June 2019-Black Panther Psychology

Wakanda Forever! Dr. Alexander contributed two chapters in the recently released book Black Panther Psychology: Hidden Kingdoms, edited by comic book psychology expert Dr. Travis Langley and award-winning writer and comic book creator Alex Simmons.

Dr. Alexander and Dr. Tracy Vozar co-authored a chapter entitled The Raising of a King: Father-Son Attachment between T’Challa and T’Chaka, which analyzes the characters relationship using attachment theory.

Additionally, Dr. Alexander authored a chapter entitled Black Girl Magic: Black Women as Leaders of Wakanda which discusses media tropes, misogynoir, and the importance of Black women as leaders.

You can purchase the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Black Panther Psychology.jpg

May 2019-Across the Pond

Dr. Alexander was selected to participate in the American Psychological Association’s MOU Partner Collaboration and Exchange program. She attended the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Harrogate, England. The theme of this year’s conference was The Psychological Impact of Inequality and Dr. Alexander provided a presentation on the school-to-prison pipeline. She also networked with colleagues from throughout the UK and beyond regarding public policy and advocacy efforts (and enjoyed a lot of British foods).

D5kBFyqW4AoUOyQ.jpg


February 2019-New Publication

Dr. Alexander co-authored a manuscript published in the Journal of the Academy of Psychiatry and the Law with several other leading clinicians and researchers in competency restoration. Dr. Alexander serves as the Director of the Denver FIRST Outpatient Competency Restoration Program.

Screen Shot 2019-02-23 at 7.32.16 PM.png

Abstract: The optimization of trial competency restoration is a topic of growing interest and controversy in the fields of forensics, psychology, criminal law, and public policy. Research has established that adult defendants who have severe psychotic disorders and cognitive impairments are more likely than defendants without these conditions to be found incompetent to stand trial and are less likely to be restored to competency thereafter. Research has also identified some of the benefits of attempting restoration in hospitals, jails, or outpatient settings for defendants with different diagnoses or levels of cognitive functioning. Rates of restoration, length of stay necessary to achieve restoration, and, in some cases, how quickly defendants are found non-restorable are primary indicators of positive outcome. We sought to review the extant literature on competency restoration, with the goals of identifying implications for current practice and generating inquiries for future research. We found that there are significant advantages and disadvantages of attempting restoration in a hospital, jail, or outpatient setting on rates of restoration, length of stay necessary to achieve restoration, or length of time necessary to determine non-restorability, while controlling for several relevant factors (e.g., diagnosis, cognitive limitations).

November 2018: New Publication

New publication in College Student Journal is a collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Auburn University student colleagues. Two of the co-authors were undergraduate students at the time it was written!

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 1.11.57 PM.png

Abstract: Risky sexual behavior (RSB) is common among undergraduate students in the United States and previous studies indicate an increased likelihood of engaging in RSB while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol use is highly prevalent among college students, especially those students involved in sororities. The present study aims to examine the frequency of RSB in a sample of 330 sorority and non-sorority students at a Southeastern university using validated measures of RSB and RSB related to alcohol use. Results indicated no significant differences between sorority members and non-sorority members on measures of RSB. Implications for prevention and intervention strategies for college women are discussed.

 

September 2018: New Publication

New publication in the Victimization and the Life Course Special Issue of Criminal Justice Review. A collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Auburn University student colleagues.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 6.37.21 AM.png

Abstract: Current research suggests a link between childhood sexual abuse and risky sexual behaviors (RSBs) in emerging adults. However, previous studies neglect evaluating the influence of high levels of cumulative childhood victimization. The present study examined the relationships among polyvictimization, six aggregate categories of childhood victimization, and RSB in college women. This study first examined the relative contributions of polyvictimization and individual categories of childhood victimization in predicting RSB and then tested whether polyvictimization contributes any unique variance, beyond that accounted for by the combination of all six aggregate categories, in a sample of 321 college women in a Southern state. Regression analyses reveal that (a) polyvictimization accounts for a significant proportion of variability in scores for RSB, beyond that accounted for by any of the six categories of childhood victimization alone; (b) the categories of childhood victimization contribute little to no variability beyond that accounted for by polyvictimization, and (c) polyvictimization accounts for a significant proportion of variability in RSB, beyond that already accounted for by the simultaneous entry of all six categories as predictor variables. Results suggest treatment providers working with college students should assess polyvictimization in relation to RSB and inform their prevention efforts given this link.

 

August 2018: APA Convention

Dr. Alexander headed to San Fransisco, California for the annual APA Convention! This year she had several presentations across the four-day conference. Here are a few brief snapshots:

  • Panel: Can Racism Be Treated Therapeutically? Answers From the Next Generation of Psychologists. Chair: Graham Danzer, PsyD

Can we treat individuals engaging in racist ideology? Five early career psychologists discussed how the field can address racism.  Dr. Alexander discussed conceptualization approaches to racism as a potential clinical syndrome, as well as discussed current interventions used to counter implicit biases.

  • Symposium: Special Topics in Assessment and Treatment--Sexual Offenders and People at Risk of Perpetrating. Chair: Oona Appel, PsyD. Discussant: Apryl Alexander, PsyD

Dr. Alexander discussed the importance of providing culturally competent care to individuals who have committed sex offenses and the limited research on diverse populations within this population despite the emphasis of cultural competence and humility in the field of psychology.  Further, the panelists discussed critical areas need in sexual violence prevention.

IMG_8379.jpg
  • Paper: Improving Competency Restoration Through Placement Decisions. Lead Author: Graham Danzer, PsyD

Colleague Dr. Graham Danzer (Florida State Hospital) presented an upcoming paper entitled The Association Between Specific Competence-Related Abilities and Competence Restoration. Dr. Alexander serves as a co-author of the manuscript — discussing her experiences as director of an outpatient competency restoration program. The manuscript will be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law in early 2019!

  • Symposium: The Disinvited--Opening Spaces for Our Marginalized Selves in Training and Practice. Chair: Apryl Alexander, PsyD. Discussant: Neil Gowensmith, PhD

The symposium explored the role intersecting, marginalized identities in supervision and training context. The presenters, GSPP forensic faculty, explored how these identities impact practitioners and their clients; how conventional approaches to supervision may overlook or discount the importance of these identities; and practical ways to open a space for exploration of these identities within the parameters of ethical and effective training and social justice practice.

May 2018: DU Grand Challenges

Dr. Alexander was invited to present at the University of Denver's Grand Challenges forum on addressing violence. She provided a 5-minute "lightning talk" discussing poly-victimization in children, adolescents, and young adults, as well as in juveniles adjudicated for illegal sexual behaviors. She ended her talk with outlining areas of prevention (e.g., need for medically accurate and culturally informed sexual education, removing juveniles from registries) in addressing violence in our communities. Check out here lightning talk (beginning at the 11:42 mark) here!

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 8.26.42 AM.png

April 2018: Social Media and Sexting

Colorado Community Media has a Time to Talk series which focuses on community mental health issues. Part 1 focused on barriers to mental health treatment. Part 2 focused on mental health and incarceration. Part 3 of the series, which focuses on mental health in schools and issues affecting teens, was released this week. Dr. Alexander was interviewed and her remarks on sexting and social media use among adolescents were featured in the two articles written by Alex DeWind below:

Time to Talk: Sharing concerns about social media

Sexting poses legal, psychological risks for teens

 

April 2018: Grants!

Such exciting news for the DU Prison Theatre Program!

Dr. Alexander and Dr. Ashley Hamilton were a Community-Engaged Learning Mini-Grant from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) at DU to help support the program. Additionally, they were awarded a large Professional Research Opportunities for Faculty (PROF) grant which provided two years of support for the project entitled The DU Prison Theatre Project: Theatre as Rehabilitation; allowing for Dr. Hamilton to implement a theatre arts program at the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center (DRDC) and Dr. Alexander will assist in program evaluation of the efficacy of the program. 

Woohoo!

November 2017: In the News! Street Harassment

Dr. Alexander was interviewed by Denverite about street harassment in the Denver community. Approximately 85% of women have experienced street harassment in their lifetime--with 30% having experienced confrontational forms (e.g., being followed in a manner that frightened them). Denverite writer Ashley Dean also notes important issues related to street harassment and violence against LGBTQ+ and non-binary individuals. It's important to combat hypermasculine/toxic masculine attitudes and beliefs to combat identity-based violence. 

October 2017: ATSA 2017

Dr. Alexander and her students traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) Annual Conference. Dr. Alexander served on the conference planning committee and gave a 3-hour continuing education workshop on cultural awareness and competence in sex offense treatment. Also, several Auburn and DU students participated in the Student Clinical and Data Blitz. Bravo to all involved!

September 2017: New Publication

New publication in the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research. A collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Johns Hopkins and Auburn University colleagues.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 6.16.18 PM.png

Abstract: Risky sexual behavior (RSB) on college campuses contributes to elevated rates of sexually transmitted infections and sexual assault. Research indicates a positive association between sexual victimization history (SVH) and RSB with alcohol use and sexual sensation seeking as mediators to this association. Hypermasculinity has also been shown to play a moderating role amongst these associations. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to test the associations between RSB, SVH, alcohol use, sexual sensation seeking, and hypermasculinity. A moderated mediation model was run examining the association between SVH and RSB, with alcohol use and sexual sensation seeking tested as mediators of the relationship between SVH and RSB. In addition, hypermasculinity was tested as a moderator of the mediated relationship between SVH and the aforementioned mediator variables. Alcohol use and sexual sensation seeking partially mediated the association between SVH and RSB. Masculinity moderated the association between SVH and RSB via sexual sensation seeking and between SVH and RSB via alcohol use. Individuals with SVH might be at a higher risk for alcohol use and sexual sensation seeking, ultimately increasing their risk for RSB. University policy implications include implementing alcohol use and awareness interventions, strengthening sexual victimization policies, and including screenings for SVH at counseling and medical centers.

 

September 2017: New Publication

New publication in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. A collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Johns Hopkins and Auburn University colleagues.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 6.18.28 PM.png

Abstract: Depression, substance use, and impulsivity have been linked to family violence exposure and to the development of violent offending during adolescence. Additionally, the indirect effects associated with these factors may not generalize across different racial/ethnic adolescent populations. The present study tested whether race/ethnicity moderated the mediated relationship between family violence exposure and violent offending, with depression, substance use, and impulsivity as mediators. A sample of 1,359 male adolescents was obtained from a juvenile correctional program. Between-racial/ethnic group comparisons were generally consistent with previous findings. The overall moderated mediation model was significant in predicting violence for both racial/ethnic groups. Different factors influenced violent offending among African Americans and European Americans in the tested model. Futhermore, race/ethnicity moderated the relationship between family violence exposure and impulsivity and substance use. Implications and future directions resolving issues are discussed concerning whether race/ethnicity should be included as a moderator in models of violence.

August 2017: New Publication

New publication in the Journal of Sexual Aggression. A collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Auburn University colleagues.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 6.22.57 PM.png

Abstract: Intelligence differences exist between sex offenders and non-sex offenders in adult populations, but comparable intelligence differences are not consistently found among juveniles. However, juveniles may differ on measures of intelligence across offence-related variables used to subclassify adults. The purpose of the present study was to determine if between- and within-group differences exist within a sample of 925 juveniles adjudicated for illegal sexual and non-sexual behaviours across offence-related variables. The results suggest that juveniles adjudicated for illegal sexual behaviour outperformed juveniles adjudicated for non-sexual offences on Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) performance, though full-scale intelligence quotient scores for both groups were lower than would be expected in the general population. Unlike adult offenders, juveniles adjudicated for illegal sexual behaviour do not tend to differ on WASI performance across offence-related variables. These results provide additional evidence that these juveniles adjudicated for illegal sexual behaviour are categorically distinct from adults who sexually offend.

August 2017: APA Convention Awards

Dr. Alexander attended the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. During the Convention, she received the APA Achievement Award for Early Career Psychologists from the APA Committee for Early Career Psychologists and National Register for Health Service Psychologists. This award is presented to individuals who have shown themselves to be rising stars, with great leadership under their belts and tremendous promise to change psychology for the better.

2017-08-04 19.26.47.jpg

Dr. Alexander also received the Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research/Practice in the Field of Child Maltreatment from Division 37's (Child and Family Policy) Section on Child Maltreatment.

July 2017: New Publication

New publication in the Sexual Abuse. A collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Auburn University student-colleagues.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 6.25.11 PM.png

Abstract: Previous research has found differences in sexual behavior and types of sexual offending by offense category and racial/ethnic group. The present study examined effects of offense category, victim age, and race/ethnicity on sexual behavior. Data from 561 confined adolescents adjudicated for illegal sexual behavior (AISBs) and adolescents adjudicated for illegal nonsexual behavior (AINBs) were included in the present study. A hierarchical multinominal logistic regression was run to test whether sexual experiences and behaviors differentially predicted AINBs, AISBs with child victims, and AISBs with peer/adult victims. Results supported the utility of distinguishing AISBs by victim age. Comparisons between AISBs and AINBs indicated AISBs had more sexual abuse and were more sexually restricted, whereas AINBs reported more sexual behavior, reflecting a finding potentially mirroring sexual development, sexual experiences, and caregiver approaches to discussing sexuality. Over 60% of AINBs and 30% of AISBs reported behaviors that could be classified as distribution of child pornography. Within the group of AISBs, select racial/ethnic group differences emerged such that European American participants were more likely to have had intrafamilial sexual experiences and were far less likely to have had vaginal intercourse than African American AISBs. Future directions and implications regarding policies related to sexual education and sexting are discussed.