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.
The current study aims to examine parent to child openness to communication and communication style, and how these factors may be related to the emotion regulation (ER) skills of their child. The individuals being surveyed will be deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing parents of DHOH children ages 7-12 years old. The first hypothesis is that communication styles such as the tendency to communicate in a way that is clear and understandable, as well as appropriately labeling one's feelings to another, will be associated with stronger ER skills in the sample. Conversely, traits such as verbal aggression and interrogative-like communication, will be associated with weaker ER skills. The second hypothesis is that the former communication styles will be associated with increased openness to communication skills, therefore more effective ER skills. The final hypothesis is that DHOH parents of DHOH children will present more openness to communication due to fewer challenges with communication during the early years of their child's life, therefore acquiring more effective emotion regulation skills than children whose parents are not as open with communication.
This project evaluates the effects of sexually objectifying advertisements placed in the context of news stories about men and women in positions of power. The studies in this project use experimental design to examine the effects of the objectifying ads on implicit gender bias.
Depression has been cited as the leading cause of disability globally, affecting more than 300 million people. Much research has been conducted on the topic, yet there is still a dearth of research on mental health among young Black men. Black men are likely to experience greater psychosocial stressors and higher mortality rates than their White counterparts. However, rates of depression among Black men remain consistently lower, with some suggesting that that though less frequent, instances of depression in Black men are more severe. The purpose of this study was to facilitate a discussion of mental health knowledge with Black men. This study aimed to explore their knowledge related to signs/symptoms of mental illness, preventative and self-help measures, mental health resources and mental health first-aid along with the sources of that knowledge. The current study asked how Black men learn about mental health, from whom and how formal knowledge compared to community experience. Findings suggest that the experience of depression is fairly common among young Black men, although the topic is not often directly discussed. Participants expressed that many suffer with depression in silence and work to hide their struggles from others. Regardless of attempts to suppress one's struggles, they may manifest in unexpected ways e.g. anger and acting out linking depression to incarceration rates. Finally, the importance of early and continued mental health support emerged as a significant theme, with participants emphasizing the importance of safety in seeking and accepting help.
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.
This research study is focused on the experiences of Deaf student-parents enrolled in college. Student-parents refer to students that are enrolled in college courses and also maintain the status of a parent or primary caregivers to children under the age of 18 years old. Common themes will be uncovered through interviews with participants.
Suicide is a leading cause of premature death in minority groups; however, neither prevalence nor risk of suicide in Deaf and Hard-of-hearing (HH) populations is known. According to the interpersonal theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005), the desire for suicide, derived from perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness, along with a fearlessness about death and capability for suicide, acquired through painful physiological experiences, combine to create a highly predictive model of lethal self-harm. As Deaf and Hard-of-hearing groups are often marginalized from their hearing peers, these groups may be at a high risk for suicide. Thus, the aim of this study is to examine the relationship between acculturation and risk for suicide via variables that comprise the interpersonal theory of suicide. Further, attachment theory can be thought as a theoretical foundation to the interpersonal theory of suicide, as the attachment style one develops predicts whether one seeks or avoids closeness when distressed (Bowlby, 1983) and has also been linked to suicidal behaviors. Therefore, the role of adult attachment style within the relationship between acculturation and risk for suicide will also be assessed.
As of 2019 the refugee crisis is officially one of the highest the world has ever seen with a total of 79.5 millions individuals forcibly displaced worldwide (UNCHR, 2019 and at least 50% are reported to be women and girls (Freedman, 2016; UNCHR, 2017). Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person based on their gender (EIGE, 2015). Studies and reports have shown refugee camps to be places where gender-based violence occurs quite often and where reports are rarely made to individuals in position to help. Organizations such as Call for Action have launched programs focusing on protection from gender-based violence in emergency settings (Wirtz et al., 2013; Women's Refugee Commission, 2016). Despite the understanding of gender-based violence and its outcomes among the general public, little is know regarding these discussions in relation to refugee women (Wirtz et al., 2013). The present study aimed to better understand disclosure patterns and the perceived barriers that are faced by female refugees when reporting sexual violence to humanitarian workers in French refugee camps in the hopes of shedding light on this under-researched issue.
Vincent, M. & Pick, L. (2020, March). Gender-based violence among females with disabilities in refugee camps: Help-seeking behavior and service utilization. Presented at the Association for Women in Psychology 2020 Conference, Austin, TX.
Participants will be able to better describe how assessment results can be used to determine needs of deaf/hard of hearing students. Participants will be able to better describe how assessment results can be used to create goals (and strategies/services) for deaf/hard of hearing students. Participants will be able to better describe how assessment results can be used to monitor progress and guide instructional decisions for deaf/hard of hearing students.
Miller, B. D. (2020). Supporting the needs of deaf/hard of hearing students in school. Presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists 2020 Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD
Acculturative stress represents the effects of the struggles involved in acculturation, including pressures to retain or acquire aspects of one's heritage culture, as well as pressures to acquire aspects of the dominant culture (Rodriguez, Myers, Mira, Flores, & Garcia-Hernandez, 2002; Schwartz & Zamboanga, 2008). To date, no measure exists for assessing the acculturative stress experiences of deaf individuals, a unique culturally minoritized group within the dominant society. A previous study examined levels of acculturative stress among a sample of deaf university students using a modified version of the 24-item Societal Attitudinal Familial and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale (SAFE; Mena, Padilla, & Maldonado, 1987), named the SAFE-D (Aldalur, 2017). Results indicated that the SAFE-D demonstrated excellent reliability among the sample and that the deaf participants reported experiencing levels of acculturative stress similar to late immigrant university students (Mena et al., 1987) and English as a Second Language students (Hovey, 2000). It was noted during the modification of the scale and analyses of the data, however, that the acculturation experiences of deaf individuals differ in significant ways from those of ethnically and racially minoritized individuals (Aldalur, 2017). Also, the results suggested that a bidirectional model of acculturative stress would more accurately capture the experiences of deaf individuals (Aldalur, 2017). Therefore, the development of a separate scale specific to the acculturative stress experiences of deaf individuals is necessary. The goal of the current study is to develop the Deaf Acculturative Stress Inventory (DASI) and collect information regarding the reliability and validity of the scale for use with deaf adults.
Aldalur, A. (2020). The Deaf Acculturative Stress Inventory (DASI): Development and Validation of an Acculturative Stress Inventory for Deaf Adults (Order No. 28030882). Available from Dissertations & Theses. Gallaudet University - WRLC; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2438523870). https://proxyga.wrlc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.proxyga.wrlc.org/docview/2438523870?accountid=27346
Aldalur, A., Pick, LH., Schooler, D., & Maxwell-McCaw, D. (2020). Psychometric properties of the SAFE-D: Acculturative stress in deaf undergraduate students. Rehabilitation Psychology, 65(2), 173-185. https://doi.org/10.1037/rep0000315
Vicarious traumatization is the pervasive and cumulative effect on an individual that results from working with traumatized individuals due to having an empathic connection with these individuals (McCann & Pearlman, 1990). Vicarious traumatization is understood as the changes a professional experience in his or her inner world due to the cumulative effect of exposure to a client's traumatic material (Pearlman & Saaktvine, 1995). This phenomenon is an occupational hazard that has been found to affect human service providers (Pearlman & Saaktvine, 1995; Hammerslough, 2005). Sign language interpreters are not exempt from the pervasive effects of vicarious traumatization (Harvey, 2001; Harvey, 2015; Barreto Abrams, 2018). Interpreters work in trauma-influenced settings where both hearing and Deaf consumers may discuss traumatic content, affecting the interpreter's life in personal and occupational contexts (Barreto Abrams, 2018). This study is an expansion of a pilot study and a pre-dissertation project that investigated the effects of vicarious trauma in sign language interpreters. This study will sample interpreters' vicarious trauma and coping strategies through well-established psychometric measures.
Barreto Abrams, J., Pick, L., & Corbett, C. (2019, November) Vicarious trauma in sign language interpreters: Exploring interpreters’ experiences of working in trauma-influenced environments. In Qualitative Approaches to the Study of Stress. Presented at the Work, Stress and Health Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Barreto Abrams, J.O. (2020). Vicarious Trauma as a Psychosocial Occupational Hazard in the Field of Sign Language Interpreting. (Publication No. 28029372) [Doctoral dissertation, Gallaudet University]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global.
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