:: Biographical InformationMy work broadly focuses on the inter-relationship between stressful life experiences and associated physical and mental health impacts. My research frequently draws from interdisciplinary research and forges collaborations with health-care professionals. The lens through which I explore answers to these questions has typically focused on an examination of responses to extreme stressors or traumatic events, primarily interpersonal violence. Mental health impact areas of primary interest include posttraumatic stress disorder, body image disturbance, and depression.
Previous projects include a completed study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, examining the psychological and health related impacts of acute and lasting injuries in battered women. Within this study I was interested in exploring ways in which lasting, violence-related bodily changes may impact physical and psychological functioning. I also conducted a cross-cultural examination of response to injuries and war-related trauma within the Bosnian community. Outcomes of my research have policy and practice implications.
The undergraduate and graduate students working with me have explored a number of topics related to trauma, health, and diversity. Students have explored issues related to emotional lability and self-harm behaviors, health care behaviors and ethnic identity, and neuropsychological correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder. I welcome students who are impelled to ask questions and driven to find their answers.