Dr. Ephrem Fernandez
Deepan Guharajan: Deepan completed his M.S in Psychology in 2017. His research on stigma and social desirability bias in self-report tests of emotion re-visited a long standing concern within the field of psychological assessment. It also suggested newer psychometric innovations for detecting dissimulation. Deepan has extended this work to a neuropsychology clinic where participants were recruited from a population with such disorders as autism, ADHD, and dementia. His thesis was entitled “Typologies of Anger in a Clinical Sample with Mild Cognitive Impairment”. From his research in our lab, he has co-authored two publications, one in Criminal Behaviour & Mental Health, the other in Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy.
Nirvana Ramtahal: Nirvana.completed her M.S in Psychology in 2017. Her research dealt with impression management in reports of anger, and new alternatives for de-contaminating such reports from social desirability bias. It began with an experimental manipulation and proceeded to a correlational study. This research has been jointly presented at the conference of the Association for Psychological Science in Chicago. Her thesis was entitled “Anger self-report and social desirability bias: Am I angry or am I biased?” Nirvana is also co-author on a meta-analysis of drop-out in cognitive-behavioral therapy, which was published in the Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology.
Marissa Mendoza: Marissa completed her M.S. in Psychology in 2016. Her thesis research surveyed attrition and psychotherapy, specifically, dropouts rates in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Participants included mental health agencies throughout the state. The findings of this study showed important differences in attrition rates as a function of psychiatric diagnosis. While replicating some previous findings, they also point to ideas for minimizing major difficulties in treatments of mental illness. Her thesis was entitled “Client dropout from psychotherapy: Diagnostic variables”.
Sebastian Mounetou: Sebastian completed his M.S. program in Psychology in 2016. His thesis research examined attrition in psychotherapy, with a focus on dropout rates in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In this search, process variables such as therapeutic alliance and motivation emerged as important predictors of dropout. These findings confirm previous observations in clinical psychology while also carrying suggestions for improvement of retention in treatment. His thesis was entitled “Psychotherapy dropout and process variables”.
Marissa Henderson: Marissa completed her M.S. in Psychology in 2016. Her thesis delved into the psychometrics of the Anger Parameters Scale (APS) and Anger Expressions Scale (AES) developed within our lab. Findings provided support for the internal consistency and temporal stability of the APS and AES and concurrent validity of subscales of these instruments against the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Gender and other sociodemographic variables were also explored. These have interesting implications for clinical assessment and have been presented at the conference of the Southwestern Psychological Association. Her thesis was entitled “Measuring anger in a college population using the Anger Parameters Scale, Anger Expressions Scale, and the STAXI-2”.
Alex Fields: Alex graduated with his M.S. in Psychology in 2016. His thesis research ventured into the workplace where participants were recruited for an anonymous internet-based survey. The survey explored common elicitors of anger as well as the experience and expression of anger as measured by the Anger Parameters Scale (APS) and Anger Expressions Scale (AES), respectively. Results revealed that the workplace is replete with anger-eliciting events and behaviors which in turn lead to a range of responses, some functional and others maladaptive. These and other psychometric findings have practical implications for Industrial Organizational Psychology, and they are being written up for dissemination. His thesis was entitled “Nature of anger in the workplace: Exploration of relevant variables and their structure”.
Anna Callen: Anna is currently a 2nd-year student in the M.S. Program in Psychology. During her undergraduate studies, she worked on a project that analyzed categories of anger profiles obtained using the Anger Parameter Scale (APS). The results of this study allowed for the identification of the only DSM-5 diagnosis regarding clinical maladaptive anger, Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). She presented a poster on the project along with two classmates in the 2016 UTSA Undergraduate Research Inquiry, attaining the ‘Best in Show’ award. Anna is currently working on a project for her Master’s thesis examining the role of anger in 21st century mass shootings.
Sydney Cox: Sydney is currently a 1st year student in the M.S. program in Psychology. She is researching social desirability bias in self-reported anger. Specifically, she is examining a couple of well-established instruments for assessing such bias, in addition to a new test developed within our lab. Her research will further test hypotheses about gender differences in such bias.