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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fedlan, D.A., Brice, P. (2018). Hard of Hearing Adults: Implications of the Between Group Status. Gallaudet Chronicles of Psychology.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Miller, B. D. (2017). Assessment for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Presentation for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA