Michelle Colder Carras

Michelle Colder Carras
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | JHSPH · Department of International Health

Ph.D.

About

38
Publications
64,375
Reads
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2,623
Citations
Introduction
I'm a public mental health researcher specializing in normative and problematic use of media and technology. My expertise is in public mental health, epidemiology, evidence development and mixed methods analysis, and I use all of them to investigate how interaction with technology, especially video games, may affect mental health. My long-term goal is to develop mental health interventions that can be delivered through video games and other popular commercial Internet applications. As of June 2018, I am in a career transition and looking to broaden my skills and research settings, including to other areas of the world. I'm interested and skilled in many areas of mental health and addiction research as well as informatics. Please contact me if you have any suggestions!
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - May 2013
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Position
  • Use of mobile phones, computer and Internet among patients of an inner-city community psychiatry clinic
December 2011 - present
Young and Well Cooperative Research Center
Position
  • Adverse effects of video game play on health, behavioral and educational outcomes in longitudinal studies of young people
Description
  • Ongoing systematic review; protocol published through the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42012002882#.UfAZgI1ZiSo
August 2010 - December 2015
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
July 1987 - June 1988
Southern Methodist University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1983 - May 1987
Johns Hopkins University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
In August of 2021, China imposed severe restrictions on children’s online gaming time. We argue that such a policy may seem useful on the surface but does not reflect the current evidence concerning prevention of disordered gaming. Videogame play is normal for children worldwide, and like other leisure activities can lead to benefits for the majori...
Article
Full-text available
Background Disordered Internet gaming is thought to be perpetuated by one's need to escape their real-life distress or mental health symptoms, which may in turn generate depressive feelings. Nevertheless, moderate engagement with Internet games has also been suggested to provide relief, thus improving one's mood. This study aspires to clarify the c...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional mental health services are often not enough to meet the needs of people at risk for suicide, especially in populations where help-seeking is stigmatized. Stack Up, a non-profit veteran organization whose goal is to use video games to bring veterans together, recognized a need in its gaming-focused online community and created the Overwa...
Article
Full-text available
Internet gambling has become a popular activity among some youth. Vulnerable youth may be particularly at risk due to limited harm reduction and enforcement measures. This article explores age restrictions and other harm reduction measures relating to youth and young adult online gambling. A systematic rapid review was conducted by searching eight...
Article
Full-text available
Gaming disorder has been described as an urgent public health problem and has garnered many systematic reviews of its associations with other health conditions. However, review methodology can contribute to bias in the conclusions, leading to research, policy, and patient care that are not truly evidence-based. This study followed a pre-registered...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, investment in participatory research methods within mental health services research has grown. Participatory efforts are often limited in scope, however, and attention to research leadership is largely absent from discourse about stakeholder involvement in the United States. This Open Forum calls for investment in building a pipeli...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Little is known about strategies or mechanics to improve self-regulation of video game play that could be developed into novel interventions. This study used a participatory approach with the gaming community to uncover insider knowledge about techniques to promote healthy play and prevent gaming disorder. Methods: We used a pragmatic a...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed many areas of public health preparedness that are lacking, especially in lower-and middle-income countries. Digital interventions provide many opportunities for strengthening health systems and could be vital resources in the current public health emergency. We provide several use cases for i...
Preprint
UNSTRUCTURED The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed many areas of public health preparedness that are lacking, especially in lower- and middle-income countries. Digital interventions provide many opportunities for strengthening health systems and could be vital resources in the current public health emergency. We provide several u...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Mental and behavioral health recovery includes concepts related not just to symptom improvement, but also to participating in activities that contribute to wellness and a meaningful life. Video game play can relieve stress and provide a way to connect, which may be especially important for military veterans. Objective: We examined how...
Article
Full-text available
The proposed diagnosis of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in DSM-5 has been criticized for “borrowing” criteria related to substance addiction, as this might result in misclassifying highly involved gamers as having a disorder. In this paper, we took a person-centered statistical approach to group adolescent gamers by levels of addiction-related sym...
Preprint
Full-text available
We greatly appreciate the care and thought that is evident in the ten commentaries that discuss our debate paper, the majority of which argued in favor of a formalized ICD-11 gaming disorder. We agree that there are some people whose play of video games is related to life problems. We believe that understanding this population and the nature and se...
Article
Full-text available
We greatly appreciate the care and thought that is evident in the ten commentaries that discuss our debate paper, the majority of which argued in favor of a formalized ICD-11 gaming disorder. We agree that there are some people whose play of video games isrelated to life problems. We believe that understanding this population and the nature and sev...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Popular media applications have been shown to benefit people with severe mental illness by facilitating communication and social support, helping patients cope with or manage symptoms, and providing a way to monitor or predict mental health states. Although many studies of technology use by individuals with severe mental illness have fo...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging research suggests that commercial, off-the-shelf video games have potential applications in preventive and therapeutic medicine. Despite these promising findings, systematic efforts to characterize and better understand this potential have not been undertaken. Serious academic study of the therapeutic potential of commercial video games fa...
Article
Full-text available
• Cultural knowledge is important for defining mental disorders in context. • We asked groups of engaged gamers to submit and rank criteria of game “addiction”. • We compared these criteria to proposed domains for Internet gaming disorder (IGD). • Gamers agreed with some criteria and proposed novel ideas from other domains. • Participatory approach...
Poster
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION Despite efforts to transform mental health care for US veterans and service members, veterans continue to suffer from service-related mental health problems and high rates of suicide. Commercial forms of media such as social networking and video games have been shown to have mental health promoting aspects. This study sought insights o...
Poster
Full-text available
Pilot studies of commercial games and gaming communities provide early evidence of health benefits in a variety of areas. Systematic efforts to characterize and better understand this potential have not been undertaken. We provide background information on the use of commercial video games for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of mental...
Article
Full-text available
Following the recent changes to the diagnostic category for addictive disorders in DSM-5, it is urgent to clarify what constitutes behavioural addiction to have a clear direction for future research and classification. However, in the years following the release of DSM-5, an expanding body of research has increasingly classified engagement in a wide...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: Examining online social interactions along with patterns of video gaming behaviors and game addiction symptoms has the potential to enrich our understanding of disorders related to excessive video game play. Methods: We performed latent class analysis in a sample of 9733 adolescents based on heavy use of games, social networking and instant m...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns about problematic gaming behaviors deserve our full attention. However, we claim that it is far from clear that these problems can or should be attributed to a new disorder. The empirical basis for a Gaming Disorder proposal, such as in the new ICD-11, suffers from fundamental issues. Our main concerns are the low quality of the research b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Concerns about problematic gaming behaviors deserve our full attention. However, we claim that it is far from clear that these problems can or should be attributed to a new disorder. The empirical basis for a Gaming Disorder proposal, such as in the new ICD-11, suffers from fundamental issues. Our main concerns are the low quality of the research b...
Article
Full-text available
...As a commercial digital game, Pokémon GO may be better at engaging users, especially currently sedentary ones, than health apps disguised as games. Pokémon GO not only builds on the appeal of a massively successful gaming franchise but also adds a hefty dose of 21st century tech. Kids and adults alike seem to be having no problem walking for cit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We found that when combinations of online and gaming behaviors are considered as part of a PG syndrome, gamers could be clearly separated into social and non-social subgroups, with social classes reporting fewer feelings of problematic use at similar levels of play. These findings suggest that patterns of symptoms and gaming behavior thought to del...
Presentation
Full-text available
Note that this is the presentation that accompanies our forthcoming article (2018) ”When addiction symptoms and problems diverge: A latent class analysis of problematic gaming in a representative multinational sample of European adolescents”. The article has undergone name changes but this presentation and the article are based on the same latent c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD), a disorder proposed in the Emerging Measures section of DSM 5,1 have been criticized for, among other things, a lack of specificity as they relate to the population of gamers.2 For example, the traditional addiction criterion of preoccupation may reflect the careful planning that goes into increasing...
Article
Full-text available
This commentary paper critically discusses the recent debate paper by Petry et al. (2014) that argued there was now an international consensus for assessing Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). Our collective opinions vary considerably regarding many different aspects of online gaming. However, we contend that the paper by Petry and colleagues does not...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Mobile health (mHealth) interventions are rapidly gaining popularity for their potential to improve public health, and many developing countries see them as an important resource for frontline health workers (FHW). However, best practices for implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of programs and projects is lacking. This report summarizes c...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Past studies have shown that many individuals who use antidepressants have no current or lifetime history of mental disorders. However, recent studies suggest that the one-time retrospective evaluation of mental disorders commonly used in such studies may substantially underestimate the true lifetime prevalence of mental disorders. We e...
Article
Full-text available
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Research Prioritization Task Force (RPTF) has created a prioritized national research agenda with the potential to rapidly and substantially reduce the suicide burden in the U.S. if fully funded and implemented. Viable, sustainable scientific research agendas addressing challenging public health i...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is a review of the state of play of research linking videogaming and flourishing, and explores the role of videogames and technology to improve mental health and well-being. Its purpose is to develop understandings about the positive intersection of gaming and well-being, to document evidence regarding links between videogames and positi...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Recent years have witnessed an expansion of Internet- and mobile-phone-based interventions for health promotion, yet few studies have focused on the use of technology by individuals with mental illness. This study examined the extent to which patients at an inner-city community psychiatry clinic had access to information and communicati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Responding to concerns about the negative impacts of videogames on young people’s mental health, as well as emerging evidence of positive impacts of videogames, the Young and Well CRC’s Gaming Research Group have compiled this report on the state of play of research linking videogame play and flourishing mental health. The report specifically explo...
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of previous work, freshmen should evidence improved health after writing about their thoughts and feelings associated with entering college. One hundred thirty subjects were assigned to write either about coming to college or about superficial topics for 20 min on 3 days. One fourth of the subjects in each group wrote during the 1st, 5...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
We are a national group of researchers, students, activists, and community members committed to increasing the inclusion, influence, and impact of lived experience/mad/service user/survivor/disability perspectives in the context of clinical and applied mental health services research in the United States. https://usersurvivorresearch.weebly.com/
Project
We are a multi-national group of researchers, students, activists, and community members committed to increasing the inclusion, influence, and impact of lived experience/mad/service user/survivor/disability perspectives in the context of clinical and applied mental health services research. https://usersurvivorresearch.weebly.com/