I study psychiatric nosology, mental health disparities, accessible interventions, and the intersections between these areas. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in Clinical Science at Stony Brook University under the mentorship of Dr. Nick Eaton and Dr. Jessica Schleider. Before beginning my graduate studies, I worked in Dr. Dacher Keltner's Berkeley Social Interaction Lab, where I studied cultural differences in affective experience, and in Dr. Aaron Fisher's Idiographic Dynamics Lab, where I studied individual differences in clinical symptoms.


  • Psychiatric nosology

    Structure and application.

  • Accessible interventions

    Scalability and potency.

  • Identity and health

    Marginalization and inclusion.

  • Psychometrics

    Measurement and assessment.

  • Open science

    Transparency and dissemination.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Dodge, K.A., Prinstein, M.J., Evans, A.C., Ahuvia, I.L., Alvarez, K., Beidas, R.S., Brown, A.J., Cuijpers, P., Denton, E., Hoagwood, K.E., Johnson, C., Kazdin, A.E., McDanal, R., Metzger, I.W., Rowley, S.N., Schleider, J., Shaw, D.S. (in press). Population mental health science: Guiding principles and initial agenda. American Psychologist.

McDanal, R., Shen, J., Fox, K. R., Eaton, N. R., & Schleider, J. L. (2024). Predicting transdiagnostic symptom change across diverse demographic groups in single-session interventions for adolescent depression. Clinical Psychological Science, 0, 0.

Deisenhofer, A-K., Barkham, M., Beierl, E. T., Schwartz, B., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., … Cohen, Z. (50 other coauthors, incl. McDanal, R.) (2023). Implementing precision methods in personalizing psychological therapies: Barriers and possible ways forward. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 104443.

Ghosh, A., Cohen, K., Jans, L., Busch, C., McDanal, R., Yang, Y., Cooper, K., & Schleider, J. L. (2023). A digital single-session intervention (Project Engage) to address fear of negative evaluation among college students: A pilot randomized controlled trial. JMIR Mental Health, 10, e48926.

Shen, J., Rubin, A., Cohen, K., Hart, E. A., Sung, J., McDanal, R., Roulston, C., Sotomayor, I., Fox, K. R., & Schleider, J. L. (2023). Randomized evaluation of an online single-session intervention for minority stress in LGBTQ+ adolescents. Internet Interventions, 33, 100633.

McDanal, R., Schleider, J. L., Fox, K. R., & Eaton, N. R. (2023). Loneliness in gender- and sexual orientation-diverse adolescents: Measurement invariance analyses and between-group comparisons. Assessment, 30(3), 706–727.

McDanal, R., Opara, I., Parisi, D., & Schleider, J. L. (2022). Effects of brief interventions on internalizing symptoms and substance use in youth: A systematic review. Clinicial Child and Family Psychology Review, 25, 339-355.

McDanal, R., Rubin, A., Fox, K. R., & Schleider, J. L. (2022). Associations of LGBTQ+ identities with acceptability and efficacy of online single-session youth mental health interventions. Behavior Therapy, 53, 376-391.

Inman, E .M., Bermejo, R. M., McDanal, R., Nelson, B., Richmond, R. L., Schleider, J. L., & London, B. (2021). Discrimination and psychosocial engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stigma and Health, 6, 380-383.

Stanton, K., Brown, M. F. D, McDanal, R., & Carlton, C. N., & Emery, N. N. (2021). Informing the classification and assessment of positive emotional experiences: A multisample examination of hierarchical positive emotionality models. Psychological Assessment, 33(11), 1038-1049.


McDanal, R., & Schleider, J. L. (2023). Investing in Novel Intervention Delivery Systems. Population Health Science Summit: Grounding Evidence and Preliminary Research Synthesis. American Psychological Association.

Ghosh, A., McDanal, R., & Schleider, J. L. (2023). Digital Single-Session Interventions for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Evidence and Potential for Dissemination Across Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Advances in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

Under Review

Shen, J., Eaton, N. R., McDanal, R., Fox, K. R., & Schleider, J. L. (under review). Evaluating transdiagnostic adolescent psychopathology during COVID-19: intersections across sexual orientation, gender identity, and race/ethnicity. Preregistration.

Popular Press

McDanal, R., (2023). Marginalized Populations Deserve Our Very Best: Measurement Invariance as the Foundation of Mental Health Disparities Research. PCSAS Newsletter.

McDanal, R., (2021). Integrating Single-Session Intervention Approaches Into Clinical Training Programs. PCSAS Newsletter.


As an undergraduate student, I co-founded and directed the Psychology and Cognitive Sciences division of the Undergraduate Lab at Berkeley. I additionally served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Undergraduate Journal of Psychology at Berkeley.

As a graduate student, I teach courses at Stony Brook University, including a self-designed upper-division special topics course on models of psychopathology. I am also currently a clinical extern at the Center for Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, where I offer DBT-based therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families.

In my spare time, I like to walk, run, and read. I also enjoy playing Animal Crossing and building Lego sets. I split my time between NY and DC, where my partner is pursuing a PhD in astrophysics.


If you'd like to contact me, I can be reached at riley.mcdanal [at] stonybrook . edu .
I welcome messages from prospective psychology students and am happy to help in any way I can.