Presentation with My Research Assistants at the ‘New England Psychological Association’ (NEPA) on 10/10/15

Volungis, A. M., Popores, C., Raziuddin, A., & Avolese, P. (2015, October). Enhancing cognitive behavioral therapy with technology. Poster presented at the 55th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Fitchburg, MA.

Integrating technology into Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) appears to be a “good fit” due to its tracking and empirical nature (e.g., Berry & Lai, 2014; Kelly et al., 2013; Singer et al., 2015). This poster will highlight a variety of modes of technology that are commonly used by CBT therapists, including examples of actual therapeutic assessment and interventions by the first author. Specific examples will include: smartphone and tablet applications, video recordings (by client), audio recordings (by client), Internet videos and pictures (observed by client), and virtual reality. Examples of CBT related techniques used with these technologies will include: psychoeducation, self-monitoring and tracking of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; meditation and other relaxation techniques; challenging automatic thoughts; and exposure techniques.

NEPA Team Photo - 10-10-15

Presentation @ the New England Psychological Association {October, 2015}   {left to right: Paul Avolese, Dr. V, Colleen Popores, Almaas Raziuddin}

*Click on hyperlink above for poster

Graduate Students! Participate in the poll below!

Presentation with My Research Assistants at the ‘Eastern Psychological Association’ (EPA) on 3/14 in Boston, MA

Hovering or Grounded?: Exploring Helicopter Parenting as a Valid Construct

Volungis, A. M., Liu, S., Whittle, D., Henriquez, S., & Schmidt, K. (2014, March). Hovering or Grounded?: Exploring Helicopter Parenting as a Valid Construct.  Paper presented at the 85th annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

As sensationalistic as many of the media accounts of helicopter parenting may be, the literature exploring this construct and its effects is sparse.  This presentation will have three major themes.  First, we explore the validity of the construct. Second, we question the utility of studying helicopter parenting, including the influence of the media.  Finally, we conclude with some comments on cultural considerations when conceptualizing this construct.

Paper Presentation @ the Eastern Psychological Association {March, 2014} {left to right: Dena

Paper Presentation @ the Eastern Psychological Association {March, 2014}
{left to right: Dena Semonia, Katherine Schmidt, & Suyi Liu}

*Click on hyperlink above for paper presentation

Two Presentations with My Research Assistants at the ‘New England Psychological Association’ (NEPA) on 10/19 in New Haven, CT

Not All Treatments Are Equal: Re-Conceptualizing Treatments That Cause Harm

Volungis, A. M., McGrath, M. A., Truong, D. T., Liu, S., Schmidt, K., & Garry A. (2013, October). Not all treatments are equal: Re-conceptualizing treatments that cause harm.  Paper presented at the 19th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Bridgeport, CT.

Not all treatments are created equal.  This potentially provocative statement is an implied premise to the idea of evidence-based treatments (EBTs).  While the premise of developing a list of EBTs is noble, there has been some opposition to the practice, including concerns that the criteria used to determine what counts as evidence-based is problematic.  We posit that identifying, and creating a list of, potentially harmful treatments (PHTs) is just as important as current lists of EBTs (see Lilienfeld, 2007).  We also explore the reason why practitioners still use PHTs despite clear evidence of their ineffective or harmful effects.

*Click on hyperlink above for paper.

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Suicide and the Media: A Literature Review and Considerations for the Media Promoting Mental Health

McGrath, M. A., Liu, S., Whittle, D. S., & Volungis, A. M. (2013, October). Suicide and the media: A literature review and considerations for the media promoting mental health. Paper presented at the 19th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Bridgeport, CT.

Does the media have an influence on suicide rates?  The focus of this paper is to investigate the current state of the literature, and identify promising directions. In particular, the idea that the media might be able to play an active role in promoting mental health via the Papageno effect will be explored. This paper will also take a tentative look at the variables that might be at play in media effects, and consider how research on this topic might be generalized to proposed connections between the media and other behaviors.

Two Presentations with My Research Assistants at the ‘American Psychological Association’ on 7/31 in Honolulu, HI

School Administration’s Role in Preventing School Violence: Strategies for Promoting School Connectedness

Volungis, A. M., Truong, D. T., & Whittle, D. S., & Liu, S. (2013, July). School administration’s role in preventing school violence:  Strategies for promoting school connectedness. Poster presented at the 121st annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

*Click on hyperlink above for poster.

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Media’s Role in Promoting School Violence: A Proposed Social-Cultural Learning Model

Volungis, A. M., Truong, D. T., Angelone, J., Liu, S., & Whittle, D. S. (2013, July). Media’s role in promoting school violence: A proposed social-cultural learning model. Poster presented at the 121st annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

Few would argue that school violence is not a sociocultural concern in the United States.  Although always considered a topic of concern, public awareness significantly increased after the high profile shootings in the 1990s due to extensive media coverage.  The thought of such acts of violence occurring in “our own schools” brought to the forefront a frightening reality.  Due to widespread media coverage and possible obsession with school violence, the public’s perception of schools being an unsafe environment has dramatically increased.  Ironically, violent crimes in schools have been on a decline since 1994 (Robers et al., 2012).  On the other hand, there is reason to argue that frequent and dramatic media coverage may be a contributing factor to perpetuating the notion that violent school acts are a feasible option to resolve student mental health distress.

Poster Presentation @ the American Psychological Association {July, 2013} {Dr. V's Research Team (left to right): Debbie Truong & Suyi Liu}

Poster Presentation @ the American Psychological Association {July, 2013}
{Dr. V’s Research Team (left to right): Debbie Truong & Suyi Liu}

Two Presentations at the ‘Eastern Psychological Association’ (EPA) on 3/2 in New York, NY

Making Research Even More Exciting!: Effective Use of Technology for Research Teams

Research can often be a gratifying experience, especially when working with fellow colleagues and student research assistants.  What is even more exciting is when there is an opportunity to use new technology that can make the research process more enjoyable and engaging.  Using three applications –  (1) Dropbox, (2) Evernote, and (3) Scribblar – our symposium will provide a description of each application, discuss practical uses in research, and engage the audience with a live demonstration.

Truong, D. T., & Angelone, J. (2013, March). Dropbox and research: The ease of sharing files. In A. M. Volungis & P. Finn (Chair/Discussant), Making research even more exciting!: Effective use of technology for research teams. Symposium conducted at the 84th annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.

McGrath, M. A., & Son, Y. (2013, March). Evernote and research: Consolidating important information efficiently. In A. M. Volungis & P. Finn (Chair/Discussant), Making research even more exciting!: Effective use of technology for research teams. Symposium conducted at the 84th annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.

Liu, S., & Whittle, D. S.. (2013, March). Scribblar and research: A virtual whiteboard to share thoughts. In A. M. Volungis & P. Finn (Chair/Discussant), Making research even more exciting!: Effective use of technology for research teams. Symposium conducted at the 84th annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.

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School Violence in the Media: A Proposed Social-Cultural Learning Model

Volungis, A. M., Truong, D. T., Angelone, J., Liu, S., & Whittle, D. S. (2013, March). School violence in the media: A proposed social-cultural learning model.  Poster presented at the 84th annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.

Public awareness of school violence has continued to significantly increase following the high profile shootings in the late 1990s due to extensive and sensationalistic media coverage.  We will propose a theoretical social-cultural learning model that links the media’s sensationalistic response to violent school violence through distorting public perceptions (i.e., thoughts) and reactions (i.e., behaviors).  We will also discuss alternative options on how to respond to this current phenomenon on both the individual and systemic-social level.

Symposium Presentation {Research & Technology} @ the Eastern Psychological Association {March, 2013} {Dr. V's Research Team (left to right): Suyi Liu, Dena Whittle, Michael McGrath, Dr. V, Yeonjoo Son, Debbie Truong, & Jenn Angelone}

Symposium Presentation {Research & Technology} @ the Eastern Psychological Association {March, 2013}
{Dr. V’s Research Team (left to right): Suyi Liu, Dena Whittle, Michael McGrath, Dr. V, Yeonjoo Son, Debbie Truong, & Jenn Angelone}

Two Posters Presented at the ‘Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies’ (ABCT) on 11/18 in National Harbor, MD

Volungis, A. M., Doerfler, L. A., Toscano, P. F., & Connor, D. F. (2012, November). The absence of gender differences in co-occurring internalizing and externalizing disorders in youth. Poster to be presented at the 46th annual conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, National Harbor, MD.

Volungis, A. M. (2012, November). Youth violence prevention: Teachers fostering school connectedness through basic cognitive-behavioral techniques. Poster to be presented at the 46th annual conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, National Harbor, MD.

Multiple Presentations with My Research Assistants at the New England Psychological Association @ WPI (10/13)

Volungis, A. M., Truong, D. T., & Whittle, D. S. (2012, October). School violence prevention: The role of school administration in fostering school connectedness. Paper presented at the 18th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Worcester, MA.

Volungis, A. M., McGrath, M. A., Truong, D. T., & Connor, D. F. (2012, October). Absence of gender differences in co-occurring internalizing and externalizing disorders in youth: A network conceptualization. Paper presented at 18th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Worcester, MA.

McGrath, M. A. (2012, October). What should bullying prevention/intervention programs address?  In P. Toscano & L. Doerfler (co-Chairs), Collaboration among schools, community agencies, and academic institutions to address bullying in the public schools. Symposium conducted at the 18th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Worcester, MA.

Volungis, A. M., & Angelone, J. (2012, October). Issues involved with implementing a bullying intervention. In P. Toscano & L. Doerfler (co-Chairs), Collaboration among schools, community agencies, and academic institutions to address bullying in the public schools. Symposium conducted at the 18th annual conference of the New England Psychological Association, Worcester, MA.

Paper on Preventing School Violence/Shootings & Bullying to be Presented at the ‘Association for Conflict Resolution’ on 9/15 in New Orleans, LA

Daniels, J. A., Vecchi, G., Volungis, A. M., & Kinnucan, L. (2012, September). Breaking the code of silence: Strategies for combating school shootings and bullying. Paper and workshop to be presented at the 12th annual conference of the Association for Conflict Resolution, New Orleans, LA.

Since Columbine we have learned much about school shooters and preventing acts of lethal school violence. We know that when students feel connected to at least one adult they are less likely to act out aggressively at school. Psychologists and crisis negotiators have fine-tuned active listening as an effective means of building such trusting relationships. In this workshop we will review the research pertinent to preventing lethal school violence, and will highlight the importance of active listening in creating safer schools.

Poster on Preventing School Violence to be Presented at APA on 8/2 in Orlando, FL

Volungis, A. M. (2012, August). School size & youth violence: Potential mediating and moderating role of school connectedness. Poster presented at the 120 annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

The goal of this study was to consider an alternative, multivariable approach towards preventing youth violence utilizing longitudinal data (Add Health).  First, school personnel (e.g., school teachers) may specifically enhance/foster school-connectedness through their relationships, which may play a role in decreasing youth violence.  Second, school size by itself seems to also influence school connectedness and other similar factors such as interpersonal relationships with teachers…

…Overall, the findings from this study highlight how student-teacher relationships can be a key factor in preventing youth violence.  Furthermore, the malleability of school connectedness provides a primary target area for change.  School psychologists and other mental health professionals can both create programs that improve student-teacher relationships and also have a means to assess individual student perceptions of safety and relationships with others.  In addition to contributing to the literature on preventing youth violence, this study also underscores the need for future research to take caution in research design and measurement with Add Health data, and further exploration in alternative contextual relationships that may prevent youth violence.

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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