|I am a cognitive-behavioral psychologist. I treat primarily individuals with anxiety disorders, across all ages. Most of my interests focus on the widespread applicability and acceptance of cognitive and behavioral methods to a wide variety of problems in the treatment community.
|Major Research Interests
|My research is actively carried out through the operations of my research lab, Compulsive, Obsessive, and Anxiety Program (C.O.A.P.). There are a multitude of ongoing research projects I am actively engaged in with graduate students to investigate my research interests outlined in detail below.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a complex and heterogeneous psychiatric condition that affects children, adolescents, and adults. It has been associated with a wide range of psychiatric disability and is generally considered difficult to treat, yet responsive to available empirically supported interventions. In generally, I have been interested in the nature and treatment of OCD, including maintaining factors, subtypes, complicating factors, assessment of severity, and general and specific cognitive factors.
This has lead to consideration of basic reconceptualization of the condition. Presently, there are several models for OCD, but none adequately accounts for the full diversity of the disorder.
Closely related to the work on OCD, my interest in anxiety disorders has also been concerned with maintaining factors and issues in cognitive-behavioral treatment. In particular, I have been interested in the following aspects of anxiety problems: Depersonalization: This is a common perceptual and cognitive disturbance associated with a wide range of psychiatric problems, but notably in several anxiety disorders such as panic and posttraumatic stress. Recent work has focused on methods of interventions for depersonalization. Health Anxiety: Previously health anxiety was more narrowly described as hypochondriasis. However, this fails to adequately account for cases where individuals struggle with heightened concerns over their health without a corresponding extreme belief that there is, in fact, a disease or illness present (as in hypochondriasis).
Disgust in Anxiety Disorders
Disgust is an understudied emotion. I have been actively investigating the role of disgust in phobias and contamination fear. Contamination fear is a problem that naturally fits with disgust. Disgust is a ‘communicable’ emotion, in that otherwise neutral objects have the capacity for taking on disgust properties. A common problem among individuals with contamination fear is the notion of objects becoming ‘contaminated’ following incidental contact with items believed to be contaminated as well. Disgust also plays a prominent role in other anxiety disorders and states. Most notably, research has supported a role for disgust in blood-injury-injection phobia, and in insect and small animal phobias. However, as illustrated in a recent edited text (Olatunji & McKay, 2009), disgust has been associated with a wide range of other psychiatric conditions.
A complete listing of all of Dr. McKay's published works
may be obtained by visiting DigitalResearch@fordham.edu
- Pilecki, B., Clegg, J.W., & McKay, D. (2011). The influence of corporate and political interests on models of illness in the evolution of DSM. European Psychiatry, 26, 194-200. Pilecki, B., Arentoft, A., & McKay, D. (2011). An evidence-based causal model of panic disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 381-388.
- McKay, D. (2011). Methods and mechanisms in the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 66, 147-148.
- McKay, D. (2010). Safe, but exposed: Inherent conflicts in safety signal conceptualization. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17, 234-237.
- Abramowitz, J.S., Taylor, S., McKay, D., & Deacon, B. (2011). Animal models of OCD. Biological Psychiatry, 69, e29-e30.
- Olatunji, B.O., Cisler, J., McKay, D., & Phillips, M.L. (2010). Is disgust associated with psychopathology? Emerging research in the anxiety disorders. Psychiatry Research, 175, 1-10.
- Markarian, Y., Larson, M.J., Aldea, M.A., Baldwin, S.A., Good, D., Berkeljon, A., Murphy, T.K., Storch, E.A., & McKay, D. (2010). Multiple pathways to functional impairment in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 78-88.
- McKay, D., & Neziroglu, F. (2009). Methodological issues in the obsessive-compulsive spectrum. Psychiatry Research, 170, 61-65.
- Abramowitz, J.S., Taylor, S., & McKay, D. (2009). Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Lancet, 374, 489-497.
- Tryon, W.W. & McKay, D. (2009). Memory modification as an outcome variable in anxiety disorder treatment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 546–556.
- Olatunji, B.O., Moretz, M.W., McKay, D., Bjorklund, F., de Jong, P.J., Haidt, J., Hursti, T.J., Imada, S., Koller, S., Mancini, F., Page, A.C., Scheinle, A. (2009). Confirming the three-factor structure of the Disgust Scale-Revised in eight countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 40, 234-255.
- McKay, D. & Storch, E. (editors, 2011). Handbook of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Boston, MA: Springer-Verlag.
- McKay, D., Abramowitz, J., & Taylor, S. (editors, 2010). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Refractory Cases: Turning Failure into Success. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.
- McKay, D. & Storch, E. (editors, 2009). Cognitive behavior therapy for children: Treating complex and refractory cases. New York: Springer.
- McKay, D., Abramowitz, J., Taylor, S., & Asmundson, G.J.G. (editors, 2009). Current Perspectives on the Anxiety Disorders: Implications for DSM-V and Beyond. New York: Springer.
- Olatunji, B.O. & McKay, D. (editors, 2009). Disgust and its disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.
- McKay, D. (editor, 2008). Handbook of research methods in abnormal and clinical psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Abramowitz, J., McKay, D., Taylor, S. (editors, 2008). Clinical handbook of obsessive-compulsive disorder and related problems. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.
- Abramowitz, J., McKay, D., & Taylor, S. (editors, 2008). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Subtypes and Spectrum Conditions. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.