Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D.
I am an Assistant Professor in the Wayne State University (WSU) Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI).
I earned my Ph.D. in [clinical] psychology from University of Oregon in 2017. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the WSU Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Fellowship (PFT) Program at MPSI in 2019.
I am a MCUAAAR Research Scientist (2020), Ford Fellow (Dissertation, 2015-16; Postdoctoral, 2018-19), National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow (2019), co-editor of the special issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation— [JTD] Self Injury & Suicidality: The Impact of Trauma & Dissociation (2015), and lead co-editor of the upcoming special issue of JTD, Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities. I am also on the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Research Committee of the Center for Institutional Courage non-profit organization dedicated to transforming institutional approaches and responses to trauma and inequality. I have published 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, scholarly writings, and pieces for the general public.
Prior to attending college, I was a professional ballet dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem.
My research focuses on the effects of interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) in diverse populations. In proposing cultural betrayal trauma theory, I include interpersonal trauma in conjunction with discrimination to examine mental health outcomes.
For example, in cultural betrayal trauma theory, I propose that if a Black girl is sexually assaulted by a Black man, the outcomes of this trauma, such as PTSD, are impacted by both the victim and perpetrator experiencing discrimination in society.
With cultural betrayal trauma theory, I examine the differential impact of inequality for minority victims of trauma that may contribute to urban disparities. With this work, I hope to both document harm and identify avenues of hope and healing for youth, families, communities, institutions, and society.
Short article on Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory from The Conversation: The Unique Harm of Sexual Abuse in the Black Community.