Bio

Academic Appointments


  • Clinical Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Honors & Awards


  • 2013 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award, Stanford University School of Medicine (May 2013)
  • 2012 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award, Stanford University School of Medicine (June 2012)
  • NCI Loan Repayment Program - Clinical Research Extramural Award, Stanford University School of Medicine (10/1/2012-10/1/2014)
  • NRSA Pre-doctoral fellowship award (F31HD056623), UCSD & San Diego State University (2007-2010)
  • Dorathe L. Frick MemorialAward., UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (2008)
  • B.S. Magna Cum Laude, Santa Clara University (2003)
  • Wilheim Wundt Award, Santa Clara University (2003)

Professional Education


  • T32 Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine, Psychosocial Oncology/Sleep
  • Internship, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Behavioral Medicine (2011)
  • M.P.H., San Diego State University, Behavioral Health (2010)
  • M.S., San Diego State University, Clinical Psychology (2008)
  • B.S., Santa Clara University, Psychology (2003)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Dr. Gerry is a licensed Clinical Psychologist on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Gerry is an expert in behavioral medicine and psycho-oncology research and practice. She has 26 peer-reviewed manuscripts and two Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO merit award (2012 and 2013) related to her current work. As a prior National Institute of Mental Health research fellow at Stanford, Dr. Gerry focused her research on the role of sleep, stress, coping, and health in chronic illness. She is particularly interested in examining how sleep disturbance, psychosocial stress, circadian hormone functioning, and coping are related to mental health, immune function, and survival in individuals with cancer. Dr. Gerry is also interested in the role of physical activity and sleep disturbance in fatigue, as well as stress hormone and immune functioning. Additional areas of interest include the role of mindfulness, hypnosis, and relaxation as interventions to reduce pain and anxiety associated with medical procedures.

In addition to her active research program, she is also involved in clinical practice at Stanford and greatly enjoys teaching and mentoring students and trainees. Dr. Gerry?s theoretical orientation to clinical practice includes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. She enjoys working with adults who have anxiety, depressive, and sleep disorders. Dr. Gerry has specialized expertise in working with individuals coping with acute and chronic illnesses, and also with individuals interested in improving their health behaviors and maximizing overall well-being.

Teaching

Publications

Journal Articles


  • Health behaviors and needs of melanoma survivors SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER Palesh, O., Aldridge-Gerry, A., Bugos, K., Pickham, D., Chen, J. J., Greco, R., Swetter, S. M. 2014; 22 (11): 2973-2980
  • Posttraumatic growth and diurnal cortisol slope among women with metastatic breast cancer PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY Diaz, M., Aldridge-Gerry, A., Spiegel, D. 2014; 44: 83-87

    Abstract

    A cancer diagnosis leads to increased psychological and emotional distress. However, in the aftermath of a traumatic event, such as being diagnosed with breast cancer, an individual may also experience beneficial changes in life perspective, relationships with others, and more. These changes are collectively known as posttraumatic growth (PTG). Studies have demonstrated that cortisol levels have been linked with cancer survival, yet an investigation of the relationship between PTG and cortisol has yet to be conducted among cancer patients.The relationship of PTG to cortisol levels was examined among 99 metastatic breast cancer patients.We found a significant correlation between PTG and diurnal cortisol slope (Spearman's rho=-0.21, p<0.05), indicating a link between positive psychological changes and healthier endocrine functioning in cancer patients.PTG in response to the stress of cancer was related to more normal (i.e., steeper) diurnal cortisol patterns. Longitudinal studies are recommended to investigate these mechanisms in relationship to cancer survival.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.03.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000336017000009

    View details for PubMedID 24767622

  • Actigraphy-Measured Sleep Disruption as a Predictor of Survival among Women with Advanced Breast Cancer SLEEP Palesh, O., Aldridge-Gerry, A., Zeitzer, J. M., Koopman, C., Neri, E., Giese-Davis, J., Jo, B., Kraemer, H., Nouriani, B., Spiegel, D. 2014; 37 (5): 837-842

    Abstract

    Poor sleep, prevalent among cancer survivors, is associated with disrupted hormonal circadian rhythms and poor quality of life. Using a prospective research design, this study aimed to clarify the relationship between objective measures of sleep efficiency and sleep disruption with survival among women with advanced breast cancer.We examined sleep quality and duration via wrist-worn actigraphy and sleep diaries for 3 days among 97 women in whom advanced breast cancer was diagnosed (age = 54.6 9.8 years). Sleep efficiency was operationalized using actigraphy as the ratio of total sleep time to total sleep time plus wake after sleep onset.As hypothesized, better sleep efficiency was found to predict a significant reduction in overall mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94-0.98; P < 0.001) at median 6 y follow-up. This relationship remained significant (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91-0.97; P < 0.001) even after adjusting for other known prognostic factors (age, estrogen receptor status, cancer treatment, metastatic spread, cortisol levels, and depression). Secondary hypotheses were also supported (after adjusting for baseline prognostic factors) showing that less wake after sleep onset (HR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.25-0.67; P < 0.001), fewer wake episodes, (HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88-0.98; P = 0.007); and shorter wake episode duration (HR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.14-0.58; P < 0.001) also contributed to reductions in overall mortality.These findings show that better sleep efficiency and less sleep disruption are significant independent prognostic factors in women with advanced breast cancer. Further research is needed to determine whether treating sleep disruption with cognitive behavioral and/or pharmacologic therapy could improve survival in women with advanced breast cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.5665/sleep.3642

    View details for Web of Science ID 000336052600004

    View details for PubMedID 24790261

  • Sleep Disruption in Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK Palesh, O., Aldridge-Gerry, A., Ulusakarya, A., Ortiz-Tudela, E., Capuron, L., Innominato, P. F. 2013; 11 (12): 1523-1530

    Abstract

    Sleep disruption is prevalent in patients and survivors of breast cancer. Most patients undergoing chemotherapy will experience transient sleep disruption, and nearly 60% will have chronic sleep problems. Numerous factors contribute to sleep disruption in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Sleep disruption is a consequence of several biological alterations, including circadian disruption and immune and metabolic deregulations. These systems also play significant roles in the control and progression of breast cancer. Sleep disruption is associated with many side effects and psychiatric and medical comorbidities. This article discusses the relationship between stress and posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and fatigue, and how sleep disturbance might be the cause or consequence of these disorders. Current evidence for management of sleep disturbance in breast cancer and high chronic use of hypnotic medication in this population is also discussed. Finally, the differences in management of sleep disturbance during acute cancer care and during the survivorship phase are discussed. More research is needed on accurate and timely assessment of sleep disturbance associated with breast cancer, and additional tailored approaches for the management of sleep problems in breast cancer should be developed.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000328639000010

  • Psychosocial correlates of sleep quality and architecture in women with metastatic breast cancer. Sleep medicine Aldridge-Gerry, A., Zeitzer, J. M., Palesh, O. G., Jo, B., Nouriani, B., Neri, E., Spiegel, D. 2013; 14 (11): 1178-1186

    Abstract

    Sleep disturbance is prevalent among women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Our study examined the relationship of depression and marital status to sleep assessed over three nights of polysomnography (PSG).Women with MBC (N=103) were recruited; they were predominately white (88.2%) and 57.87.7 years of age. Linear regression analyses assessed relationships among depression, marital status, and sleep parameters.Women with MBC who reported more depressive symptoms had lighter sleep (e.g., stage 1 sleep; P<.05), less slow-wave sleep (SWS) (P<.05), and less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (P<.05). Single women had less total sleep time (TST) (P<.01), more wake after sleep onset (WASO) (P<.05), worse sleep efficiency (SE) (P<.05), lighter sleep (e.g., stage 1; P<.05), and less REM sleep (P<.05) than married women. Significant interactions indicated that depressed and single women had worse sleep quality than partnered women or those who were not depressed.Women with MBC and greater symptoms of depression had increased light sleep and reduced SWS and REM sleep, and single women had worse sleep quality and greater light sleep than married counterparts. Marriage was related to improved sleep for women with more depressive symptoms.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.07.012

    View details for PubMedID 24074694

  • Psychosocial correlates of sleep quality and architecture in women with metastatic breast cancer SLEEP MEDICINE Aldridge-Gerry, A., Zeitzer, J. M., Palesh, O. G., Jo, B., Nouriani, B., Neri, E., Spiegel, D. 2013; 14 (11): 1178-1186

    Abstract

    Sleep disturbance is prevalent among women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Our study examined the relationship of depression and marital status to sleep assessed over three nights of polysomnography (PSG).Women with MBC (N=103) were recruited; they were predominately white (88.2%) and 57.87.7 years of age. Linear regression analyses assessed relationships among depression, marital status, and sleep parameters.Women with MBC who reported more depressive symptoms had lighter sleep (e.g., stage 1 sleep; P<.05), less slow-wave sleep (SWS) (P<.05), and less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (P<.05). Single women had less total sleep time (TST) (P<.01), more wake after sleep onset (WASO) (P<.05), worse sleep efficiency (SE) (P<.05), lighter sleep (e.g., stage 1; P<.05), and less REM sleep (P<.05) than married women. Significant interactions indicated that depressed and single women had worse sleep quality than partnered women or those who were not depressed.Women with MBC and greater symptoms of depression had increased light sleep and reduced SWS and REM sleep, and single women had worse sleep quality and greater light sleep than married counterparts. Marriage was related to improved sleep for women with more depressive symptoms.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.07.012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326625400021

    View details for PubMedID 24074694

  • Health Locus of Control and Assimilation of Cervical Cancer Information in Deaf Women JOURNAL OF CANCER EDUCATION Wang, R., Aldridge, A. A., Malcarne, V. L., Choe, S., Branz, P., Sadler, G. R. 2010; 25 (3): 354-359

    Abstract

    This study assessed the relationship between Deaf women's internal health locus of control (IHLC) and their cervical cancer knowledge acquisition and retention. A blind, randomized trial evaluated Deaf women's (N = 130) baseline cancer knowledge and knowledge gained and retained from an educational intervention, in relation to their IHLC. The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control scales measured baseline IHLC, and a cervical cancer knowledge survey evaluated baseline to post-intervention knowledge change. Women's IHLC did not significantly predict greater cervical cancer knowledge at baseline or over time. IHLC does not appear to be a characteristic that must be considered when creating Deaf women's cancer education programs.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13187-010-0053-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283105800017

    View details for PubMedID 20229077

  • Coping and adjustment in children with cancer: A meta-analytic study JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE Aldridge, A. A., Roesch, S. C. 2007; 30 (2): 115-129

    Abstract

    The current meta-analysis assessed the efficacy of coping strategies on psychological and physical adjustment in children with cancer (n = 1230). Coping strategies were operationalized in accordance with two coping taxonomies; the first is based on the general orientation of the child's coping attempts (approach or avoidance), and the second is based upon coping efforts to regulate the stressor and/or feelings of distress attributed to it (problem-focused and emotion-focused). Approach, avoidance, and emotion-focused coping were unrelated to overall adjustment. A small-to-medium but negative association was found between problem-focused coping and adjustment, indicating more use of the strategies that compose this dimension are associated with poorer adjustment. However, homogeneity analyses also indicated significant variation for all of these effect sizes. Follow-up moderator analyses found coping-adjustment relations were both dependent upon time since diagnosis and the particular stressor the child was dealing with during treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10865-006-9087-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244951700003

    View details for PubMedID 17180639

  • Bedtime misalignment and progression of breast cancer CHRONOBIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL Hahm, B., Jo, B., Dhabhar, F. S., Palesh, O., Aldridge-Gerry, A., Bajestan, S. N., Neri, E., Nouriani, B., Spiegel, D., Zeitzer, J. M. 2014; 31 (2): 214-221

    Abstract

    Disruption of circadian rhythms, which frequently occurs during night shift work, may be associated with cancer progression. The effect of chronotype (preference for behaviors such as sleep, work, or exercise to occur at particular times of day, with an associated difference in circadian physiology) and alignment of bedtime (preferred vs. habitual), however, have not yet been studied in the context of cancer progression in women with breast cancer. Chronotype and alignment of actual bedtime with preferred chronotype were examined using the Morningness-Eveningness Scale (MEQ) and sleep-wake log among 85 women with metastatic breast cancer. Their association with disease-free interval (DFI) was retrospectively examined using the Cox proportional hazards model. Median DFI was 81.9 months for women with aligned bedtimes ("going to bed at preferred bedtime") (n?=?72), and 46.9 months for women with misaligned bedtimes ("going to bed later or earlier than the preferred bedtime") (n?=?13) (log rank p?=?0.001). In a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, after controlling for other significant predictors of DFI, including chronotype (morning type/longer DFI; HR?=?0.539, 95% CI?=?0.320-0.906, p?=?0.021), estrogen receptor (ER) status at initial diagnosis (negative/shorter DFI; HR?=?2.169, 95% CI?=?1.124-4.187, p?=?0.028) and level of natural-killer cell count (lower levels/shorter DFI; HR?=?1.641, 95% CI?=?1.000-2.695, p?=?0.050), misaligned bedtimes was associated with shorter DFI, compared to aligned bedtimes (HR?=?3.180, 95% CI?=?1.327-7.616, p?=?0.018). Our data indicate that a misalignment of bedtime on a daily basis, an indication of circadian disruption, is associated with more rapid breast cancer progression as measured by DFI. Considering the limitations of small sample size and study design, a prospective study with a larger sample is necessary to explore their causal relationship and underlying mechanisms.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/07420528.2013.842575

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331148700009

    View details for PubMedID 24156520

  • "Have a drink, you'll feel better." Predictors of daily alcohol consumption among extraverts: the mediational role of coping ANXIETY STRESS AND COPING McCabe, C. T., Roesch, S. C., Aldridge-Gerry, A. A. 2013; 26 (2): 121-135

    Abstract

    An abundance of information exists pertaining to individual differences in college drinking behaviors with much attention being provided to the role of personality. However, plausible explanations for what prompts engagement in or avoidance of these behaviors have remained largely ambiguous or underexplored, particularly with respect to extraversion (E). Research has since explored how coping behaviors contribute to these associations. The present study built on this research by evaluating differences in daily alcohol consumption as a function of coping choice. The mediational effects of two specific strategies frequently observed in high E individuals (i.e., problem-focused coping and social support) were examined. Using a daily diary approach, 365 undergraduates reported their most stressful experience, how they coped with it, and the number of drinks consumed for five consecutive days. Resulting multilevel-models were consistent with hypotheses indicating the relationship between E and alcohol consumption was partially mediated by problem-focused and support-seeking strategies. The use of problem-focused coping by high E individuals was associated with lower levels of daily alcohol consumption, suggesting this strategy may play a protective role in influencing drinking behaviors. Conversely, the positive effect observed for social support approached significance (p=.054) and was indicative of a potential risk-factor for daily alcohol consumption.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10615806.2012.657182

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314635800001

    View details for PubMedID 22313495

  • Do normative perceptions of drinking relate to alcohol use in US Military Veterans presenting to primary care? ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS Aldridge-Gerry, A., Cucciare, M. A., Ghaus, S., Ketroser, N. 2012; 37 (7): 776-782

    Abstract

    The current cross sectional study sought to examine whether perceived social normative beliefs are associated with indicators of alcohol use in a sample of alcohol misusing veterans.A sample of 107 U.S. Military Veterans presenting to primary care that screened positive for alcohol misuse on the alcohol use disorders identification test-consumption items (AUDIT-C) was recruited. Assessment measures were used to examine social normative beliefs and alcohol-related concerns as they relate to indicators of alcohol use at baseline.Our findings indicate mixed support for our two hypotheses in that perceived descriptive norms were associated with alcohol use indicators in the predicted direction; however, this was not the case for alcohol-related concerns. For perceived norms, we found that higher quantity beliefs were significantly related to greater alcohol consumption on a drinking day (p<.01), increased likelihood of dependence (p<.01), and frequency beliefs were significantly related to total number of drinking days (p<.01). Findings for alcohol-related concerns emerged contrary to our hypothesis, with results depicting increased alcohol-related concerns associated with higher alcohol consumption across indicators of use (ps<.01).Findings of the current study suggest that social normative beliefs, specifically misperceptions about descriptive norms, are significantly associated with alcohol consumption in a sample of alcohol misusing veterans presenting to primary care.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.02.017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305363400002

    View details for PubMedID 22424825

  • Validity of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales in American Sign Language JOURNAL OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY Athale, N., Aldridge, A., Malcarne, V. L., Nakaj, M., Samady, W., Sadler, G. R. 2010; 15 (7): 1064-1074

    Abstract

    Few instruments have been translated and validated for people who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their preferred language. This study examined the reliability and validity of a new ASL version of the widely used Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scales. Deaf individuals (N = 311) were shown the ASL version via videotape, and their responses were recorded. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the four-factor structure of the MHLC. Scale reliabilities (Cronbach's alphas) ranged from 0.60 to 0.93. There were no apparent gender or ethnic differences. These results provide support for the new ASL version of the MHLC scales.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1359105309360427

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282333900012

    View details for PubMedID 20511286

  • Developing coping typologies of minority adolescents: A latent profile analysis JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENCE Aldridge, A. A., Roesch, S. C. 2008; 31 (4): 499-517

    Abstract

    Latent profile analysis (LPA) was used to develop a coping typology of minority adolescents (M=15.5 years). A multiethnic sample (n=354) was recruited from a program aimed at serving low-income students. LPA revealed three distinct coping profiles. The first comprised adolescents who used a number of specific coping strategies at a low level (low generic copers). The second comprised adolescents who emphasized active/approach strategies (e.g., planning; active copers). The third comprised adolescents who emphasized avoidant/passive strategies (e.g., substance abuse; avoidant copers). Active copers experienced significantly less depression and more stress-related growth than low generic copers. Low generic copers not only experienced significantly less depression than avoidant copers but also significantly less stress-related growth than active copers. Discussion focuses on integrating the current typology with traditional coping taxonomies.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.08.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258354100005

    View details for PubMedID 17904631

  • Coping with daily stressors - Modeling intraethnic variation in Mexican American adolescents HISPANIC JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES Aldridge, A. A., Roesch, S. C. 2008; 30 (3): 340-356

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