People

In July, the National Institute of Mental Health awarded the Summa Health System-Kent State University Center for the Treatment and Study of Traumatic Stress and the University of Haifa's Center for National Security Studies a four-year, $2.25 million grant to investigate how people adjust to ongoing terrorism threats.

Stevan Hobfoll, PhD, a psychology professor at Kent State University (KSU) and director of the Summa-KSU Center for the Treatment and Study of Traumatic Stress, will work with Joseph Varley, MD, chairman of Summa's department of psychiatry, Daphna Canetti-Nisim, PhD, and Gabriel Ben-Dor, PhD, both of Haifa's Center for National Security Studies, to study Israeli citizens to gain insight into people's vulnerability and resiliency in the face of terrorist attacks.

Hobfoll will lead the three-part study, the first of which is a series of cross-sectional polling of the mental health of both Arabs and Jews during a three-year period. Part two is a longitudinal analysis of 1,500 Israelis to determine how their mental health is affected by terrorism. For the final portion of the study, trained clinical interviewers assess the mental health of about 125 Jews and Arabs who have been living under the shadow of terrorism.

"This study...will have important implications for the mental health not only of Israelis, but for people around the world," says Hobfoll.

Formerly a faculty member at Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Universities, Hobfoll has received more than $10 million in grants to research stress and health. In addition, he was co-chair of the APA Commission on Stress and War during Operation Desert Storm.

This month, Linda Sobell, PhD, will receive the 2006 Betty Ford Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA). The association gives the award annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the fieldof alcohol and drug abuse--particularly with regard to women's issues, substance abuse and recovery. Sobell will deliver a plenary presentation at AMERSA's national meeting in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 3.

Sobell is a professor and the associate director of clinical training at the Center for Psychological Studies at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She also serves as co-director of the Guided Self-Change Clinic at NSU. Her research interests include the treatment of addictions, particularly through brief motivational interviews. She also studies the process of self-change and the efficacy of assessment instruments, including the Timeline Followback method. She is an APA fellow and past-president of Div. 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology).

In August, the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology announced its 2006 award winners. Three psychologists received the Alfred M. Wellner, PhD, Senior Career Psychologist Award. The award is named for the National Register's first executive officer and recognizes excellence in a National Register-credentialed psychologist with more than ten years of postdoctoral experience. Winners are:

  • David J. Drum, PhD, professor of educational psychology, associate vice president for student affairs and director of counseling services at the University of Texas at Austin.

  • P. Gayle O'Callaghan, PsyD, chairperson of the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychology, with a private practice in Arnold, Md.

  • Paula Hartman-Stein, PhD, director of geriatric psychology at Summa Health System, geriatric services consultant at Coleman Professional Services and private practice consultant at the Center for Healthy Aging, Kent, Ohio.

The National Register also announced the 2006 winners of its newest award, the Judy E. Hall, PhD, Award for early-career psychologists, The award is named for the National Register's current executive officer and recognizes excellence in a National Register-credentialed psychologist with less than 10 years of postdoctoral experience.

The winners are:

  • Douglas W. Lane, PhD, a member of the clinical psychology faculty at Washington State University.

  • James Patrick Burns, PhD, a research postdoctoral fellow at Boston University's Danielsen Center for the Study of Religion and Psychology.

National Register Executive Officer Judy E. Hall, PhD, presented the awards at the APA's Annual Convention in New Orleans. "These award winners have made a number of significant and exceptional contributions to the advancement of health service psychology in terms of standards for psychological practice and excellence in care," said Hall. "Each of these award winners has demonstrated vision, dedication to the profession, and compassion."

The National Register promotes credentialed psychologists to the public, provides distinction and value to its registrants, guides psychology students toward credentialing and enhances psychologists' contributions to integrated health care. The independent, nonprofit organization was created in 1974 with the help of APA and the American Board of Professional Psychology.

In May, the Psychologists' Association of Alberta (PAA) awarded Jennifer A. Boisvert, PhD, its 2006 Dissertation Award for her doctoral research on eating disorders in women. The $250 award is given annually to a student whose dissertation research makes a strong, original contribution to the field of psychology.

Boisvert's dissertation research is an extension of her master's degree research findings, for which she won the 2003 Master's Award from the PAA.

Boisvert's master's thesis research examined differences in hope and coping among women with and without clinical eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. She found that women with the disorders had lower levels of hope and used more emotion-focused coping strategies than did women without them.

For her doctoral thesis, Boisvert built on these findings by testing an original causal model to determine what might lead nondisordered women to develop eating disorders. She found that low hope predicted disordered eating but not ineffective coping.

Boisvert is expanding on her doctoral thesis research by investi-gating other factors leading to disordered eating.

An APA Div. 35 (Psychology of Women) member, Boisvert speaks at local universities and colleges about feminist psychology, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, and body image issues.

-- E. Packard

Psychologist Jennifer Richeson lands $500,000 'genius grant'

The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded social psychologist Jennifer Richeson, PhD, a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship. Each year, the awards go to 20 to 25 top creative thinkers, including scientists, historians, poets, novelists, artists and composers. The "no strings attached" funding, released over five years, supports "people pushing boldly to change, improve and protect our world--to make it a better place for all of us," says Daniel J. Socolow, director of the MacArthur Fellows Program.

Richeson, a Northwestern University associate professor of psychology and African-American studies, studies the behavioral and cognitive consequences of prejudice and racial stereotyping. Specifically, she explores the dynamics of interracial interaction between minority and majority groups. Among her key findings so far: Interracial interactions spur stress and require people to exercise heightened self-control to avoid expressing prejudice. Summoning such self-control drains cognitive resources, reducing people's effectiveness on other cognitive tasks, Richeson has found using such research tools as brain imaging, surveys, implicit cognitive processing measures and self-reports.

Richeson, a faculty fellow at Northwestern's Institute for Policy Research, also studies effects of increasing workplace diversity on minorities' job evaluations. For example, she's found that whites who have positive interactions with blacks in superior, high-status roles--for example, a white assistant working for a black executive--are less biased than those who have had negative interactions.

In other research, Richeson has found that people's feelings about different racial groups can affect how they categorize others. She's shown that white participants take longer to categorize admired blacks such as Michael Jordan as black than disliked ones such as O.J. Simpson. But these sameparticipants take longer to categorize disliked whites such as Timothy McVeigh as white than admired ones such as Tom Hanks.

Using the MacArthur grant, Richeson and her research team plan to further explore intergroup relations and to identify pitfalls in current approaches to combating prejudice.

"We'll continue to do research on interracial interactions, including work trying to map patterns of neural activity in response to members of different racial groups onto the behaviors individuals display during actual interracial interactions," she says.

"We are also beginning to investigate physiological responses to subtle forms of racial bias, from the perspective of racial minorities."

Richeson received her PhD in social psychology from Harvard University in 2000. Prior to joining the Northwestern faculty, she was a visiting fellow at the Research Institute for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University and an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College.

--E. Packard

Further Reading

For more information on the MacArthur Fellows Program, visit www.macfound.org.