Psychology of Gender Research Team
Current Research Projects led by Dr. Isacco
Leadership Development of Fraternity Men: Binge drinking, sexual assaults, and violence are some of the problems that occur in a fraternity. However, traditional interventions from a deficit model (e.g., “stop drinking”) were not found to effective with college men. Therefore, a Leadership Development course was designed for fraternity men from a positive psychology perspective. The course taught fraternity men about positive health behaviors, non-violent conflict resolution, leadership qualities, and skills for fraternity men to learn and take back to their fraternities. This project involves evaluating the effectiveness of the Leadership Development course on changes in fraternity men’s attitudes and behaviors about gender roles, masculinity and leadership, men’s health, and adhering to a more positive set of masculinity norms. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Helene Krothe, Dr. Jon Davies, and Brian Jacoby from the University of Oregon Counseling and Testing Center and University of Oregon Men’s Center.
Men’s Helping Seeking Attitudes and Behaviors: Men seek help from mental health providers far less than women. Research attempting to understand men’s help seeking has traditionally focused on gender role socialization theories and constructs. This project integrates Gender Role Conflict and Conformity to Masculinity Gender Norms with the Theory of Reasoned Action to examine a more comprehensive help-seeking model. The study aims to better understand what impacts men’s helping seeking intentions and what interventions would be helpful to increase men’s help seeking behaviors. This project was initiated and is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Timothy Rogers, a current Captain in the United States Air Force.
Health and Well-Being of Catholic Priests: Catholic priests face many stressors such as media scrutiny, burn-out, and isolated ministry. This project focuses on exploring spirituality, culture, and the health of Catholic priests with the aim of contributing to the development of programs that would support priests to be healthy and happy in their vocation.
Spirituality, Religion, and Men's Health: Spiritual and religious beliefs can be polarizing in the field of psychology. This project aims to understand what spiritual and religious beliefs are important to men and how those beliefs may impact their health in positive and negative ways. The project is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Craig Garfield, MD of NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute.
Men in Graduate Psychology Programs: Men are underrepresented in many psychology graduate programs. How are they doing? What attracts men to pursue a graduate degree in psychology? These are some of the questions that this project addresses through qualitative exploration. The project is conducted in collaboration with Drs. Chen Oren and Dora Chase Oren, private practitioners.
Current Research Projects led by Dr. Brinkman
Teaching children about social justice: This project utilizes a mixed methods design to evaluate a program that teaches children about social justice issues. Third, fourth and fifth graders in Pittsburgh areas schools will be participating in workshops, taking questionnaires, and being involved in focus groups.
Adolescent girls and self-esteem: This project involves a longitudinal study following adolescent girls from the time they were in 6th grade until their first year of college (they are currently seniors in high-school). The study utilizes a mixed-methods design consisting of quantitative measures of self-esteem, self-efficacy, experiences of sexism, and body image. The young women also participate in individual interviews each year.
College women’s development: This project is exploring what factors influence women’s development and well-being in college. Chatham alumni and current Chatham students will be the research participants.
Girls and the Environment: This project will examine how girls think about environmentalism and their interactions with nature.
College students’ experiences with gender prejudice: This project utilized online surveys to explore college students’ reactions to their experiences with gender prejudice as well as their reactions when they witnessed other students experience gender prejudice.
The impact of Women’s Studies and Psychology classes on students: This project examined how students in women’s studies and psychology courses changed over the semester on variables including their endorsement of feminism, attitudes about gender roles, self-esteem, self-efficacy and future career plans.
Vegetarianism and body image: This project explores how food choice (being vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or semi-vegetarian) relates to body image, attitudes about vegetarians, and conformity to gender roles.