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Professor Pittman calls for diversity in research

April 02, 2013

  • Assistant Professor Delishia Pittman

Assistant Professor of Counseling Delishia M. Pittman’s expansive scholarship seeks to promote diversity in psychological research and education. As a generalist practitioner specializing in addiction treatment, she has enabled dually diagnosed clients and African-American populations to overcome trauma and substance abuse. Her latest work, including two chapters in recent books, highlights the importance of racial and gender diversity to an informed study of psychology.

In “The Roles of Race and Sex in Addiction Research,” a chapter in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Addiction Psychopharmacology, Pittman and her colleagues call for clear standards in scientific studies involving racial and gender minorities. They identify questionable research techniques, deception, and inadequate reporting that misrepresent marginalized groups. By defining race and gender as social creations with multidimensional roles, the article advocates for careful review of studies involving minorities and suggests common guidelines to open discussion about race and sex in future research.

Controversy in the Psychology Classroom: Using Hot Topics to Foster Critical Thinking, published by the American Psychological Association, includes Pittman’s contribution, “Anticipating and Working With Controversy in Diversity and Social Justice Topics.” Pittman and her colleagues present activities to enrich diversity education in psychology courses. Their strategies function in both undergraduate and graduate programs and cover social justice, diversity in the workplace, and racial discrepancies in substance abuse treatment. The article also reviews common challenges that confront attempts to incorporate these topics in conventional education. 

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