Psychology and Mental Health


A number of scholars at John Jay College are dedicated to creating a better understanding of human behavior. Research areas range from explorations in anti-social behavior and abnormal psychology, to investigating mental health treatment delivery to under-served populations.

Maureen Allwood (Department of Psychology) researches children and adolescents’ emotional, behavioral and physiological response to trauma and violence (e.g., war, domestic, community violence), including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and delinquent behaviors.

Preeti Chauhan (Department of Psychology) researches the intersection of neighborhood and individual level risk factors for antisocial behavior, psychopathology, and victimization, with an emphasis on understanding their contribution to racial disparities.

Ric Curtis (Department of Anthropology) is a leading public health researcher who investigates a range of justice-related topics including drug markets and drug taking behavior and HIV/AIDS. He is currently working on several projects: a study for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to examine drug injector behaviors in Long Island and New York City; a study of drug dealing and violence in Rochester, New York; and a study of child prostitution.

Miriam Ehrensaft (Department of Psychology) researches the association of developmental psychopathology with the risk for interpersonal violence. She has expertise in longitudinal studies of the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior and intimate partner violence.

Diana M. Falkenbach (Department of Psychology) studies psychopathic behavior and anti-social personality.

Gwendolyn L. Gerber (Department of Psychology) researches gender issues in forensic psychology, police psychology, gender stereotyping, and sexual assault.

Demis E. Glasford (Department of Psychology) uses an interdisciplinary approach to study social psychology, political psychology, and government/public policy studies to inform the investigation of individual and group behavior.

Elizabeth Jeglic (Department of Psychology) studies suicidal behavior and is PI (along with. Cynthia Mercado) on a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant examining sex offender treatment, civil commitment, and risk for recidivism in New Jersey.

L. Thomas Kucharski (Department of Psychology) researches forensic psychological evaluation, specifically the detection of malingering and denial.

Silvia Mazzula (Department of Psychology) researches multicultural issues in psychology, including clinician multicultural competencies, biculturalism, acculturation, immigrant issues, racial/ethnic identity development, and health/mental health disparities, particularly among Latino/a-Americans.

Cynthia Caulkins Mercado (Department of Psychology) researches empirical evidence for use in sex offender policy and sexual violence prevention. She is PI (along with Elizabeth Jeglic) on a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant examining sex offender treatment, civil commitment, and risk for recidivism in New Jersey.

Kevin Nadal (Department of Psychology) researches multicultural issues in psychology, including impacts of racial discrimination and racial/ethnic/sexual identity development on mental health.

Maureen O’Connor (Department of Psychology) researches the intersection of psychology, gender, and law. Current projects include work on stalking and sexual harassment, with particular focus on lay and legal definitions of those concepts, and a project examining jurors’ responses to defendants raising an insanity defense.

Abby Stein (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies) researches criminal psychopathology, child maltreatment, and states of consciousness during violent perpetration and victimization.

Deryn Strange (Department of Psychology) researches memory for traumatic events, the techniques that elicit false personal (autobiographical) or false collective memories, and how people acting alone or in larger organizations—such as the media—produce these false memories.

Philip Yanos (Department of Psychology) researches issues related to the recovery and successful community integration of persons with severe and persistent mental illness. He specifically focuses on a several issues which impact adjustment, including the impact of financial factors on quality of care for persons with severe mental illness.