Program Director

zZoë D. Peterson, PhD
Director of the Sexual Assault Research and Education Program
Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences

petersonz@umsl.edu

Relevant research interests:
Dr. Peterson researches a wide range of topics related to sexual assault on college campuses and in the community, including:

Representative publications:

Peterson, Z. D., Janssen, E., Goodrich, D., & Heiman, J. R. (2014). Physiological reactivity in a community sample of sexually aggressive young men: A test of competing hypotheses. Aggressive Behavior, 40, 152-164. doi: 10.1002/ab.21512

Artime, T. M., McCallum, E., & Peterson, Z. D. (2014). Men’s acknowledgement of their sexual victimization experiences. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 15, 313-323. doi: 10.1037/a0033376

Strang, E. T., Peterson, Z. D., Hill, Y. N., & Heiman, J. R. (2013). Discrepant responding across self-report measures of men's coercive and aggressive sexual strategies. Journal of Sex Research, 50, 458-469. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.646393

Peterson, Z. D., & Muehlenhard, C. L. (2011). A match-and-motivation model of how women label their nonconsensual sexual experiences. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35, 558-570. doi: 10.1177/0361684311410210

Peterson, Z. D., Voller, E., Polusny, M., A., & Murdoch, M. (2011). Prevalence and consequences of adult sexual assault of men: Review of empirical findings and state of the literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1-24. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.08.006

Peterson, Z. D., & Muehlenhard, C. L. (2007). Conceptualizing the "wantedness" of women's consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences: Implications for how women label their experiences with rape. Journal of Sex Research, 44, 72-88. doi: 10.1080/00224490709336794  



Faculty Affiliates

sSteven E. Bruce, PhD
Clinical Director of the Center for Trauma Recovery
Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences

Relevant research interests:
Dr. Bruce's research program is located within the Center for Trauma Recovery. His research interests and clinical specializations include the treatment of anxiety and affective disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. Specifically, Dr. Bruce is interested in taking proven treatments (such as cognitive processing therapy) and utilizing new cutting-edge assessment techniques (neuroimaging) to examine the relationships between psychological therapies and brain function. He is also interested in the relationship between trauma and physical health symptoms that many individuals report after experiencing a traumatic event. 

Representative Publications:
Satterthwaite, T. D., Cook, P. A., Bruce, S. E., Conway, C., Mikkelsen, E., Satchell, E., Vandekar, S. N., Durbin, T., Avants, B. B., Shinohara, R. T., Sheline, Y. I. (2015). Amygdalo-frontal dysconnectivity: Dissociable dimensional phenotypes for depression and anxiety in MDD and PTSD. Molecular Psychiatry. doi:10.1038/mp.2015.149

Bruce, S. E., Buchholz, K., Brown, W., Yan, L., Durbin, A., Sheline, Y. (2012).  Altered emotional interference processing in the amygdala and insula in women with post-traumatic stress disorder. Neuroimage: Clinical, 2, 43-49. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2012.11.003.    


mMichael G. Griffin, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair of Psychological Sciences

Relevant research interests:
Dr. Griffin is interested in studying psychophysiological and psychoendocrine changes that occur following exposure to highly traumatic events, including sexual assault.

Representative publications:
Griffin, M. G. (2008). A prospective assessment of auditory startle alterations in rape and physical assault survivors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21, 91-99. doi: 10.1002/jts.20300

Nishith, P., Resick, P. A., & Griffin, M. G. (2002). Pattern of change in prolonged exposure and cognitive-processing therapy for female rape victims with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 880-886. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.70.4.880


kKathryn Records, PhD, RN
Hubert C. Moog Endowed Professor of Nursing
Relevant research interests:
Dr. Records is interested in the effects of sexual assault/abuse on health outcomes for women during and after pregnancy and for their newborns after birth.

Representative publications:
Wadsworth, P., & Records, K. (2013). Physical and mental health and health behaviors of African American women and adolescents after sexual assault. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 42(3), 249-73. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12041.

Records, K., & Rice, M. (2009). Lifetime physical and sexual abuse and the risk for depression symptoms in the first 8 months after birth. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 30(3), 181-190. doi: 10.1080/01674820903178121.


rRick S. Zimmerman, PhD
Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Nursing

Relevant research interests:

Dr. Zimmerman research interests include unwanted initiation of sexual activity, school- and university-based dating violence prevention programs, and sexual and physical violence directed at transgender women.

Representative publications:
Zimmerman, R. S., Benotsch, E. G., Shoemaker, S., Snipes, D. J., Cathers, L., Perrin, P. B., McMillan, D., Pierce, J., McNulty, S., & Heck, T. (in press).  Mediational models linking psychosocial context, mental health problems, substance use and HIV risk behaviors in transgender women.  Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: an Open Access Journal.

Benotsch, E. G., Zimmerman, R. S., Cathers, L., Heck, T., McNulty, S., Pierce, J., Perrin, P. B., & Snipes, D. J.  (2014).  Use of the internet to meet sexual partners, sexual risk behavior, and mental health in transgender adults.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 27.

Graduate Student Affiliates

Katherine Arenella, Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Kat is interested in sexual assault prevention strategies that target potential perpetrators.

Marin Beagley, Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Marin is interested in traumatic reactions and recovery within both military and civilian populations following a sexual assault experience. She also is interested in examining similarities and differences in the reactions of male and female sexual assault victims, as well as specific factors that may uniquely influence their recovery. 

Renee Boeck, M.A., Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Renee is interested in researching therapeutic interventions to improve psychosocial functioning following sexual assault and other interpersonal traumas. 

Phil Eiseman, M.A., Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Phil's interests include research on sexual assault prevention and education and measurement of sexual coercion.

Sara Gonzalez-Rivas, M.A., Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Sara is interested in researching the strategies that individuals use to initiate sex and how partners navigate consent within sexual encounters.  Her research focuses on sexual communication in both other-sex and same-sex relationships.    

Sara Kern, Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Sara is interested in research regarding diverse types of sexual coercion and how they lead to unwanted sexual experiences. She is also interested in research exploring both behavioral and perceived consent as they relate to unwanted sexual experiences.

Allison Kirschbaum, M.A., Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Allison is interested in researching experiences of sexual coercion and sexual assault within the LGBT population.

Maribeth Rezey, M.A., Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Relevant research interests: Maribeth's research interests focus on macro-level trends in the sexual victimization of women and children, specifically why rates of sexual victimization vary across subgroups, space, and time. 

Melissa Turkel, M.A., Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Melissa is interested in researching how sexual assault and other interpersonal traumas impact the development of comorbid psychological disorders, including PTSD, eating disorders, and depression.

Allison Warren, M.A., Department of Psychological Sciences
Relevant research interests: Allison’s research interests include sexual assault experiences among transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, as well as among sexual minorities. She also is interested advocating for change in terms of how sexual assault is addressed in universities and in the broader community.

Jennifer Whitter, School of Social Work
Relevant research interests: Jennifer’s research is centered around identifying and improving factors that protect women and children from becoming victims of sex trafficking. She also is interested in research surrounding financial social work and how it can be beneficial for those who have experienced sexual violence in an intimate partner relationship



Program Coordinator
Fern Mreen, MLA
Mreenf@umsl.edu