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The Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research (CAPER) focuses on research that seeks to understand and treat addictive behaviors and their co-occurring psychological conditions. CAPER is comprised of a multidisciplinary team with expertise in the domains of clinical and counseling psychology, as well as social and decisional sciences.

Capitalizing on active collaborations with top local, national, and international research teams, CAPER supports state-of-the-art bio-behavioral research with rigorous experimental designs. As a true translational research Center, CAPER also blends this basic process research with efforts to develop novel assessment and behavioral intervention approaches that work in real world community settings.  CAPER benefits from rich collaborations across a variety of labs and investigators in the Department of Psychology as well as other Centers on campus including the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) and the Maryland Neuroimaging Center.


The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center is an inpatient drug treatment center in Northeast Washington D.C. The longstanding partnership between CAPER and Harbor Light, solidified 11 years ago, continues to afford UMD faculty and students with valuable clinical opportunities with underserved populations. In turn, CAPER provides a variety of services at the center. Students and faculty have provided therapy at the center on a multitude of topics including smoking cessation, depression prevention, healthy living for HIV+ clients, and remaining sober after treatment.

Whitman Walker: At the Whitman Walker community health center, CAPER graduate students worked as interns in the Max Robinson Center day treatment program for HIV-positive clients. Students led a group targeting HIV medication adherence and depression for day treatment clients of the center.

Paul’s Place is a community center located in Washington Village/Pigtown, Baltimore, and offers a wide array of programs and services to low-income families and individuals who live within the community. Paul’s Place offers unique access to a population at risk for stressors linked to negative behavioral and health outcomes. This recently-developed collaboration with Paul’s Place will significantly enhance CAPER’s research portfolio.

The Daytop-NJ program provides a comprehensive schedule of individual, group, and family counseling. Services include treatment of co-occurring disorders, and psychiatric and psychological therapy. CAPER has implemented Behavioral Activation (BA) as an option at the Daytop facility. This project represents a first step in increasing the application and dissemination of BA in community-based adolescent residential substance use treatment facilities. Results of this study will set the stage for future larger-scale therapy translation and adaptation studies.