Search Announcements

Departmental Archive

Dissertation Defense for Jesús O. Barreto Abrams

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
From: Gaurav Mathur, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School
Re: Dissertation Defense for Jesús O. Barreto Abrams

It is my pleasure to announce that Jesús O. Barreto Abrams, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology, will defend his dissertation on “Vicarious Trauma as a Psychosocial Occupational Hazard in the Field of Sign Language Interpreting” on Monday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The first forty minutes of the dissertation defense are open to the Gallaudet community via a live webinar.  Register here to attend.

Mr. Barreto Abrams’ study examines vicarious trauma and coping strategies among sign language interpreters using the Traumatic Attachment Belief Scale (TABS).  Results revealed that interpreters generally experienced elevated rates of disruption in psychological needs and cognitive schemas compared to normative samples. The data also revealed that interpreters with a personal trauma history, who had a history of mental illness, who were not certified, and who were younger experienced greater vicarious trauma as compared to their counterpart group. Regarding coping strategies, emotional support was the highest used coping strategy while substance use was the least used coping strategy. Moreover, a model revealed using self-blaming coping strategies and having a psychiatric or emotional disorder were significant risk factors while being of older age was a protective factor. Overall, these data suggest that interpreter-training programs should engage in increasing training on working with trauma survivors and psychoeducation about trauma, and interpreting practitioners should engage in healthy coping strategies. This research also suggests that mental health clinicians should explore maladaptive cognitive schemas with interpreters and teach strategies to cope and manage such cognitive disruptions.

The members of Mr. Barreto Abrams’ dissertation committee are Dr. Carolyn Corbett, Department of Psychology, chair of the dissertation committee; Dr. Lawrence Pick, Department of Psychology; Dr. Deborah Schooler, Department of Psychology; Dr. Elizabeth Ann Monn, Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Carroll County Public Schools, and Interpreter Education Consultant; and Dr. Kari Hansen, Independent Statistician.

Mr. Barreto Abrams entered the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Gallaudet University in 2013 and completed his master’s degree in psychology and a graduate certificate in Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership in 2018.  Mr. Barreto Abrams has received broad and lifespan clinical training in his externships including clinical neuropsychology, forensic/correctional psychology, and community mental health. Mr. Barreto Abrams recently completed an APA accredited doctoral internship in health service psychology (child track) from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) where he spent the majority of his time training in lifespan outpatient and inpatient clinical neuropsychology rotations with other training in child psychotherapy and pediatric psychology consultation. Mr. Barreto Abrams has given over 20 scientific and professional presentations at national, state, and local meetings on topics related to interpreting, psychology, and early intervention. He has also held positions as an adjunct faculty member at various higher education institutions, with appointments in psychology and in sign language/interpreting departments. Mr. Barreto Abrams has secured and accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) training in cultural neuropsychology with Latinx and Spanish-speaking populations. In addition to his training in psychology, Mr. Barreto Abrams is a nationally certified sign language interpreter with experience working in Spanish-influenced settings, mental health, and government/business.

Please join me in extending best wishes to Mr. Barreto Abrams for his dissertation defense. 

Posted by Elizabeth Gibbons | Posted June 30, 2020 at 10:20 AM

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002