Kelsie Forbush

Kelsie Forbush
  • Professor, M. Erik Wright Scholar


I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (with a minor emphasis in Personality and Individual Differences) in 2011 from the University of Iowa. I completed an APA-Accredited internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

I joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 2014, after three years as an Assistant Professor at Purdue University. My research program is designed to clarify the reasons for diagnostic co-morbidity among eating, mood, and anxiety disorders, and to explicate the internal structure of eating pathology through scale development and assessment. Finally, an emerging area of interest is the development of m-health interventions for eating disorders.


Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Iowa


My research laboratory is conducting several research studies that are designed to understand the associations (both cross-sectional and longitudinal) between eating behaviors and various other types of psychological difficulties, as well as research designed to develop better ways of assessing, diagnosing, and treating abnormal eating behaviors.

For additional information on my research interests and ongoing projects (or to enroll in one of our studies), please visit my laboratory webpage CARE Lab.

Research Interests

  • Eating and Weight Disorders
  • Novel Approaches for Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Latent Variable Modeling


My philosophy of classroom teaching is that the most beneficial courses are ones in which the professor not only presents information specific to the course, but also focuses on building students' ability to integrate, critically evaluate, and rehearse scholarly material. Therefore, my main goals as an instructor are to: 1) provide students with the scaffolding necessary to make sense of scholarly readings, 2) help students think critically about course material, and 3) make the material personally meaningful to the student. I use this philosophy to inform my course structure and content. In addition, I work hard to incorporate "best-practice" techniques into all of my classes to help students remember and master course materials.

Beyond classroom teaching, I have substantial experience as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom have published scholarly research under my supervision (see my lab webpage for more information). I welcome inquiries from students who are interested in joining my research lab.

Teaching Interests

  • Eating and Weight Disorders
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Diagnosis and Assessment of Mental Illness

Selected Publications

Conway, C. C., Forbes, M. K., Forbush, K. T., Fried, E. I., Hallquist, M. N., Kotov, R., Mullins-Sweatt, S. N., Shackman, A. J., Skodol, A. E., South, S. C., Sunderland, M., Waszczuk, M. A., Zald, D. H., Afzali, M. H., Bornovalova, M. A., Carragher, N., Docherty, A. R., Jonas, K. G., Krueger, R. F., … Eaton, N. R. (2019). A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology Can Transform Mental Health Research [Journal Articles]. PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 14(3), 419–436. DOI:10.1177/1745691618810696

Perko, V. L., Forbush, K. T., Siew, C. S. Q., & Tregarthen, J. P. (2019). Application of network analysis to investigate sex differences in interactive systems of eating-disorder psychopathology [Journal Articles]. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS. Published. DOI:10.1002/eat.23170

Perko, V. L., Forbush, K. T., Siew, C. S. Q., & Tregarthen, J. P. (2019). Application of network analysis to investigate sex differences in interactive systems of eating-disorder psychopathology [Journal Articles]. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS. Published. DOI:10.1002/eat.23170

Forbush, K. T., Chen, P.-Y., Hagan, K. E., Chapa, D. A. N., Gould, S. R., Eaton, N. R., & Krueger, R. F. (2018). A new approach to eating-disorder classification: Using empirical methods to delineate diagnostic dimensions and inform care [Journal Articles]. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS, 51(7), 710–721. DOI:10.1002/eat.22891

Wildes, J. E., Forbush, K. T., Hagan, K. E., Marcus, M. D., Attia, E., Gianini, L. M., & Wu, W. (2017). Characterizing severe and enduring anorexia nervosa: An empirical approach [Journal Articles]. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS, 50(4), 389–397. DOI:10.1002/eat.22651

Forbush, K. T., Hagan, K. E., Salk, R. H., & Wildes, J. E. (2017). Concurrent and Prognostic Utility of Subtyping Anorexia Nervosa Along Dietary and Negative Affect Dimensions [Journal Articles]. JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 85(3), 228–237. DOI:10.1037/ccp0000164

Hagan, K. E., Forbush, K. T., & Chen, P.-Y. (2017). Is Dietary Restraint a Unitary or Multi-Faceted Construct? [Journal Articles]. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT, 29(10), 1249–1260. DOI:10.1037/pas0000429

Kotov, R., Krueger, R. F., Watson, D., Achenbach, T. M., Althoff, R. R., Bagby, R. M., Brown, T. A., Carpenter, W. T., Caspi, A., Clark, L. A., Eaton, N. R., Forbes, M. K., Forbush, K. T., Goldberg, D., Hasin, D., Hyman, S. E., Ivanova, M. Y., Lynam, D. R., Markon, K., … Zimmerman, M. (2017). The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A Dimensional Alternative to Traditional Nosologies [Journal Articles]. JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY, 126(4), 454–477. DOI:10.1037/abn0000258

Bohrer, B. K., Carroll, I. A., Forbush, K. T., & Chen, P.-Y. (2017). Treatment seeking for eating disorders: Results from a nationally representative study [Journal Articles]. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS, 50(12), 1341–1349. DOI:10.1002/eat.22785

Forbush, K. T., Hagan, K. E., Kite, B. A., Chapa, D. A. N., Bohrer, B. K., & Gould, S. R. (2017). Understanding eating disorders within internalizing psychopathology: A novel transdiagnostic, hierarchical-dimensional model [Journal Articles]. COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHIATRY, 79, 40–52. DOI:10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.06.009

Wildes, J. E., & Forbush, K. T. (2015). Ethnicity as a Risk Factor for Eating Disorders [Book Chapters]. In M. Levine & L. Smolak (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Eating Disorders (pp. 325–337). Wiley.

Forbush, K. T., & Hunt, T. K. (2014). Characterization of eating patterns among individuals with eating disorders: What is the state of the plate? [Journal Articles]. PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR, 134, 92–109. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.02.045

Forbush, K. T., Wildes, J. E., Pollack, L. O., Dunbar, D., Luo, J., Patterson, K., Petruzzi, L., Pollpeter, M., Miller, H., Stone, A., Bright, A., & Watson, D. (2013). Development and Validation of the Eating Pathology Symptoms Inventory (EPSI) [Journal Articles]. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT, 25(3), 859–878. DOI:10.1037/a0032639

Ruggero, C. J., Kotov, R., Hopwood, C., First, M., Clark, L. A., Mullins-Sweatt, S. N., Patrick, C. J., Bach, B. S., Cicero, D., Docherty, A., Bagby, M., Krueger, R. F., Callahan, J., Chmielewski, M., Conway, C., De Clercq, B. J., Dornbach-Bender, A., Eaton, N., Forbes, M., & Forbush, K. T. (accepted/in press). Integrating the hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology into clinical practice [Journal Articles]. JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY.

Awards & Honors

Rising Star

American Psychological Society


Dean's Graduate Fellowship (formerly Graduate Merit Fellowship)

2004 - 2010

The Scott Mesh Honorary Scholarship for Research in Psychology

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students


Early Career Investigator Travel Fellowship

National Institute of Mental Health/Academy for Eating Disorders


Wynonna G. Hubbard Scholarship

University of Iowa

2001 - 2002

Tuition Scholarship

University of Iowa

1998 - 1999

Hampton Scholar


First Place, Social Sciences and Education Division

University of Iowa Jakobsen Graduate Research Conference

2008 - Present

John C. Wright Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award

University of Kansas

2018 - Present

Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award for best paper published in IJED (Wildes, Forbush, et al.)

Wiley/Academy for Eating Disorders

2017 - Present

Scientific Contribution Award

Academy for Eating Disorders Diagnosis and Assessment Special Interest Group

2018 - Present

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Development of a Military-Specific Transdiagnostic Eating-Disorder Survey and Screening Tool in a Nationally Representative Sample of Veterans, $1.7 million (total costs).. Grant No. 45000. Department Of Defense. $1700000.00. (9/1/2019 - 8/31/2022). Federal. Status: Funded

Improving eating disorders research and treatment at the University of Kansas, $330K (direct costs).. KUEA. $330000.00. (12/1/2019 - 1/31/2021). Status: Funded

Improving Eating-Disorder Treatment Outcomes: Validation of an Adaptive Mobile App, $50K (direct costs). Eating Recovery Foundation Early Career Investigator Grant. National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). $50000.00. Submitted 10/15/2017 (1/1/2018 - 12/31/2019). Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded


I am active in several international and national service organizations that focus on eating disorders and clinical psychology. I previously served as Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorder's Diagnosis and Assessment Special Interest Group (SIG) and Co-Chair for the 2019 International Conference on Eating Disorders. I am also an Early Career Reviewer for the National Institute of Health, and a Program Reviewer for the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, and a Board Member for the Body Balance Coalition (an advocacy group comprised of eating-disorder treatment providers and researchers in the states of Missouri and Kansas).