Connie Svob, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)


Dr. Connie Svob is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Whitaker Scholar in Developmental Neuropsychiatry.

Dr. Svob’s research converges at the interface of cognition and mood disorders. In particular, she investigates higher-order cognitive processes and meaning-making systems (e.g., autobiographical memory, religious/spiritual beliefs and practices, impactful dreams) as they relate to mental health outcomes (depression, trauma, suicidality).

Dr. Svob’s doctoral research was in cognitive psychology where she examined autobiographical memory and its intergenerational transmission of transitional and historical events. Specifically, she investigated the memory and intergenerational transmission of events grounded in violent, political conflict (e.g., war in the former-Yugoslavia, memories of refugees to Canada) and examined their impact on the memories and social attitudes of the subsequent generation. She has also investigated vicarious memories, memories of dreams that follow grief and trauma, and perspective-taking in autobiographical memory. She developed the Transitional Impact Scale that measures the psychological and material changes wrought by major life transitions. The instrument supports the notion that changes to the fabric of one’s daily life are pivotal to how transitions impact memory. The American Psychological Association has invited the scale to be included in their electronic database, PsycTESTS.

She has also conducted extensive work on the role of religiosity/spirituality in the resilience of individuals at high familial risk for depression in collaboration with Dr. Myrna Weissman and has been interested in health disparities in marginalized groups. Her continued work seeks to bridge and inform research on higher-order cognition (autobiographical memory, religious/spiritual beliefs) and mental health (depression) in vulnerable populations.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Administrative Titles

  • Research Scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • PhD, Psychology, University of Alberta, Canada

Honors & Awards

  • Whitaker Scholar, Developmental Neuropsychiatry; Columbia University
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion, Oxford, UK


Selected Publications

1. Svob, C., Wickramaratne, P. J., Reich, L., Zhao, R., Talati, A., Gameroff, M. J., Saeed, R., & Weissman, M. M. (2018). Association of parent and offspring religiosity with offspring suicide ideation and attempts. JAMA Psychiatry, 75, 1062-1070.

2. Svob, C., & Weissman, M. (2019). The role of religiosity in families at high risk for depression. Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health, 9, 1-6.

3. Svob, C., Brown, N. R., Takši?, V., Katuli?, K., & Žauhar, V. (2016). Intergenerational transmission of historical memories and social-distance attitudes in post-war second-generation Croatians. Memory & Cognition, 44, 846-855.

4. Svob, C., Brown, N. R., Reddon, J. R., Uzer, T., & Lee, P. J. (2014). The transitional impact scale: Assessing the material and psychological impact of life transitions. Behavior Research Methods, 46, 448-455.

5. Hankerson, S. H., Svob, C., & Jones, M. K. (2018). Partnering with Black churches to increase access to care. Psychiatric Services, 69, 125.

6. Pillemer, D. B., Steiner, K. L., Kuwabara, K. J., Thomsen, D. K., & Svob, C. (2015). Vicarious memories. Consciousness and Cognition, 36, 233-245.