Psychology

The Psychology Department provides a rigorous academic and applied curriculum that addresses important core areas of psychology; encourages students to explore the implications of psychological research, theory, and practice; and includes the application of psychology in internship settings. The department also commits itself to producing scholarly work in scientific and applied areas.


Adaptations of Parent Child Interaction Therapy for Deaf Families

ID: 3385
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014
End Date: October 2025

Description

The mental health field has recognized the importance of utilizing evidence-based treatments when serving individuals and families. One specific psychological treatment, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), has been designated as an evidence-based treatment for young children with disruptive behaviors. While our field has made significant strides in providing evidence to support its treatments, the evidence is often gathered at the exclusion of minority populations. This is particularly true for deaf people, given the unique communication needs and cultural knowledge required to adapt treatments to be accessible to this population. Since fall 2014, Dr. Day has been studying how to effectively adapt PCIT for families with one or more deaf members and who communicate via American Sign Language. This research project has now expanded into a clinical and research training clinic where she provides accessible PCIT services for local deaf families. It also provides formal training in PCIT Therapist Certification to advanced graduate students, allows for graduate and undergraduate student involvement in research, and provides clinical consultation to therapists across the country who are providing PCIT to deaf individuals.

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Products

Day, L.A., Adams Costa, E., Previ, D., & Caverly, C. (2017). Adapting parent-child interaction therapy for deaf families who communicate via American Sign Language: A formal adaptation approach. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpra.2017.01.008.


ASL TRANSLATION OF THE VCI FROM WISC-V

ID: 4037
Status: Ongoing
Start date: June 2018
End Date: August 2021

Description

Psychological testing is often problematic for deaf people. Many psychologists avoid exploring language-based reasoning in this population given numerous validity concerns and a general lack of understanding of how one might administer these tests in a way that is sensitive to one’s language history. This approach, however, leaves a large area of cognition unexplored. Those who do assess language-based reasoning are at risk of drawing inaccurate conclusions given the complex nature of language-based reasoning in individuals with a unique language background. As a follow-up to Bridgett (2018), this study was originally developed to investigate the validity of the VCI with a sample of deaf children to better understand what the construct was actually measuring with them. However, due to COVID-19 and the resulting limitations of in-person data collection, this study’s focus has shifted towards developing a standardized version of ASL administration for the VCI. This will include gathering feedback from the signing community and a formal recording of a standardized ASL administration for the VCI. This will allow other psychologists to show or replicate this standard administration during their own administration with deaf children who speak ASL fluently. Limitations of the study and future steps will also be discussed.

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BRIDGES- Bias Reduction Intervention: Deaf Gain in Employment Settings

ID: 3755
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2017

Description

This project is a collaboration between faculty in the undergraduate and graduate clinical programs in psychology to address bridges and barriers our students experience on their way to becoming professional psychologists. Anecdotally, we have observed barriers our students experience in their educational careers. Students have described experiences of bias and discrimination that have impacted their progress through their degrees. Nationally, there is a need for deaf mental health professionals to serve deaf populations, but bias against deaf students may result in an underrepresentation of deaf clinicians. We created a participatory research community of students and faculty in the Department of Psychology to assess ways in which our classes, departmental programs, and external training programs can support all students in achieving success. Ongoing projects are informing curricular modifications, interventions, and other programming changes in our department and training programs.

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Products

Day, L., Schooler, D. Miller, C., Wagner, K. (2020). Building Inclusive Training Sites for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clinical Psychology Trainees, Presentation accepted for the 2020 APPIC Membership Conference, San Diego, CA. (Note: conference was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)

Schooler, D. & Day, L.A. (2019, June). Removing Barriers and Building Bridges for Future Mental Health Professionals from Diverse Backgrounds. Presentation accepted for the 2019 ADARA and AMPHL National Conference, Baltimore, MD.


d/Deaf Disabled Experiences with the Deaf Community

ID: 4043
Status: Ongoing
Start date: February 2020
End Date: December 2020

Description

Most people consider deafness to be a disability. However, individuals who identify as being part of Deaf culture often reject the label of disability. This presents a unique situation for those who are both d/Deaf and also disabled. It is estimated that individuals who have a hearing loss are 30-55 percent more likely to have an additional disability than individuals who are hearing. The experiences of d/Deaf and Disabled individuals is largely absent from existing literature despite their prevalence. The purpose of this study is to explore, in-depth, the lived experiences of d/Deaf and Disabled individuals’ interactions with the Deaf community. The voice and experience of this population is largely absent in the literature. The goal of this study is not to determine trends and prevalence rates, but to document their lived experience. It consisted of 2 online focus groups of 3-4 participants each. Participants were over 18, identify as both being deaf and disabled, and have experiences with the culturally Deaf community. All focus groups were conducted in American Sign Language. The recorded focus groups were analyzed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

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Efficacy of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Children and Families

ID: 3745
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2018

Description

Deaf and hard of hearing communities experience barriers to obtaining fully accessible and affirmative mental health care services. These barriers include limited research on the efficacy of mental health treatments and outcomes of clinical services with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing and lead to the disparity in the number of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who are able to obtain culturally and linguistically affirmative mental health services. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is one of the few interventions that has been adapted for and studied with diverse deaf and hard of hearing families. Post-treatment outcomes from a small sample of clinically-referred families include an increase in parenting skills, a reduction in disruptive child behaviors, and overall parental treatment satisfaction.

Principal investigators

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Products

Cappetta, K., Previ, D., & Day, L. (2020). An Examination of the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS) in American Sign Language, Poster session presented at the 2020 American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC

Costa, E.A., Day, L., Caverly, C., Mellon, N. Ottley, S., Ouellette, M. (2019). PCIT as a behavior and spoken language intervention for young children with hearing loss. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.

Day, L.A. (2019, October). Evidence-Based Practices for Whom? Lessons Learned from Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Presented at The Mental Health Conference, Natick, MA.

Day, L.A., Bruce, S., & Cappetta, K. (2019, June). Identifying the Evidence Behind Effective Discipline Strategies: Lessons Learned from Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Presentation accepted for the 2019 ADARA and AMPHL National Conference, Baltimore, MD.


High Risk Sexual Behaviors and Deaf Males: A Look at Systems, Resources and Culture

ID: 3969
Status: Ongoing
Start date: July 2020
End Date: May 2021

Description

The current study will assess the prevalence, knowledge, and awareness of high-risk sexual behaviors among college-aged adult men who are Deaf. These issues will be viewed through ecological lenses such as available resources, culture, and systems at play. This approach will then look at the same or differing resources, systems, and culture in hearing individuals. A sample of Deaf college-aged adult men will be recruited and given measures to assess their current engagement in high-risk sexual behaviors (frequency of condom usage, alcohol/drug use, number of sex partners, etc.), their current sexual health, their current sexual education knowledge, and their current HIV/AIDS knowledge. Data will be examined to determine whether there are significant differences in high-risk sexual behaviors in Deaf college-aged males compared to their hearing peers.

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New Signers: Acculturation and Coping

ID: 3760
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014

Description

Previous research has examined the transition to college among ethnic minority youth and found that appropriately managing acculturative stress is a significant predictor of psychological adjustment and success during the college transition (Crokett et al., 2007). For example, Mexican-American youth who report higher levels of acculturative stress during their college transition report more frequent symptoms of depression and anxiety. Active coping and parental support, however, can buffer the effects of acculturative stress. Deaf and hard of hearing youth grow up in a culturally diverse settings and arrive at college with varying degrees of experience with Deaf and hearing cultures (Maxwell-McCaw & Zea, 2010). Whereas some youth may have vast experiences with Deaf culture, and a high level of cultural practice including proficiency in ASL and Deaf cultural norms, other youth may have grown up immersed primarily in hearing culture, with little or no exposure to ASL or Deaf culture. Consequently, students matriculating at Gallaudet face a diverse set of challenges relating to acculturation. To date, the acculturative experiences of this population have been understudied. The proposed study examines acculturative stress, coping, and mental and physical health among new Gallaudet students, with specific emphasis on the experiences of new signers.

Principal investigators

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Products

Aldalur, A., Maxwell-McCaw, D., & Schooler, D. (2019, June). Mental Health Correlates of Acculturative Stress Among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Young Adults. ADARA Conference, Baltimore, MD.


Representation of Deaf Characters in Mainstream Television Watched by Adolescents

ID: 4031
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2019
End Date: April 2021

Description

Youth seek connections with television characters as part of the identity formation process. Traditionally, deaf youth have had few opportunities to connect with deaf television characters. In recent years, there has been increased representation of deaf people on television, including scripted television programs Switched at Birth and This Close, which feature deaf adolescents and young adult characters, and reality television programs America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars, which recently featured deaf contestant Nyle DiMarco. These programs provide opportunities for deaf youth to engage with deaf media models in new ways, but research has yet to determine how young viewers experience these media models. The current study will use a focus group approach to investigate deaf and hard of hearing adolescents’ engagement with and perspectives on deaf and hard of hearing media models.

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The Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in College-Aged Deaf Individuals: An examination of the Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale (BAARS-IV)

ID: 4047
Status: Ongoing
Start date: November 2020
End Date: September 2021

Description

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which has been found to impair one's social, familial, scholastic, and occupational adjustment. For deaf individuals, language and executive functioning have important implications for cognitive and academic functioning, but it is not clear to what extent those functioning are impacted in deaf individuals with ADHD. There are many areas that need to be explored in relation to ADHD, executive dysfunction, deaf individuals, and language acquisition/secondary language delay. In relation to evaluating and assessing D/HH individual for ADHD, Farber (2019) investigated whether or not the Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale-IV (BAARS-IV) demonstrated evidence of validity as a screening measure for ADHD in college-aged deaf students. For this study, we aim to examine whether or not the validity of the BAARS-IV as a screener for discriminating ADHD from non-ADHD among college-aged D/HH students can be replicated and whether additional evidence of concurrent validity is available. Also, this study aims to provide a clearer understanding of the significant role that executive functions play in the overall functioning of deaf and hard-of hearing individuals with ADHD by investigating executive functioning skills in deaf individuals with ADHD and those without ADHD.

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Scholarship and creative activity

2018

Fedlan, D.A., Brice, P. (2018). Hard of Hearing Adults: Implications of the Between Group Status. Gallaudet Chronicles of Psychology.

2018

Miller, B. D. (2017, November). Assessment for students with hearing loss: How to interpret data to make informed decisions. Presented at the annual conference of HELIX: High Expectations for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities, State College, PA

Miller, B. D. (2018). Utility of curriculum-based approaches for students with hearing loss. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525740118766477

2017

Gibbons, E. (2016, October). Contemplative Practices in the Multicultural Curriculum Transformation Process. Poster session presented at the eighth annual meeting of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Amherst, MA.

Gibbons, E. (2017, February). Know sweat: Hyperhidrosis and social anxiety in youth. Paper session presented at the meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, San Antonio, TX.

  • Filed under KOO

2017

Koo, D., Pick, LH, & Garrido-Nag, K. (2016). Neurolinguistics: Cortex imaging. In G. Gertz & P. Boudreault (Eds.), The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia (pp.712-715). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. DOI: 10.4135/9781483346489.n223

2019

Miller, B. (2019). Hearing loss: Helping handout for school. In G. G. Bear & K. M. Minke (Eds.), Helping handouts: Supporting students at school and home. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

2020

Fujii, Judd, T., Morere, D.A. & Byrd, D. (In press). Multicultural Issues in Neuropsychological Assessment. In K. Stucky, M. Kirkwood & J. Donders (Eds.) Neuropsychology study guide & board review 2nd edition. Oxford.
Morere, D.A. (2020). Executive functioning, memory, and literacy in deaf learners: Reading and writing involve more than just words and grammar. In M. Marschark & H. Knoors (Eds.) Oxford handbook of deaf studies in learning and cognition. Oxford.
Morere, D.A. (2020). Psychoeducational assessment, classroom testing, and the measurement of literacy in deaf learners. In S. Easterbrooks & H. Dostal (Eds.) Oxford handbook of deaf studies in literacy. Oxford.

2017

Paludneviciene, R. (2016, October). Efficacy of Video Lectures as Supplementary Materials for English Language Learners. Poster presented at the International Society of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference, Los Angeles, CA.

2017

Pick, LH., Aldalur, A., Garrido-Nag, K., & Koo, D. (2016). American Sign Language story recall among Deaf young adults. Poster presented at the 124th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Denver, Colorado.

2017

Miller, B. D. (2017). Assessment for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Presentation for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA