Prudence Fisher

Assistant Professor

Prudence Fisher teaches Normal and Pathological Aspects of Childhood (T6601).  Dr. Fisher received her Bachelor’s degree (Psychology) from Johns Hopkins University and her M.S. and Ph.D (2001) from Columbia University School of Social Work. 

Dr. Fisher is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Research Scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute (Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry).  Dr. Fisher’s main research focus is on the development and testing of assessment measures for children and adolescents.  She is widely acknowledged in the field at large as someone who is knowledgeable about assessment issues and actively collaborates with investigators both within the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia and at other institutions.  Dr. Fisher has been instrumental in the development of numerous versions of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC), the most widely used diagnostic interview for youth, and of many other widely used measures, including the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), the Columbia Impairment Scale, and the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), among others.  In 2008 she was appointed as an Advisor to the DSM-V workgroups for Child Disorders and ADHD and Disruptive Disorders in Spring 2009 she was appointed an advisor to the DSM workgroup on Measures and the Impairment worksgroup. 

Currently, Dr. Fisher is Principal Investigator on an NIMH funded grant to compile and analyze a database of diagnostic and symptom data on approximately 19,000 children and adolescents to address the validity of current and proposed diagnostic categories and criteria for child and adolescent psychiatric disorders.  She also has a grant from the American Psychiatric Association to carry out field trails to examine proposed DSM-5 changes, which will begin fall 2010.  Dr. Fisher recently completed an NIMH funded grant to develop an innovative computer administered interview designed to improve the detection of side effects from psychotropic medications in adolescents, the Columbia Health and Adverse Reactions to Medications Screen (CHARMS).  She is also is faculty on the Child Psychiatry Research Training Grant.

In addition to her work on assessment issues, Dr. Fisher has also been involved in studies on adolescent suicide and its aftermath.  Since 1989 has been member of the scientific advisory board at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for which she reviews grants.  She also served as project director on two large studies concerning adolescent suicide – a psychological autopsy study and a family study – and is currently preparing papers on the bereavement adjustment of first-degree relatives of adolescent suicide victims (the topic of her dissertation).