Debra A Harkins

Debra A Harkins
Suffolk University · Department of Education

Psychology

About

139
Publications
32,639
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
925
Citations
Introduction
Debra Harkins is a Professor of Psychology and a faculty member at Suffolk University. She is the Editor of Journal of Pedagogy and the Human Sciences. Her research and practice focuses on giving voice to the homeless, poor and marginalized.
Additional affiliations
September 1999 - present
Suffolk University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 1997 - present
Suffolk University
Position
  • Associate Professor Psychology
September 1994 - July 1997
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
September 1992 - May 1994
Boston Children's Hospital
Field of study
  • Postdoctoral fellow
September 1987 - May 1992
Clark University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1982 - May 1984
University of Massachusetts Boston
Field of study
  • Psychology/Anthropology

Publications

Publications (139)
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents some outcomes of an exploratory, mixed-method study that examined mental models of teaching and understanding of learning processes in 26 educators from a small suburb in the Northeastern United States. Participants, in semi-structured written interviews, were asked to rate variables contributing to their mental model of effecti...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of power and empowerment within an organization. This paper is the first in a series exploring the efficacy and impact of five-year consultative intervention with an early education center. This first paper examines the quantitative data to assess the impact of power and empowerment on mental health...
Book
This book explores how we approached the issue of community development in the context of competing interests and a differential power imbalance. We used a process-based model for supporting community transformation, a phenomenon in which university–community partnership is but one example. The people who most will want to read and use Beyond the...
Article
Research indicates the role of parents in women's body dissatisfaction and maladaptive eating patterns. Fathers, in particular, have unique roles in determining daughters' protection against these health risks. Additionally, self-esteem, feminist values, and psychological empowerment are linked with body dissatisfaction and maladaptive eating patte...
Article
Full-text available
Service-learning is an experiential pedagogy that often requires direct service experiences coupled with academic content and critical reflection. When higher education rapidly shifted to online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, service-learning educators had to be flexible in adapting. As critical service-learning educators during thi...
Presentation
Full-text available
The group wanted to create videos from YouTube snippets to contrast hypothetical arguing and apologizing couples with couples arguing and apologizing through text messages. The aim was simply to explore the topic. Anger and Remorse through two media lenses: It really might be what you express more than how you express it.
Article
Disordered eating and body image concerns continue to be rising problems for young women that come with significant mental and physical health risks. Primary care may be a potential avenue for early identification and intervention of eating and body image issues. However, few studies have explored this area in depth. Preliminary studies show that f...
Article
Full-text available
Service-learning that targets issues of injustice within a community shares the goal with institutions of higher education of helping students become transformational citizens who deeply question and try to change unjust and ineffective social systems. Unfortunately, challenges to growing and sustaining service-learning pedagogy at institutions of...
Article
This study examined the relative contributions of peer teasing, relational aggression, and body image disturbance on subclinical maladaptive eating patterns among female college students. One hundred and two female college students completed self-report online surveys on peer teasing, relational aggression, body image disturbance, and eating proble...
Preprint
Full-text available
Paper shares some of the lessons learned as we piloted Faculty service-learning mentoring
Presentation
Full-text available
Provided a presentation of our book Alongside community: Learning in service
Article
With origins as a critical pedagogy, service-learning has potential to facilitate students’ development as active citizens. However, whether critical service-learning occurs in practice still remains unclear. In this study, we explored service-learning practice by examining students’ perceived outcomes within at a midsize urban university in New En...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation on challenges of engaging in service-learning for faculty at novice through seasoned levels.
Research
Full-text available
Brief overview of our research, which suggests that nonprofit organizations are most likely to receive support on social media when posting content that will inspire and enthuse the public.
Book
Alongside Community is a step-by-step guide that prepares social science students to be democratic citizens by examining the theory, method, and sociopolitical dynamics that impact helping those different from oneself. The first part of this book explores the more theoretical issues of helping others, including issues of social identity, values, an...
Presentation
This presentation was given as an Ignite talk, sharing findings regarding the role of student support in service-learning outcomes.
Presentation
Full-text available
Ignite PowerPoint Presentation Abstract: Social media provides an ideal opportunity to quickly reach individuals at a global scale with the potential to become another fundraising and educational tool for creating social change. Many nonprofits utilize social media to gain support for their cause and engage allies. However, researchers know little...
Poster
Full-text available
Cross-Cutting Theme Poster - Doing the Most for the Many: Psychological Scientists who Inform Public Policies Rates of cyber harassment are on the rise. Pew Research Center has found that women are harassed differently than men, such that they are more likely to receive gendered harassment (Duggan, 2014). In this poster, we highlight that without s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Service-learning is a pedagogical framework that integrates sustained community engagement with for-credit academic courses and critical reflection. We conducted an analysis of a service-learning program at a mid-size, urban university to assess the impact of a service-learning program. Our research indicates that facilitated reflection on communit...
Conference Paper
Teaching service-learning courses in higher education poses a set of challenges that are at odds with institutional mission and prevailing institutional discourses touting the benefits of service-learning and community engagement for students. As an inter-disciplinary group of faculty members and professional staff interested in teaching service-le...
Article
Review of Elements of Discipline by Stephen Greenspan Often our "intuitive" sense of how to discipline is based on our experience of being disciplined—one that usually involved an obedience-based approach. As a developmental psychologist and clinical professor of psychiatry, Stephen Greenspan in his book, Elements of Discipline: Nine Principles for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this research, we examine the contemporary acceptance of transgender men and women in American culture as demonstrated by the language of news articles spanning 1990 to 2011, taken from the top 15 most widely circulated newspapers. Over the course of this time period, the transgender rights movement has gained significant momentum and we will at...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed parental conflict during divorce and divorce stories, quality of relationship among siblings during divorce, and attitudes about romantic relationships later in life. Thirty-two undergraduate female participants (18–23 years old) whose parents divorced during the 7 to 13 year old age range completed the Sibling Relationship Questionnair...
Conference Paper
In this research we use a computational linguistic analysis to examine the way that both mainstream acceptance of transgender people and unconscious attitudes towards transgender issues have changed, as demonstrated in news articles spanning 1990-2011.
Conference Paper
Do nonprofit organizations (NFPO) designed to increase empowerment among marginalized individuals succeed? Surprisingly, little research exists on the efficacy of such programs. The present study explored the administration procedures of a New England based nonprofit organization to establish whether the internal governance of the organization acco...
Conference Paper
Rates of mental health disorders among Latinos in the United States vary depending on level of acculturation. Research shows a positive correlation between acculturation and risk of psychopathology, such that the more acculturation Latino individuals become, the more likely they are to experience mental health distress. Although documentation exist...
Book
Researcher Race: Social Constructions in the Research Process is designed to expose the role of researcher race in social science research. This book highlights the interaction of researcher and participant race in shaping data that is collected. Researcher Race makes the researcher's position visible via interview excerpts from a qualitative study...
Article
Full-text available
The present study explored meanings of “empowerment” from bottom-up perspectives. Sixteen low-income individuals experiencing homelessness and related forms of economic adversity participated. Participants reported experiencing empowerment, but also adversity, for example discrimination and ongoing poverty. Results are discussed in a broader societ...
Article
Full-text available
Disproportionately high rates of Conduct Disorder are diagnosed in African American and Latino youth of color. Diagnostic bias contributes to overdiagnosis of Conduct Disorder in these adolescents of color. Following a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder, adolescents of color face poorer outcomes than their White counterparts. These negative outcomes occ...
Article
Full-text available
In qualitative interviews, moments when the researcher departs from the research script can highlight how researcher-participant race interactions may differentially affect results. In the present study, 40 qualitative interviews between Black- and White-identified researchers and participants were analyzed to assess the influence of researcher rac...
Article
Traditionally, developmental psychology, occupational/physical therapy, and behavioral pediatrics view similar infant behaviors from temperament, sensory processing, or neurobehavioral theoretical perspectives. This study examined the relations between similar and unique summary scores of three infant assessments (Early Infancy Temperament Question...
Article
Full-text available
The traumatic nature of racism has been established in previous research. However, there is a lack of research examining the interaction of researcher and participant race in collecting data on race-based traumatic stress. This study consisted of 40 qualitative narrative interviews with 20 Black participants, 20 White participants, one Black resear...
Article
Full-text available
Much research indicates that gender and cognitive style are highly correlated, with males being more field independent and females more field dependent. Research also indicates a clear difference in how males and females engage in conflicts; yet most conflict resolution programs are not tailored to gender. This study sought to explore whether cogni...
Article
Full-text available
Conflict over role formation has plagued women since they formally entered the workforce. Today, women are faced with a continued need to construct roles that make sense in light of the economic and cultural mandate to participate in both work and family domains. We examined how a particular group of women—a privileged set who are attempting to hav...
Article
Full-text available
What does consulting and teaching look like from the sociopolitical spaces of privilege, ambivalence and oppression? Giving voice to visible social identities is explored through narrative exploration of teacher and student voices. Who can raise these issues and who cannot? Pedagogically, how can and should we as trainers address these issues? We d...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the contribution of peer factors (teasing), psychological characteristics (self-esteem, self-construal), physical factors (BMI), and family environment (cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, independence, and control) in the development of body-image disturbance and eating problems among young adult women. Eighty young adult women...
Article
Full-text available
Mother-child storytelling was used here as a first step toward exploring language socialization through the narrative discourse of Russian-speaking non-Orthodox Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants in two host cultures. This study examined five groups of mother-child dyads: Russian-speaking Ashkenazi Jews living in Ukraine, Israel, and the United States and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes how conservative shifts in American political thinking can obstruct discussions about race, ethnicity and culture in so-called ―diversity‖ and multicultural courses in academic psychology. The authors, both teachers of psychology, examine the serious implications that a shifting political landscape presents for courses on race,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Helms (1993) described raceless-ness as a common perception of racial identity among whites in the U.S., often combined with claims that whites also lack culture. The problem resulting from these constructions of racial and cultural identity is the tendency to perceive the white category of race as normative and ideal (Arminio, 2001). Whites’ domin...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the variation in stress coping strategies (adaptive and maladaptive) among Portuguese-speaking immigrant women across short-term and long-term residency status. This study also examined the role of resilient characteristics (self-esteem, hope, optimism, spirituality, and religiousness), perceived stresses (c...
Article
Full-text available
While a significant body of literature has examined the impact of racial identity on counseling, little research has focused on how racial identity predicts attitudes towards research. Given the profound history of racial injustices committed against Black participants in research settings and the underrepresentation of participants of color in psy...
Article
Full-text available
American youth are more adept at multi-tasking and multi-processing the fast-paced media and technology information than prior generations (Glasl, 1999; Prensky, 2001). During this new wave of “post -modernism,” youth can interact globally with a far more culturally diverse yet interdependent society. Questioning, risk -taking, conflict resolution,...