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The People of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

The People of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

Karen Kesten
Research Assistant
Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

200 Retreat Avenue
Whitehall Building - Institute of Living
Hartford CT 06106
Phone: (860) 545-7776

Who am I?

Karen graduated in 1996 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice from CCSU. In 2002 she earned an M.S. in Research from SSCU, where she completed her master?s thesis on Protective Factors in Adolescent Substance Use. She began working as a Research Assistant in 1997 and has gained experience working on a variety of projects that included developing mental health screening measures, conducting program evaluations, and studying the epidemiology of mental illness in the prison population. Karen joined the Olin Center in July 2010 as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the REACH project, which is centered on enhancing clinical services through the use of supportive clinical tools studying mood disorders in children & adolescents.

Roles & Responsibilities

Karen works in the Child & Adolescent Outpatient clinics managing the REACH project under the direction of Dr. Michael Stevens.  Her responsibilities include clinical interviewing, data management, protocol development, and tracking treatment outcomes. She is responsible for the organization of all project activities with the goal of attaining a sustainable clinical-research infrastructure within the IOL.


Kesten, K., Leavitt-Smith, E., Rau, D.R., Shelton, D., Zhang, W., Wagner, J. & Trestman, R.L. (in press). Recidivism rates among mentally ill inmates: Impact of the Connecticut Offender Re-Entry Program (CORP). Journal of Correctional Health Care.

Shelton, D., Kesten, K., Zhang, W., & Trestman, R.L. (2011). Impact of a dialectical behavior therapy-corrections modified (DBT-CM) upon behaviorally challenged incarcerated male adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 24: 105-113.

Shelton, D., Sampl, S., Kesten, K., Zhang, W., & Trestman, R.L. (2009). Treatment of impulsive aggression in correctional settings. Behavioral Sciences and the Law. 27: 787-800.

Kamath, J., Temporini, H.D., Quarti, S., Zhang, W., Pagano, K., Demartinis, N., & Trestman, R.L. (2007). Psychiatric use & utility of Divalproex Sodium in Connecticut prisons. International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology.

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