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.
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.
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.
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., 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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