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Research Interests

I am an associate professor at the University of Utah. Trained as a quantitative psychologist, I work to develop, improve, study and apply statistics to social science and medical data.

My interests are focused on the development and application of methods for the analysis of intensive, intraindividual time series. In particular I focus on the development and application of derivatives, differential equation modeling, and dynamical systems concepts to time series that have characteristics common to behavioral and some physiological measures such as relatively low sampling rates, large amounts of measurement and/or dynamic error, and unequally spaced or missing observations. In analyzing such data, I often focus on questions related to the role of variability and less-stable change (the “error” in many statistical models). These methods have the potential to inform theories that address how, when and why people change over time.

I have worked with a range of applied topics including: resiliency and affect in older adults, health and depression as long-term outcomes of daily stress processing, sustained attention while driving, adult attachment, the coupling of maternal depression with child behavior, modeling of proteins associated with Alzheimer's, mood change in patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder, and the motion of dancing individuals and dyads.

Opportunities for Students

I am currently looking for graduate students interested in combining expertise in quantitative methods for modeling repeated observations with Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognition & Neural Science, or Clinical Psychology.


Ph.D. University of Notre Dame (Quantitative Psychology, 2007)

Selected Publications

Deboeck, P. R., & Boker, S. M. (in press). Analysis of Dynamic Systems: The Modeling of Change and Variability. In S. J. Henly (Ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Advanced Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

Deboeck, P. R. (in press). Dynamical Systems Approaches. In S. K. Whitbourne (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging. Wiley and Blackwell.

Nicholson, J. S., Deboeck, P. R., & Howard, W. (in press). Attrition in Developmental Psychology: A review of modern missing data reporting and practices. International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Deboeck, P. R., Nicholson, J. S., Kouros, C. D., Little, T. D., & Garber, J. (2015). Integrating developmental theory and methodology: Using derivatives to articulate change theories, models, and inferences. Applied Developmental Science.

Deboeck, P. R., & Preacher, K. J. (2015). No Need to be Discrete: A Method for Continuous Time Mediation Analysis. Structural Equation Modeling.

Deboeck, P. R., Nicholson, J. S., Bergeman, C. S., & Preacher, K. J. (2013). From Modeling Long–Term Growth to Short–Term Fluctuations: Differential Equation Modeling is the Language of Change. (pp. 427-447).

Deboeck, P. R., & Bergeman, C. S. (2013). The Reservoir Model: A Differential Equation Model of Psychological Capacity. Psychological Methods, 18(2), 237-256.


Fraley, R. C., (Principal), Gillath, O., (Principal), Deboeck, P. R., (Co-Principal), Collaborative Research: Separating transient and enduring forms of change in adult attachment styles, National Science Foundation, (09/01/2014 - 09/30/2017) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Other Research Interests

• Intraindividual Time Series/Diary Data/Ecological Momentary Assessments

• Dynamical Systems

• Derivatives & Differential Equation Models

• Longitudinal Data Analysis

• Intraindividual Modeling

Last Updated: 6/4/21