD. Specific projects are described in more detail below. Please note the truly collaborative nature of the Gerdes Lab; both graduate and undergraduate students play active roles in presenting at conferences and writing manuscripts.

In her free time, Dr. Gerdes enjoys getting lost in a good book, enjoying a good meal with friends, and spending time with her beautiful 9-year-old daughter.


Ph.D., Purdue University, 2004

Courses Taught

Dr. Gerdes’ primary teaching interests include psychopathology, clinical assessment, and psychotherapy.  At the graduate level, she teaches child psychopathology, child assessment, and cognitive-behavioral therapy courses.  At the undergraduate level, she teaches a child psychopathology course.

Research Interests

Evidence-Based Assessment and Treatment of Childhood ADHD
Recent projects include extending current treatment outcome literature by examining parental functioning and clinically-meaningful change following behavioral treatment, as well as furthering our knowledge related to evidence-based assessment of ADHD and examining potential factors that may predict treatment dropout.  Recent publications include a manuscript aimed at investigating changes in parenting efficacy, stress, and behavior following behavioral parent training by examining both statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful change (Gerdes et al., 2012), as well as one exploring factors related to treatment dropout (Schneider, Gerdes et al., 2013). Dr. Gerdes’ lab also has examined treatment outcomes in teens with ADHD and their parents following the Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS), an evidence-based treatment focused on helping teens develop and maintain friendships (Gardner, Gerdes et al., 2015; Weinberger, Gerdes et al., in press).

Culturally-Appropriate Clinical Practices Related to Childhood ADHD and Latino Mental Health Disparities
Recent projects include determining best recruitment practices for Latino families, translating and establishing the psychometric properties of Spanish-versions of commonly-used assessment and treatment outcome measures, and examining Latino parental perceptions about ADHD and the role of culture in parental problem recognition of ADHD and help-seeking behavior.  Recent publications include reviews summarizing functional impairment in Latino children with ADHD (Haack & Gerdes, 2011), the role of acculturation in Latino adolescent mental health (Lawton & Gerdes, 2014), and Latino family participation in youth mental health services (Kapke & Gerdes, 2016), as well as manuscripts examining culturally-appropriate recruitment strategies (Haack, Gerdes et al., 2014; 2012), psychometric and cultural properties of translated measures (Haack, Gerdes et al., 2011), and culturally-appropriate assessment of ADHD (Gerdes et al., 2013; Haack & Gerdes, 2014). 

A recent project was aimed at employing both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the role of acculturation and cultural values in Latino parental beliefs about the etiology of ADHD (Lawton, Gerdes, et al., 2014), as well as in parental problem recognition and motivation to seek help for childhood ADHD (Gerdes et al., 2014) and on help-seeking behavior (Lawton, Kapke, & Gerdes, 2015). This project also resulted in the development and validation of a culturally-appropriate measure of functional impairment for ADHD (Haack & Gerdes, 2014; Haack, Gerdes, et al., 2016: Haack…, Gerdes et al., 2016). 

Funding from the Russell and Betty Jane Shaw Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation supported a study aimed at developing and piloting a culturally-adapted, evidence-based ADHD treatment for Latino families (Gerdes et al., 2015).  Funding from the National Institutes of Health is currently supporting a study aimed at comparing treatment outcomes from the culturally-adapted treatment to standard treatment.

Parent-Child and Peer Relationships in Children and Teens with ADHD
Recent projects include examining parental functioning in families of children with ADHD, providing a framework for understanding the role of parental factors in child outcomes, and examining the role of peer rejection and friendships on long-term outcomes.  Recent publications include a review of peer relationships and friendships in youth with ADHD (Gardner & Gerdes, 2015; Weinberger, Gerdes, et al., in press), as well as manuscripts demonstrating the role of peer rejection and friendships on the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD (Mrug, Molina, Hoza, Gerdes, et al., 2012) and exploring the role of ADHD subtype differences on parental functioning measures (Weinberger, Gardner, & Gerdes, 2015). 

Recent Publications

* Current or former graduate student 
^ Current or former undergraduate student

  • *Lawton, K. E., Gerdes, A. C., & *Kapke, T. L.  (in press).  The Role of acculturation differences and
    acculturation conflict in Latino family mental health.  Journal of Latina/o Psychology.
  • *Weinberger, K. A., Gerdes, A. C., & *Gardner, D. M.  (in press).  Program for the education and enrichment of relationship skills: Parental outcomes with an ADHD sample.  Child and Family Behavior Therapy.
  • *Kapke, T. L., *Grace, M., Gerdes, A. C., & *Lawton, K. E.  (2017).  Latino early adolescent mental health: Examining the impact of family functioning, familism and global self-worth.  Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 5, 27-44.
  • *Kapke, T. L., Gerdes, A. C., & *Lawton, K. E.  (2016).  Global self-worth in LatinoYouth:  The role of acculturation and acculturation risk factors.  Child and Youth Care Forum.  Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10566-016-9374-x.
  • *Haack, L. M., *Gonring (Weinberger), K., Harris, M., Gerdes, A. C., & Pfiffner, L.  (2016).  Assessing impairment in childhood ADHD: Validation of the parent and teacher ADHD-FX rating scale in a dual site clinical sample.  Journal of Attention Disorders.  Advance online publication at doi: 10.1177/1087054716659360.
  • *Lawton, K. E., *Kapke, T. L., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2016).  Understanding parental locus of control in Latino parents: Examination of cultural influences and help-seeking intentions. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22, 288-298.
  • *Haack, L. M., *Kapke, T. L., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2016).  Rates, associations, and predictors of psychopathology in a convenience sample of school-aged Latino youth: Identifying areas for mental health outreach.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 7, 2315-2326.
  • *Kapke, T. L., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2016).  Latino family participation in youth mental health services: Treatment retention, engagement, and response. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 19, 329-351.
  • *Haack, L. M., Gerdes, A. C., *Lawton, K. E, & *Schneider, B.W.  (2016).  Understanding and measuring functional impairment in diverse children with ADHD:  Development of the ADHD-FX scale with an-risk, community sample.  Journal of Attention Disorders, 20,487-500.
  • *Gardner, D. M., Gerdes, A. C., & *Weinberger, K.  (2015).  Examination of a parent-assisted, friendship-building program for adolescents with ADHD.  Journal of Attention Disorders.  Advance online publication at doi: 10.1177/1087054715588188.
  • *Weinberger, K., *Gardner, D. M., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2015).  Maternal functioning differences based on ADHD subtype.  Journal of Attention Disorders.  Advance online publication at doi: 10.1177/1087054714567132.
  • *Gardner, D. M., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2015).  A review of peer relationships and friendships in youth with ADHD.  Journal of Attention Disorders, 19, 844-855. 
  • Gerdes, A. C., *Kapke, T. L., *Lawton K. E., *^Grace, M., & Dieguez Hurtado, G.  (2015).  Culturally adapting parent training for Latino youth with ADHD: Development and pilot.  Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 3, 71-87.
  • *Haack, L. M., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2014).  Culturally appropriate assessment of functional impairment in diverse children:  Validation of the ADHD-FX Scale with an at-risk, community sample.  Journal of Attention Disorders. Advance online publication at doi 10.1177/1087054714553021.
  • *Lawton, K. E., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2014).  Acculturation and Latino adolescent mental health: Integration of individual, environmental, and family influences.  Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 17, 385-398.
  • Gerdes, A. C., *Lawton, K. E., *Haack, L. M., & *Schneider, B. W.  (2014).  Latino parental help seeking for childhood ADHD.  Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 41, 503-513. 
  • *Lawton, K. E., Gerdes, A. C., *Haack, L. M., & *Schneider, B. W.  (2014).  Acculturation, cultural values, and Latino parental beliefs about the etiology of ADHD.  Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 41,189-204.
  • *Haack, L. M., Gerdes, A. C., & *Lawton, K. E. (2014).  Conducting psychological research with Latino children:  Strategies to improve recruitment and satisfaction with an at-risk and underserved population.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23, 410-421.
  • *Schneider, B. W., Gerdes, A. C., *Haack, L. M., & *Lawton, K. E.  (2013).  Predicting treatment dropout in parent training interventions for families of school-aged children with ADHD.  Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 35, 144-169.
  • Gerdes, A. C., *Lawton, K. E., *Haack, L. M., & Hurtado, G. D.  (2013).  Assessing ADHD in Latino families:  Evidence for moving beyond symptomatology.  Journal of Attention Disorders, 17, 128-140.
  • 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.
  • *Haack, L. M., Gerdes, A. C., ^Cruz, B., & *Schneider, B. W.  (2012).  Culturally-modified recruitment strategies for Latino families in clinical child research:  A critical first step.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 177-183.
  • Gerdes, A. C., *Haack, L. M., & *Schneider, B. W.  (2012).  Parental functioning in families of children with ADHD:  Evidence for behavioral parent training and importance of clinical meaningfulness.  Journal of Attention Disorders, 16, 147-156.
  • *Haack, L. M., & Gerdes, A. C.  (2011).  Functional impairment in Latino children with ADHD:  Implications for culturally-appropriate conceptualization and measurement.  Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 318-328. 
  • *Haack, L. M., Gerdes, A. C., *Schneider, B. W., & Dieguez Hurtado, G.  (2011).  Advancing our knowledge of ADHD in Latino children:  Psychometric and cultural properties of Spanish-versions of parental/family functioning measures.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 33-43.

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