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Connor Kerns, PhD

Connor Kerns Assistant Research Professor
Phone: (215) 571-3433


Dr. Kerns is an assistant research professor at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. She received her masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Temple University and completed her predoctoral internship in pediatric psychology at A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Dr. Kerns has received extensive training in the assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) of child anxiety and related childhood disorders at both the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic of Temple University and the Child and OCD, Tics, Trich and Anxiety Group of University of Pennsylvania. She has also had the privilege to train and collaborate with both the Seaver Autism Center at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Center for Autism (CAR) Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Kerns has conducted and published studies on broad array of topics including the role of paternal age in ASD risk, the co-occurrence of childhood psychopathologies, and differential predictors of CBT efficacy for child anxiety. Her present research focuses on the overlap, assessment and treatment of anxiety and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Her ongoing projects aim to explore the varied presentation and phenomenology of anxiety in ASD and the implications of this variation for effective anxiety measurement and treatment. Dr. Kerns is also preparing to extend this work to the understudied area of traumatic events and their sequelae in youth with ASD. Another area of interest is the use of technology to facilitate the dissemination of empirically based treatments. Dr. Kerns is currently working to develop cost-effective, computer-assisted CBTs for youth with ASD and anxiety, interactive social stories to improve skill generalization in ASD, and video-enhanced ASD screening and educational tools. Her long terms goals include developing a parsimonious model of psychiatric co-occurrence to inform the design and dissemination of cross-diagnostic assessments and treatments that will improve child wellbeing and development.