Chatham University

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

College Women’s Empowerment and Activism: This project involved a Maymester Women’s Studies Course. The purpose of the project is to explore college women’s definitions of empowerment and activism and to examine how they are influenced by participating in an activism project. 

Multicultural Competence, Advocacy and Activism: This project involves counseling psychology students in the Culture and Identity course. The purpose of the proposed research is to examine counseling psychology students’ development of multicultural competence and commitment to activism and advocacy work.

Girls, Activism, and Social Change: This is an ongoing project in which high school students from the Ellis School for Girls. The project explored adolescent girls’ perspectives about social issues and activism. This study will also examine how high school students are impacted by participating in a program designed to teach them about activism for social change.

The FAIR+ project: The project utilized qualitative and quantitative methodologies to assess children’s experiences of identity-based bullying.  The project also examines students’ perceptions of barriers to confronting perpetrators of prejudice, either as targets themselves or as bystanders. This research assesses how children make decisions about gender conformity or non-conformity and what promotes or prevents them from confronting bullies.

Identity-based bullying: This project examines children’s experiences of identity-based bullying, comparing the USA and the UK.

Women’s College Experience: The central purpose of the first research study is to explore experiences unique to attending a women-only college that significantly impact women’s development and well-being. We hope that the findings of this study will shed light on the question of how colleges and universities can work to provide women students with the necessary resources to ensure healthy and successful adjustment throughout the lifespan.

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.