Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University

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.


Acceptance of disability, coping strategies, and perception of social support among veterans with acquired physical disability

ID: 2580
Status: Completed
Start date: April 2015
End Date: August 2017

Description

Contrary to popular belief that the majority of disabled veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), current data shows that the most frequent disabilities are the result of hearing loss, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and bodily injuries, such as amputations, burns, and spinal cord injuries. Research also shows that the physical and emotional consequences of wounds sustained during military service significantly impact veterans' lives long after they stop active duty. When compared with non-disabled veterans, disabled veterans report more difficulties in psychological and social functioning. Still, the number of studies that investigate psychological functioning of physically disabled veterans is shockingly small. This research attempts to fill the gap. However, due to the fact that there are no available studies on psychological adaptation to physical disability in veterans, this study has an exploratory character and attempts to investigate the psychological impact of acquired physical disability on military veterans, specifically, adjustment to the disability, employed coping strategies, and general quality of life.

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Adaptations of Parent Child Interaction Therapy for Deaf Families

ID: 3385
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014

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 persons, 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 (ASL). 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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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.


Body image, cultural, and media

ID: 1898
Status: Ongoing
End Date: December 2018

Description

This project combines multiple studies using experimental design and survey methods to examine associations between media use and body image. In one study, data was collected from Latina adolescents who viewed media images of white women and provided qualitative and quantitative responses. A second study surveyed Gallaudet undergraduates about their media use, body image, and acculturation experiences.

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Aldalur, A., & Schooler, D. (2013). Deaf acculturation as a buffer against internalization of mainstream media's beauty messages. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC.

Aldalur, A., Schooler, D., & Kim, J. L. (2014, March). Acculturative stress predicts Deaf women's body image. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Austin, TX.

Schooler, D. (2015). The woman next to me: Pairing powerful and objectifying representations of women. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 2015, 1-15.

Schooler, D., & Daniels, E. (2014). "I am not a skinny toothpick and proud of it." Latina adolescents' ethnic identity and responses to mainstream media images. Body Image, 11, 11-18.

Schooler, D., Aldalur, A., & Kim, J. L. (2014, March). Switched at Birth: Deaf undergraduates' acculturation and media identification. Poster presented at the meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Austin, TX.


A comparative study on emotional regulation differences between deaf children and adolescents raised with deaf versus hearing parents

ID: 3322
Status: Completed
Start date: March 2017
End Date: November 2017

Description

There are many challenges that parents may face when raising a child, but one significant difficulty can be a conflict in communication between the parent and child. This can sometimes be a prominent issue in situations where there may be obstacles in communicating language such as between a hearing parent and deaf child. Such language limitations and possible struggles with communication may have an effect on certain aspects of the child’s development. The current study aims to explore the development of emotional regulation between two groups: deaf individuals with deaf parents, and deaf individuals with hearing parents, and will assess children and adolescents between ages 7-16 years old through parent surveys. For this study, the questions being asked are: “Is there a significant difference in the emotional regulation skills of deaf children and adolescents raised by deaf parents and deaf children and adolescents raised by hearing parents?” and “Is there is a difference in emotion regulation when participants are analyzed by age?” This study is predicting that emotion regulation skills will change in children over time. Another hypothesis is that deaf children with deaf parents will score as having better emotional regulation skills than deaf children with hearing parents.

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Developing an Understanding of Quality Communication in Families with Hearing Caregivers and a Deaf Child, perceived by the Child

ID: 3025
Status: Completed
Start date: January 2016
End Date: December 2017

Description

In the field of child and family psychology, a hot topic has been the parent-child relationship, and what can possibly improve it. A less common area of study is how quality communication develops within parent-child relationships. Parents of deaf children are often faced with additional obstacles in terms of developing quality communication with their child, namely, the ability to communicate. It is for this reason that the previously established definitions of quality communication and what it entails may not be appropriate to define the relationship between deaf children and hearing parents. The proposed study is an exploratory study to gain insight into what quality communication could possibly look like in these families, as perceived by a deaf child.

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The diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in college-aged Deaf individuals: Exploring the accuracy of the Barkley Adult ADHD rating scale-IV and the Attention Deficit Scales for Adults, Sign Language Version

ID: 2371
Status: Completed
Start date: October 2013
End Date: December 2017

Description

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which has been found to impair one's social, familial, scholastic, and occupational adjustment, is one of the most comprehensively examined neurodevelopmental disorders. For deaf individuals, language and executive functioning have important implications for cognitive and academic functioning, but it is not clear to what extent cognitive and academic functioning are impacted in Deaf individuals with ADHD, as the amount of research conducted with deaf individuals with ADHD has been limited, especially within the realm of deaf adults. There are many areas that need to be explored in relation to ADHD, executive dysfunction, deaf individuals, and language acquisition/secondary language delay. Before these areas can be formally studied, however, the ADHD diagnostic process in deaf individuals needs to be investigated. A clear diagnostic classification of deaf individuals with ADHD must be demonstrated to ensure a distinction between deaf individuals with ADHD and those without ADHD. This study will examine the ADHD diagnostic evaluation process with college-aged deaf individuals. Specifically, this study will explore whether or not the Barkley Adult ADHD rating scale-IV and the Attention Deficit Scales for Adults, Sign Language Version, can clearly distinguish those who identify having a prior diagnosis of ADHD compared to those who do not self-identify or have a previous diagnosis of ADHD. In addition, the study will explore the potential influences of executive dysfunction and language acquisition/secondary language delay in deaf individuals on the ADHD diagnostic process. 

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Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System, 4th edition: Interrater reliability with live coding versus video coding

ID: 3386
Status: Ongoing
Start date: January 2017

Description

Recently, studies have been conducted on the feasibility of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with families that include at least one deaf family member. The results have shown success with adapted PCIT. The aim of this study is to explore the effectiveness of the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS), 4th edition (DPICS; Eyberg, Nelson, Ginn, Bhiulyn & Boggs, 2013) in ASL using data from families who have participated in PCIT conducted in ASL. The DPICS is a system of coding parent and child verbalizations to track parent mastery of skill and child compliance.

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Early Intervention Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Families of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children in a Sample of Puerto Rican

ID: 3328
Status: Completed
Start date: January 2017
End Date: June 2017

Description

There is a dearth of published literature about families’ and professionals’ perceptions on early intervention services for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in Puerto Rico. With limited research in this area, it is difficult to highlight the strengths, challenges, and needs Puerto Rican early intervention services face. Therefore, practices are grounded on theoretical approaches instead of evidence-based practices. This study will gather data on early intervention services for deaf children and their families who live in Puerto Rico. Qualitative methodology with a transformative paradigm guide this project. Hence, the data will be collected through interviews with parents or caregivers of children who are receiving or have received early intervention services, through interviews with early intervention providers, and through journal entries from both parents/caregivers and professionals. The data will be analyzed through a phenomenological approach to better understand the experiences and perceptions of those families receiving early intervention services and those professionals providing early intervention services. This study will increase the knowledge of working with diverse and multicultural populations. 

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Emotional Display Rules of the Deaf Culture: An Evaluation of Emotional Expression

ID: 3027
Status: Completed
Start date: January 2016
End Date: September 2017

Description

Display rules refer to the culturally prescribed rules of how, to whom, when, and which type of emotion is expressed in specific situations. These rules depend on cultural norms such as individualism and collectivism. With research supporting that the Deaf community has its own collectivistic culture, the proposed study seeks to identify the display rules used within the deaf culture. The current study will use the Display Rule Assessment Inventory and the Deaf Acculturation Scale as primary measures of emotional display rules and acculturation occurring in the deaf culture. The proposed study is comprised of two objectives; the first is to evaluate the display rules used within the deaf culture in order to advance the literature and understanding for emotional processes within the deaf culture. The second objective includes an exploratory analysis of three additional questions, such that a) How does the primary language used by the participant influence, if at all, the level of emotional expressiveness? b) How does the primary language used at home, if at all, affect the level of emotional expressiveness? c) Does the use of hearing assistive technology such as a cochlear implant or hearing aid influence the level of expressivity?

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Exploring the feasibility of utilizing PCIT in families of hearing parents and a deaf child with a weak shared communication

ID: 3029
Status: Completed
Start date: September 2015
End Date: August 2017

Description

There is mounting evidence that Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an important psychotherapeutic intervention for deaf children, particularly those at risk for co-morbid language and behavior difficulties. The aim of the current study is to collect preliminary evidence on the use of PCIT with hearing parents of deaf children, specifically with regard to behavioral and language outcomes.

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Have you talked about it? A phenomenological approach to deaf women’s lived experience of sexual assault disclosure

ID: 3330
Status: Ongoing
Start date: January 2017
End Date: January 2018

Description

Deaf women experience sexual assault at a significantly higher rate than the general hearing population. Yet, within the Deaf community there is a dearth of research regarding disclosure patterns – the act of telling someone about a personal experience of sexual assault. This descriptive phenomenological study seeks to explore the disclosure experiences among three-to-six adult Deaf female survivors following methods established by Giorgi (2009). Semi-structured interviews will be used to gain a rich understanding of the lived disclosure experiences unique to each survivor. Specifically, survivors will be asked to provide detailed descriptions of their experiences receiving reactions from various support providers. These phenomenological methods include understanding the psychological meaning of survivors’ experiences of disclosure reactions by understanding the essential and general structures of this phenomenon. It is hoped that results will offer insight into the psychological complexity of the disclosure process in the Deaf community in order to better serve survivors and their support providers in the future.

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The Interaction Between Personality and Exercise in Predicting Perceived Stress

ID: 3325
Status: Ongoing
Start date: February 2017
End Date: May 2018

Description

Stress has been deemed an epidemic in modern society and has been connected to several mental and physical health conditions. While research has shown that exercise may be effective at relieving stress, and personality tends to predict perceived stress, little is known about the connection between perceived stress, exercise, and personality. The purpose of the current study is to explore the relationship among these variables and to determine how personality and exercise can be used to predict perceived stress. It is hoped that the findings may lead to more effective exercise prescriptions, as well our understanding of the mechanisms underlying exercise-induced stress reduction.

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Media Objectification and Implicit Gender Bias

ID: 3073
Status: Ongoing
Start date: May 2016
End Date: December 2019

Description

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.

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Parents' Perspectives of Their Deaf Child's School Experience in Malaysia

ID: 3327
Status: Ongoing
Start date: January 2017
End Date: July 2018

Description

This study aims to explore the childhood school experience of deaf Malaysian adults as perceived by their parents. While Aftar (2016) explored the school experience of deaf Malaysians from the perspectives of deaf individuals, this study will attempt to further expand this area of research by interviewing the parents and providing a better understanding of the implementation or effectiveness of deaf education in Malaysia. The outcome of this research will hopefully contribute to the existing literature and reveal a deeper understanding of what the school experience is like for deaf students in Malaysia. This study will be conducted qualitatively using a phenomenological approach and framed within a constructivist paradigm viewpoint. The constructivist paradigm assumes that reality is socially constructed. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted in spoken Malay or English, and transcribed data will be analyzed qualitatively by identifying emerging themes.

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Peer support and food security in deaf college students

ID: 3342
Status: Completed
Start date: March 2017
End Date: December 2017

Description

Food insecurity is a danger to college students all over the country, and it impacts their life in many ways. In particular, food insecurity can result in educational consequences such as lower performance in classes, difficulty concentrating, and insufficient health in college students. These outcomes can be quite detrimental for some deaf college students who are already at risk for poorer health outcomes associated with low access to incidental information about health. The prevalence of food security in deaf college student population has not been investigated. A protective factor that may reduce the impact of food insecurity on these college-related outcomes is peer support, which was previously reported as a significant and direct predictor of health. The proposed study may portray a relationship between peer support and deaf college students' food security experiences. If a significant relationship is found, then this calls for a greater emphasis on the importance friends have in deaf people’s lives. Peer support could potentially offset the negative consequences deaf people’s experience with food insecurity. In addition to peer support, food programs designed for those who are at risk for food insecurity may benefit students and the university as a whole.

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Psychological Well-Being, Acceptance of Disability, and Perceived Social Support in U.S. Military Veterans with Hearing Loss

ID: 3334
Status: Completed
Start date: September 2016
End Date: September 2017

Description

Hearing difficulties are one of the most common, yet often overlooked, disabilities in modern societies. In the U.S., approximately 64 million people above the age of 12 have some level of hearing loss. Similarly, disabilities of the auditory system in veterans constitute the second most common reason for receiving disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Still, even though the incidence of auditory problems in young Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans is higher than post-traumatic stress disorder (Guastella, 2014), the psychological aspects of the functioning of veterans under age 60 with hearing problems is rarely studied. This is a significant oversight, considering that research shows that people with hearing loss and tinnitus acquired later in life display serious difficulties with adjustment to these conditions and tend to have high levels of depression and anxiety. This study attempts to increase knowledge about the psychological functioning of veterans with hearing loss acquired during military service. Specifically, it will investigate the issues of acceptance of acquired hearing disability, perceived social support, and general psychological well-being in this population.

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Resilience in Children Who are Deaf with Additional Disabilities: The Role of the Parent-Child Relationship in Child Social Skills

ID: 3354
Status: Completed
Start date: February 2015
End Date: May 2017

Description

Deaf children with additional disabilities face complex challenges in social functioning. Despite the high proportion of children in this particular subgroup, little research has been done to investigate factors that support the development of social skills in the presence of both deafness and an additional disability. The results of the current study, which included 31 parents of children who were deaf with at least one additional disability, are consistent with a transactional model of the parent-child relationship and child development. Less parent stress predicted more parent sensitivity and stronger child social skills. More parent sensitivity predicted more parent-child communication, which in turn predicted stronger child communication skills. Additionally, parent stress correlated with consistency in discipline, parenting confidence, and parent-child relational frustration. Parents with high levels of stress were more likely to have lower satisfaction with social support. Despite expectations, the age of the child was not associated with parent-child sensitivity or parent stress.

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Products

Turner Dougherty, A.C. (2017).   Resilience in children who are deaf with additional disabilities: the role of the parent-child relationship in child social skills (Doctoral dissertation).  Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.


Signs of aggression: Translating the peer conflict scales into American Sign Language

ID: 2372
Status: Completed
Start date: September 2013
End Date: May 2017

Description

Bullying and aggression among children and adolescents are prominent issues in the United States. Deaf and hard of hearing children are no less likely to be bullied or to have high levels of aggression than their hearing counterparts. This study proposes to translate a measure of aggression, the Peer Conflict Scale – Youth (PCS-Y) version, into American Sign Language (ASL) and adapt it an interactive assessment tool for signers. Therefore, this study will have two parts: (1) Translation, and (2) Running the validity and reliability of the PCS-ASL with bilingual Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents.

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Products

Reesman, J. H., Day, L. A., Szymanski, C. A., Hughes-Wheatland, R., Witkin, G. A., Kalback, S. R., & Brice, P. J. (2014). Review of intellectual assessment measures for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Rehabilitation Psychology, 59(1), 99-106.


A Survey Study of Deaf Adults' Media Use and Body Image

ID: 3323
Status: Ongoing
Start date: April 2017
End Date: September 2018

Description

Previous research has documented associations between media use and body image among young adult men and women. Less research has examined associations between media use and body image among deaf adults. The proposed study would collect survey data from deaf and hard-of-hearing adults about their media use, with a focus on television and social media. Results will be used to examine links between body image and exposure to and identification with various deaf and hearing media models. Funds are requested to compensate participants for completing the survey.

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The Therapeutic Power of Play: Play Therapy Training Experiences of Mental Health Professionals with Deaf Clients

ID: 3387
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2016

Description

Children of all walks of life experience trauma, exhibit socioemotional challenges, and display behavioral symptoms that lead their caregivers to seek mental health services. Deaf and hard of hearing children experience these difficulties at an alarmingly higher rate than the general hearing population. While a practitioner should exist for every child who needs play therapy, there are not enough mental health professionals who are trained in both play therapy and working with deaf and hard of hearing clients. A considerable amount of research exists covering the efficacy of play therapy training models; however, research is not full-bodied when looking at the best training methods applicable for practitioners who may encounter a deaf or hard of hearing client. The purpose of the proposed qualitative study is to explore play therapy training experiences of mental health professionals who have used play therapy with deaf and/or hard of hearing clients. Questions explore experiences and perceptions of mental health professionals regarding their play therapy training and their training experiences related to the deaf population.

 

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Why are you here?: Certified Deaf Interpreters' psychological well-being and coping mechanisms

ID: 3030
Status: Completed
Start date: January 2016
End Date: May 2017

Description

The proposed study investigates Certified Deaf Interpreters’ (CDI) psychological well-being when working with Language and Learning Challenged (LLC) Deaf patients in medical settings. The philosophical assumption of the proposed study follows the transformative paradigm, which focuses mostly on issues of power inequities and marginalized people. The phenomenological approach is used in the proposed study to share participants’ point of view, rather than through the researcher. Findings in Guardino’s (2014) study revealed concerns about CDIs frequently feeling frustrated and doubtful at their jobs, and there were some patterns of microaggression and oppression in the workplace. According to the literature, research studies have focused on this area of interest (e.g., vicarious trauma) in hearing sign language interpreters; however, this is the first research that focuses on CDI’s well-being when working with the Deaf LLC population. This research attempts to describe CDIs’ experience working with Deaf LLC individuals, techniques they use to communicate with them, challenges and frustrations when interpreting, their coping mechanisms, and what can be improved to help with their frustrations, stress, and coping mechanisms. It is hoped that results of this research would contribute to the existing literature on CDIs and the Deaf LLC population.

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Scholarship and creative activity

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.

2017

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

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. 

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