Affiliated Projects

Early Childhood Mobile Intervention Project

The Early Childhood Mobile Interventions Project follows families with young children in everyday life using smartphones and wearable devices. We are developing mobile applications for ongoing monitoring of multimodal data streams and using machine learning to automatically and passively detect and intervene upon family processes in real time and real life. Our goal is to build and systematically evaluate a just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI) to increase access to health care and improve family well-being and mental health.

Innovation Test Kitchen

We are building a comprehensive and flexible infrastructure for collecting data from smartphones and wearable devices and testing our system on consumers, research participants, and patients. Our interdisciplinary team of psychologists, software developers, data scientists, and engineers work together to build new software features and algorithms, implement them on our software system, test them, conduct user interviews, and improve the system over time. As part of a "team science" initiative, people working on this project bring their creative ideas to iterate and innovate to build new and state-of-the-art software systems for mental health.

Remote Health Monitoring and Intervention Practicum

COVID-19 has underscored the importance of training the next generation of clinical scientists in remote health methods. We offer a practicum for students to receive specialized training in digital mental health. Specifically, students build, pilot, and administer remote assessment, monitoring, and intervention through smartphones and wearable devices as part of clinical care, training, and supervision. Additionally, we are developing, standardizing, and publishing clinical practice standards for the implementation of digital mental health. 

Bias in Artificial Intelligence Workgroup

The application of technology and machine learning to psychological treatments has the potential to address and decrease disparities in mental health. At the same time, unrepresentative samples and biased development methodologies could perpetuate past inequities or possibly amplify them. Our interdisciplinary team of engineers, data scientists, and psychologists is developing and implementing "fair-aware" AI methodologies for assessing and mitigating the impact of bias in machine learning algorithms, especially as they relate to the application of mental health.

Couple Mobile Sensing Project

The Couple Mobile Sensing Project examines daily functioning of young adult romantic couples via smartphones and wearable devices. We seek to how understand how small-scale everyday relationship processes (e.g., feelings of annoyance or closeness between dating partners) relate to multimodal assessments of functioning in day-to-day life (e.g., vocal pitch and tone, word usage, electrodermal activity, heart rate, physical activity). Moreover, we seek to understand how everyday, microlevel processes in young adult couples relate to macrolevel variables, such as family-of-origin and dating aggression. We are also developing machine learning algorithms designed to detect and even predict stages of conflict escalation in couples in real life.

University of Southern California Family Studies Project

TIES Lab regularly collaborates with the Family Studies Project, which conducts research on risk and resilience in adolescents and young adults. We investigate the role of close relationships—within the family, with friends, and with dating partners—as sources of stress, as well as protection. Studies investigate the impact of risky family environments, particularly those associated with family aggression. With longitudinal data from early adolescence through young adulthood, we study how interaction patterns are transmitted from one generation to the next. Our ultimate goal is to pinpoint dimensions that protect against romantic partner aggression and family violence.

Selected Publications and Patents

Selected Publications (see CV for a complete list)

Han, S. C., Baucom, B. R., Timmons, A. C., & Margolin, G. (2021). A systematic review of Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia in romantic relationships.  Family Process, 60, 441-446

Han, S. C., Schacter, H. L., Timmons, A. C., Kim, Y., Sichko, S., Pettit, C., & Margolin, G. (2021). Annoyance and anger words in dating couples’ daily lives: Related to family-of-origin aggression?  Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6, 898-907.

Han. S. C., Schacter, H. L., Timmons, A. C., Kim, Y., Pettit, C., Chaspari, T., Narayanan, S., & Margolin, G. (2021). Romantic partner presence and physiological responses in daily life: Attachment style as a moderator. Biological Psychology, 161.

Timmons, A. C., Han, S. C., Kim, Y., &., Pettit, C., Perrone, L., Power, K. A., Vitale, L., & Margolin, G. (2021). Fluctuations in pronoun use in everyday life: Understanding couple aggression in context.  Journal of Family Psychology, 35, 149-159.

Schacter, H. L., Pettit, C., Kim, Y. Sichko, S., Timmons, A. C., & Margolin, G. (2020). A matter of the heart: Daytime relationship functioning and overnight heart rate in young dating couples. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 54, 794-803. 

Gupta, K., Gujral, A., Chaspari, T., Timmons, A. C., Han, S. C., Kim, Y., Barrett, S., Sichko, S., & Margolin, G. (2020). Sub-population specific machine learning models of couples' interpersonal conflict. Association for Computing Machinery Transactions of Internet Technology, 20, 1-20. 

Comer, J. S., & Timmons, A. C. (2019). The other side of the coin: Computer-mediated interactions may afford opportunities for ehanced empathy in clinical practice. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 26, e12308. 

Comer, J. S., Conroy, K., & Timmons, A. C. (2019). Ensuring wearable devices don't wear out their welcome: Cautions for the mental healthcare road ahead. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 26, e12297.

Arbel, R., Schacter, H. L., Han, S. C., Timmons, A. C., Shapiro, L. S., & Margolin, G. (2019). Day-to-day friends' victimization, aggression perpetration, and the cortisol awakening response in late adolescents. Developmental Psychobiology, 61, 930-941. 

Timmons, A. C., Han, S. C., Chaspari, T., Kim, Y., Pettit, C., Narayanan S., & Margolin, G. (2019). Family-of-origin aggression, dating aggression, and physiological stress reactivity in daily life. Physiology & Behavior, 206, 85-92. 

Bernstein, R., Timmons, A. C., & Lieberman, A. F. (2019). Interpersonal violence, maternal perception of infant emotion, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Journal of Family Violence, 34, 309-320. 

Corner, G. W., Saxbe, D. E., Chaspari, T., Rasmussen, H. F., Perrone, L., Pettit, C., Friendly, M., Timmons, A. C., & Margolin, G. (2018). Compassion in a heartbeat: Physiology during couples' loss discussions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 

Timmons, A. C., Chaspari, T., Han, S. C., Perrone, L., Narayanan, S., & Margolin, G. (2017). Using multimodal wearable technology to detect conflict among couples. IEEE Computer, 50, 50-59. 

Timmons, A. C., Baucom, B. R., Han, S. C., Perrone, L., Chaspari, T., Narayanan, S., & Margolin, G. (2017). New frontiers in ambulatory assessment: Big data methods for capturing couples' emotions, vocalizations, and physiology in daily life. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8, 552-563. 

Timmons, A. C., Arbel, R., & Margolin, G. (2017). Daily patterns of stress and conflict in couples: Associations with marital aggression and family-of-origin aggression. Journal of Family Psychology, 31, 93-104. 

Arbel, R., Moss, I., Shapiro, L. S, Timmons, A. C., & Margolin, G. (2017). Adolescents' daily worry, morning cortisol, and health symptoms. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60, 667-673. 

Margolin, G., Ramos, M. C., Timmons, A. C., Miller, K. F., & Han, S. C. (2016). The intergenerational transmission of aggression: Physiological regulatory processes. Child Development Perspectives, 10, 15-21.

Miller, K. F., Margolin, G., Shapiro, L. S., & Timmons, A. C. (2016). Adolescent life stress and the cortisol awakening response: The moderating roles of attachment and sex. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 27, 34-48. 

Timmons, A. C., & Preacher, K. J. (2015). The importance of temporal design: How do measurement intervals affect the accuracy and efficiency of parameter estimates in longitudinal research? Multivariate Behavioral Research, 50, 41-55. 

Timmons, A. C., & Margolin, G. (2015). Family conflict, mood, and adolescents' daily school problems: Moderating roles of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Child Development, 86, 241-258. 

Timmons, A. C., Margolin, G., & Saxbe, D. E. (2015). Physiological linkage in couples and its implications for individual and interpersonal functioning: A literature review. Journal of Family Psychology, 29, 720-731. 

Saxbe, D. E., Ramos, M. C., Timmons, A. C., Rodriguez, A. J., & Margolin, G. (2014). A path modeling approach to understanding family conflict: Reciprocal patterns of parent coercion and adolescent avoidance.  Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 415-420.

Book Chapter

Chaspari, T., Timmons, A. C., & Margolin, G. (2019). Population-specific and personalized (PSP) models of human behavior for leveraging smart and connected data. In K. C. Li, Q. Zang, L. T. Yang, & B. D. M. Smart data: State-of-the-art perspectives in computing and applications (pp. 243-258). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

Published Conference Proceedings

Gujral, A., Chaspari, T., Timmons, A. C., Barrett, S. C., & Margolin. G. (2018). Population-specific detection of couples' interpersonal conflict using multi-task learning. Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, 229-233. 

Chaspari, T., Timmons, A. C., Baucom, B. R., Perrone, L., Tsiartas, A., Baucom, K. W. J., Georgiou, P., Margolin, G., & Narayanan, S. (2017). Exploring sparse representation measures of physiological synchrony for romantic couples. Proceedings of the International Conference of Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, 267-272. 

Chaspari, T., Han, S. C., Bone, D., Timmons, A. C., Perrone, L., Margolin, G., & Narayanan, S. (2017). Quantifying regulation mechanisms in dating couples through a dynamical systems model of acoustic and physiological arousal. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Audio, Speech, and Signal Processing, 3001-3005. 

Chaspari, T., Han, S. C., Bone, D., Timmons, A. C., Margolin, G., & Narayanan, S. (2016). Dynamical systems modeling of acoustic and physiological arousal in young couples. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Spring Symposium Series, 343-344.

Chaspari, T., Baucom, B. R., Timmons, A. C., Tsiartas, A., Del Piero, L. B., Baucom, K. W. J., Georgiou, P., Margolin, G., & Narayanan, S. (2015). Quantifying EDA synchrony through joint sparse representation: A case study of couples' interactions. Proceedings of the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, 817-821. 


Timmons, A. C., Chaspari, T., Narayanan, S., & Margolin, G. (filed March 4, 2019). US Serial No. 16/291,225: A technology-facilitated support system for monitoring and understanding interpersonal relationships.

Timmons, A. C., Chaspari, T., Ahle, M., Narayanan, S., & Margolin, G. (filed March 4, 2019). US Serial No. 16/291,399: An expert-driven, technology-facilitated intervention system for improving interpersonal relationships.

Funding and Awards

Grants and Fellowships

Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers Call to Action on TeleSupervision & TeleHealth Grant, 2021
The Development of a Formalized Training Program in Digital Mental Heatlh
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator), Daniel Bagner (Principal Investigator), Jonathan S. Comer (Principal Investigator), Justin Parent (Principal Investigator)

Florida International University Seed Fund, 2020
Assessing Disparities in mHealth Implementation Research
Jacqueline Duong (Principal Investigator)

National Institute of Mental Health Small Business Technology Transfer Grant, 2020
The Development and Systematic Evaluation of an AI-Assisted Just-in-Time Adaptive Intervention for Improving Mental Health
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator), Jonathan S. Comer (Principal Investigator), Matthew Ahle (Co-Investigator)

National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Program Grant, 2019
A Technology-Facilitated Intervention System for Improving Child Mental Health
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator and Technical Lead), Matthew Ahle (Entrepreneurial Lead)

University of California, San Francisco Clinical Research Startup Funds, 2018
Assessing PTSD Symptoms in Infants with a History of Trauma Exposure
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2013-2016
The Psychobiological Covariation of Electrodermal Activity between Dating Pairs in Early Adulthood and its Links with Parent-Child Relationships
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator)

University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program, 2016
Capturing Life as it is Lived: Using Mobile Technology to Identify Real-World Indicators of Dating Aggression
Adela C. Timmons (Co-Investigator)

University of Southern California Wallis Annenberg Endowed Fellowship, 2011, 16
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator)

University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Associates Program, 2015
A Day in the Life: Using Mobile Technology to Capture Indicators of Dating Aggression
Adela C. Timmons (Co-Investigator)

American Psychological Association Dissertation Award, 2015
Romantic Partners’ Physiological and Emotional Coregulation in the Home Environment
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator)

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students Basic Psychological Science Research Grant, 2014
Covariation of Physiological Arousal between Dating Pairs in Early Adulthood and its Links with Parent-Child Relationships
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator)

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students/Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship Award, 2012
Adela C. Timmons (Principal Investigator)


Cade Prize for Innovation Fibonacci Finalist, 2021
Adela C. Timmons

College of Arts, Sciences, and Education Faculty Research Award, 2020
Adela C. Timmons

Florida International University Top Scholar in the Category of Junior Faculty with Significant Grants, 2020
Adela C. Timmons

College of Arts, Sciences, and Education Faculty Research Award, 2019
Adela C. Timmons

Second Place, University of Southern California Student Innovator Showcase, 2017
An AI-Assisted Smartphone App for Your Relationship Health
Adela C. Timmons 

Gerald Davison Award for Scientific Writing in Clinical Psychology, 2017
Adela C. Timmons 

Second Place, University of Southern California Big Data and Human Behavior Symposium, 2016
Adela C. Timmons