Shian-Ling Keng

Social Sciences (Psychology)

Associate Professor
Head of Studies, Psychology


View Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor Shian-Ling Keng obtained her BSc in Psychology and Biology (with a minor in Political Science), and MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Duke University, North Carolina, United States. She completed her clinical psychology residency at the Mood Disorders Clinic and Borderline Personality Disorder Clinic at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, she was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and clinical supervisor at the Clinical and Health Psychology Clinic, NUS.

Clinically, Assoc Prof Keng has received training in cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and other mindfulness-based approaches such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. She received intensive DBT training from Dr Clive Robins and Dr Zachary Rosenthal (Duke University), and Dr Shelley McMain (University of Toronto). She has worked in hospital and clinic settings with patients of a variety of diagnoses, including mood, anxiety, substance use, and personality disorders. She aspires to help improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services in Southeast Asia through teaching, research, advocacy, and community outreach.

Assoc Prof Keng’s research programme focuses on examining the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions, and the mechanisms through which these interventions influence psychological health. In particular, her research has examined the effects of mindfulness training on emotion regulation and cognitive resources, as well as several theorised mechanisms underpinning mindfulness-based interventions, such as trait mindfulness, self-compassion, implicit dysfunctional attitudes, and rumination in both clinical and non-clinical populations. More recently, she has expanded her research to explore the role of mindfulness in biological aging, using telomere length as a biomarker.

Assoc Prof Keng is also interested in the dissemination and implementation of mindfulness-based interventions, such as dialectical behaviour therapy, in Southeast Asia. Methodologically, she employs a combination of clinical intervention trials, cross-sectional studies, and laboratory-based experiments to study the association between mindfulness and psychological health. She incorporates diverse assessment methods, ranging from self-report measures, performance-based tasks, ecological momentary assessments, to biological measures in her research programme.

Selected Publications:
Keng. S. -L., Looi, P. S., Tan, E. L. Y., Yim, O.-S., Lai, P. S., Chew, S. H., & Ebstein, R. (2020). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on psychological symptoms and telomere length: A randomized active-controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 51, 984-996.

Loo, J. L., Keng. S. -L., Ramírez-Espinosa, I. G., Ramírez-Gutiérrez, J. A., Nor Hadi, N. M., & Shoesmith, W. D. (2020). Dialectical behavior therapy in the Asia-Pacific Rim region. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, e12437, 1-6.

Schutte, N., Malouff, J. M., & Keng, S.-L. (2020). Meditation and telomere length: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Health, 35, 901-915.

Wong, M. H. M., Keng, S.-L., Buck, P. J., Suthendran, S., Wessels, A., & Østbye, T. (2020). Effects of mental health paraprofessional training for Filipina foreign domestic workers in Singapore. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 22(3), 571-579.

Jin, S., Balliet, D., Romano, A., Spadaro, G., van Lisa, C. J., Agostini, M., Belanger, J. J., Gutzkow, B., Kreienkamp, J., PsyCorona Collaboration, & Leander, P. (in press, 2020). Intergenerational conflicts of interest and prosocial behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personality and Individual Differences. (Member of the PsyCorona Collaboration)

Kreienkamp, J., Agostini, M., Krause, J., Leander, N. P., & PsyCorona Collaboration. (2020). Psycorona: A World of Reactions to COVID-19. APS Observer, 33(9). (Member of the PsyCorona Collaboration)

Keng, S. -L., Lee, C. S. L., & Eisenlohr-Moul, T. A. (2019). Effects of brief daily mindfulness practices on affective outcomes and correlates in a high BPD trait sample. Psychiatry Research, 280(112485), 1-7.

Keng. S. -L., Yim, O.-S., Lai, P. S., Chew, S. H., & Ebstein, R. (2019). Association among dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, and leukocyte telomere length in Chinese adults. BMC Psychology, 7(47), 1-10.

Keng, S. -L. & Ang, Q. (2019). Effects of mindfulness on negative affect, body dissatisfaction, and disordered-eating urges in a college sample at risk of developing eating disorders. Mindfulness, 10, 1779-1791.

Keng, S.-L., Noorahman, N. B., *Drabu, S., & Chu, C. M. (2019). Association between betrayal trauma and nonsuicidal self-injury among adolescent offenders: Shame and emotion dysregulation as mediating factors. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 18(4), 293-304.

Keng, S.-L. & Tan, H. H. (2018). Effects of brief mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation inductions on emotional and behavioral responses to social rejection among individuals with high borderline personality traits. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 100, 44-53.

Keng, S.-L., Choo, X., & Tong, E. M .W. (2018). Association between trait mindfulness and variability of coping strategies: A diary study. Mindfulness, 9, 1423-1432.

Keng, S.-L., Lee, Y., Drabu, S., Hong, R. Y., Chee, C. Y. I., Ho, C. S. H., & Ho, R. C. M. (2018). Construct validity of the McLean Screening Instrument for borderline personality disorder in two Singaporean samples. Journal of Personality Disorders, 32, 1-20.

Keng, S. -L. & Soh, C. Y. (2018) Association between childhood invalidation and borderline personality symptoms: Self-construal and conformity as moderating factors. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 5(19), 1-9.

Ronningstam, E. F., Keng, S.-L., Ridolfi, M. E., Arbabi, M., & Grenyer, B. F. S. (2018). Cultural aspects in symptomatology, assessment and treatment of personality disorders. Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(22), 1-10.

Keng, S.-L. & Tan, J. X. (2017) Effects of brief mindful breathing and loving-kindness meditation on shame and social problem solving abilities among individuals with high borderline personality traits. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 97, 43-51.

Keng, S.-L., Tan, E. L. Y., Eisenlohr-Moul, T., & Smoski, M. J. (2017). Effects of mindfulness, reappraisal, and suppression on sad mood and cognitive resources. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 91, 33-42.

Tong, E.M.W. & Keng, S.-L. (2017). The relationship between mindfulness and negative emotion differentiation: A test of multiple mediation pathways. Mindfulness, 8, 933-942.

Keng, S.-L. & Liew, K. W. L. (2017). Trait mindfulness and self-compassion as moderators of the association between gender nonconformity and psychological health. Mindfulness, 8, 615-626.

Keng, S.-L., Waddington, E., Lin, B. X. T., Tan, M. S. Q., Henn-Haase, C., & Kanter, J. W. (2016). Effects of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy on therapist trainees in Singapore: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(4), 1014-1027.

Keng, S.-L. & Tong, E.M.W. (2016). Riding the tide of emotions with mindfulness: Mindfulness, affect dynamics, and the mediating role of coping. Emotion, 16, 706-718

Keng, S.-L., Seah, T. H. S., Tong, E.M.W. & Smoski, M. J. (2016). Effects of brief mindful acceptance induction on implicit dysfunctional attitudes and concordance between implicit and explicit dysfunctional attitudes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 83, 1-10.

Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2016). Effects of mindful acceptance and reappraisal training on maladaptive beliefs about rumination. Mindfulness, 7, 493-503.

Phang, C.K., Mukhtar, F., Ibrahim, N., Keng, S.-L., & Sidik, S. M. (2015). Effect of DVD-delivered mindfulness-based program for stress reduction in medical students. Education in Medicine Journal, 7, 8-20.

Keng, S.-L., Phang, C.K., & Oei, T.P.S. (2015). Effects of a brief mindfulness-based training program on psychological symptoms and well-being among medical students in Malaysia: A controlled study. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 8, 335-350.

Phang, C.K., Chiang, K. C., Ng, L. O., Keng, S.-L., & Oei, T. P. (2015). Effects of brief group mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for stress reduction among medical students in a Malaysian university. Mindfulness, 7(1), 189-197.

Phang, C. K., Mukhtar, F., Ibrahim, N., Keng, S.-L., & Mohd. Sidik, S. (2015). Effects of a brief mindfulness-based intervention program for stress management among medical students: the Mindful-Gym randomized controlled study. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 20, 1115-1134.

Smoski, M.J., Keng, S.-L., Ji, J.L., Moore, T., Minkel, J. & Dichter, G.S. (2015). Neural indicators of emotion regulation via acceptance versus reappraisal in remitted major depressive disorder. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1187-1194.

Phang, C.K., Keng, S.-L., & Chiang, K.C. (2014). Mindful-S.T.O.P.: Mindfulness made easy for medical students. Education in Medicine Journal, 6, 48-56.

Keng, S-L., Robins, C. J., Smoski, M. J., Dagenbach, J., & Leary, M. R. (2013). Reappraisal and mindfulness: A comparison of subjective effects and cognitive costs. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 899-904.

Smoski, M.J., Keng, S.-L., Schiller, C. E., Minkel, J., & Dichter, G.S. (2013). Neural mechanisms of cognitive reappraisal in remitted major depressive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151, 171-177.

Keng, S-L., Smoski, M. J., Robins, C. J., Ekblad, A. G., & Brantley, J. G. (2012). Mechanisms of change in MBSR: Self-compassion and mindfulness as mediators of intervention outcome. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 26, 3, 270-280.

Robins, C. J., Keng, S-L., Ekblad, A. G., & Brantley, J. G. (2012). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on emotional experience and expression: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 1-15.

Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1041-1056.

Abnormal Psychology
Psychology of Mindfulness