Department of Psychology

Department News

Graduate students in Psychology participated in the ISU Graduate Research Symposium

DeCou, C.R., Lynch, S.M., DeHart, D.D., & Belknap, J. (2016, April). Evaluating the association between childhood sexual abuse and attempted suicide across the lifespan: Findings from a nationwide study of women in jail. Paper presented at the 3rd annual Idaho State University Graduate Research Symposium, Pocatello, Idaho.

*Top Presentation: Adversity & Resilience, Idaho State University Graduate School: Graduate Research Symposium.

Brown, R., Gibbs, J., Baumgartner, S., Johnson, C., Miller, L., & Staley, C. (April, 2016). Biofeedback as a treatment modality in clinical mental health counseling. Poster presented at the 3rd annual Idaho State University Graduate Research Symposium, Pocatello, Idaho.

*People’s Choice Award, Idaho State University Graduate School: Graduate Research Symposium

Clinical Research Opportunity

It is the mission of the ISU Psychology Clinic to perform clinical research. Currently, researchers are seeking families interested in participating in a clinical trial designed to treat sibling aggression. Families with 4-11 year old siblings who physically fight are encouraged to contact the ISU Psychology Clinic (282-2129) to complete a Phone Intake. Participating families will receive professional services at reduced fees or no cost, depending on eligibility and project completion.

Erin Rasmussen selected as 2015 Outstanding Mentor

Erin Rasmussen

Professor Erin Rasmussen was selected as a 2015 Outstanding Mentor by the Association for Behavior Analysis International on the basis of nominations submitted by current and former ISU students. Dr. Rasmussen was recognized during the 2015 Presidential Address at the annual conference on May 25th in San Antonio, TX.


Michele R. Brumley is guest editor

Michele R. Brumley

Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Michele R. Brumley, is guest editor of the recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Developmental Psychobiology. The special issue of the journal that Dr. Brumley compiled is on "Developmental plasticity in the control and functional recovery of motor behavior", which includes research papers and reviews from leading international researchers in pediatric motor control and rehabilitation. Link to this special issue:

The Psychology Department is pleased to welcome Joshua Swift and Rob Rieske as new faculty arriving fall 2015

Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D. will be joining the Department of Psychology at Idaho State University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2015. He comes to ISU having previously held a faculty position in the Psychology Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He earned his PhD from Oklahoma State University's APA-accredited Clinical Psychology Program and completed his doctoral internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. His research lab, the Psychotherapy Process and Outcome Research Lab, is dedicated to empirically examining the processes and mechanisms of psychotherapy in an effort to improve treatment outcomes for clients. This work focuses on studying the client, therapist, and relational variables that influence therapy outcomes broadly, across clients and disorders. Much of this research is done in the clinic setting. However, some of this research is completed by surveying potential clients, clients, trainees, and therapists out in the community and throughout the nation or through meta-analytic reviews of the existing research in the field. Dr. Swift is also a licensed psychologist in Alaska (hopefully Idaho too after their board meeting next month) and provides clinical supervision to students for a broad array of clients. He works from an integrative orientation, integrating cognitive-behavioral techniques with relational approaches that utilize the therapeutic relationship as a mechanism for change in treatment. In addition, in clinical supervision he provides training in patient-focused research, using outcome monitoring systems and other objective measures to track client progress and inform treatment decisions.

Rob Rieske is anticipating completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge in August 2015. He is currently completing an internship at Nationwide CHildren's Hospital. His research interests broadly include intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and comorbid psychopathology with a specific focus on autism spectrum disorders. More specifically, he is interested in investigating risk/protective factors in developing comorbid psychopathology (e.g., anxiety, feeding problems, challenging behaviors) and novel ways of treating these problems. Within that scope, he is currently focusing on the assessment of anxiety in children with IDD utilizing parental observations, clinical observations, and psychophysiological measurements of anxiety (e.g., GSR/EDA, heart-rate, blood pressure). This research will hopefully help to develop and validate anxiety measures in these istinct populations. His clinical interests include assessment of developmental delays and disabilities with specific focus in the early detection of autism spectrum disorders. He is also involved in the treatment of comorbid problems in children with developmental disabilities including feeding therapy, behavioral interventions, exposure therapy, and parent-training. His teaching interests are in the areas of child, adolescent, and life-span development, child psychopathology, and child assessment and treatment methods.

Dr. Shannon Lynch received an ISU Outstanding Researcher Award in 2015

Dr. Shannon Lynch received an ISU Outstanding Researcher Award in April 2015. Her research examines women's experiences of interpersonal violence and their ability to recover from traumatic events. Since coming to ISU, her work has focused on incarcerated women, an underserved population. She has examined women's pathway to incarceration. She has also provided and evaluated treatment for women in prison. Her work was supported by grants from the US Department of Justice and Idaho State University.
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Graduate students in Psychology participated in the ISU Graduate Research Day

Graduate students in Psychology participated in the ISU Graduate Research Day on March 14th sponsored by the ISU Graduate School and two psychology students were recognized for their presentations. Chris Decou and coauthors were category winners for the Psychology & Health oral presentations category and Jennifer McDonald and faculty sponsor Tera Letzring were awarded first place for their poster in the Research Across the Sciences category.

Dr. Maria Wong's research on sleep and substance use gains national and international publicity in January 2015
New research by Maria Wong on the relationship between poor and insufficient sleep and substance use problems has gained national and international publicity. Even before her latest research had been published Jan. 16 as an “Early View” on the website of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, Wong had completed interviews with National Public Radio, BBC, the Brazilian magazine “VEJA” and Healthline News. Her work was discussed by Time, LA Times, US Department of Health and Human Services, US News and Report and the American Medical Association.