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Fifth Annual Mental Health Research Symposium

Carmen Cochran (PsyD 3) discussing her research during a post session.

Fifth Annual Mental Health Research Symposium at the Michigan School of Psychology sponsored by Psi Chi

Friday April 26th, 2019 12:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Keynote Speaker: Christopher Trentacosta, PhD

This student and professional friendly summit is designed to include persons who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs or working in a field pertaining to psychology, counseling, and other mental health related fields. We are committed to engaging activists, educators, future scholars and clinicians in meaningful discussion around current issues relating to clinical and psychological processes.

Poster and panel presentations may include original research, literature reviews, and/or conceptual work. Presentation topics such as multicultural issues, diversity in health psychology, neuropsychology, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, culture, religion, and psychological assessment, among others are welcome. Please note, panel presentations will be limited.

You do NOT need to be a member of Psi Chi to present or attend the symposium.

Symposium Schedule:

10:00 to 12:00 Pre-Symposium Didactic Workshop “Research Methods in Psychological Science: Traditions, Revolutions, and Contemporary Pluralism” with Dr. Frederick J. Wertz, Professor of Psychology at Fordham University.

12:30 to 1:00 Registration

1:00 to 1:55 Keynote

“Callous-unemotional Behaviors and Harsh Parenting Across Early Childhood: Reciprocal Associations and Moderation by Inherited Risk”

Dr. Christopher Trentacosta, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University and Affiliate Faculty of the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute

2:00 to 2:45 Poster Session One

2:45 to 3:00 Break

3:00 to 3:45 Panel Presentations

Room 2 – Completion with Compassion: Inside Graduate Student Mental Health and Well-Being

Michigan School of Psychology PsyD students: Adam Duberstein, Amy Pike, Farah Zoabi, Rebecca Kapetansky, Dima Swaidan,  & Erika Collins with Mellisa Boyle, University of Detroit-Mercy & Amy Ames, Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine

Graduate students report significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety than individuals who are not enrolled in graduate school (Evans, Bira, Gastelum, Weiss & Vanderford, 2018). Additionally, several psychosocial factors, such as poverty, cause graduate students to feel more stress than members of the general population (El-Ghoroury, Galper, Sawaqdeh, & Bufka, 2012). Owing partially to students’ mental health concerns and the psychosocial factors which relate with them, graduate programs have high rates of attrition (Maddox, 2017). In this interactive program, panelists will discuss cases of graduate students who have endured mental health crises during the course of their studies. Panelists will share best practices for clinicians, graduate students, and graduate programs to follow in order to maximize students’ mental health and help them to complete their degrees. Mental health-related factors leading to graduate student persistence will also be discussed.

 Room 3 – Contemporary Ethical and Social Justice Issues in Correctional Settings

Dr. Georgios Lampropoulos, PhD and Michigan School of Psychology MA students: Sherisa McDonald, Mark Roman, & Logan Gasko

This panel focuses on three different contemporary ethical and social justice issues in correctional settings, and their implications for mental health practice, research, training, and advocacy. The three topics and presentations include the issues of “Pregnancy during incarceration” presented by Sherisa McDonald, “Detoxification and substance abuse treatment for incarcerated individuals” presented by Logan Gasko, and “Sexual assault in prisons” presented by Mark Roman. The presentations are based on substantial critical reviews of the literature on these topics conducted in the “Professional and Scientific Ethics” course at MSP, and will be moderated by the course instructor. The presentations will follow a common structure and address the following components of each issue: (a) Definitions and aspects of the topic; (b) significance and prevalence statistics; (c) ethical and social justice issues involved; (d) principles and standards of the APA Ethics code relevant to each issue, including human rights standards; (e) brief review of the literature on each topic; and (f) recommendations for psychological practice, research, advocacy, and public policy. The presentations will also address the role of mental health professionals in these topics, and diversity elements will be emphasized.

3:45 to 4:00 Break

4:00 to 4:45 Poster Session Two

4:45 to 5:00 Presentation of Awards

RSVP below to attend the symposium.


Please contact Holly Spencer (PsyD 1), Research Symposium Chair, at:

[email protected] OR [email protected]