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Dissertation defense for Garry Wright

  • Date: July 16, 2018
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Location: College Hall, Room 215

To:      Students, Faculty and Staff

From:  Gaurav Mathur, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School

Re:       Dissertation Defense for Garry Wright

It is my pleasure to announce that Garry W. Wright III, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology, will defend his dissertation on “The influence of hearing loss on clinically concerning behaviors in children with congenital cytomegalovirus” on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 10 a.m. in College Hall, Room 215.  The first forty minutes of the dissertation defense are open to the Gallaudet community.

Mr. Wright’s dissertation builds upon his pre-dissertation thesis, which revealed a relationship between the presence of symptoms of a CMV infection at birth and parent ratings of their children’s behavior using the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2).  Mr. Wright’s dissertation study focuses on the presentation of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) among symptomatic and asymptomatic children with congenital CMV (cCMV) and examines the extent to which SNHL influences parent-rated behaviors of these children.  The results of this study revealed that a significantly higher percentage of children with symptomatic cCMV experienced some degree of SNHL as compared to those with asymptomatic cCMV.  Symptomatic children were more likely to experience a hearing loss that was bilateral and severe-to-profound than asymptomatic children, although this difference was not statistically significant.  The likelihood of experiencing a fluctuating and progressive hearing loss was comparable across groups.  Asymptomatic children were significantly more likely to experience delayed onset hearing loss than symptomatic children, and this loss was significantly more likely to fall in the severe-to-profound range.  Among asymptomatic children, those with hearing loss were significantly more likely than those without hearing loss to be rated as having clinically concerning scores on the Adaptability and Activities of Daily Living scales.  Frequencies of clinically concerning scores on the Attention Problems and Social Skills scales were equally distributed within the groups of asymptomatic children with and without hearing loss.  Children with congenital CMV are at risk of behavioral problems, regardless of symptom presentation at birth and audiological status. Results of the current study support the medical necessity of universal CMV screening at birth. 

The members of Mr. Wright’s dissertation committee are Dr. Donna Morere, Department of Psychology, chair of the dissertation committee; Dr. Sherry Eyer, Department of Psychology; Dr. Regina Nuzzo, Department of Science, Technology, and Mathematics and Department of Psychology; Dr. Thomas Allen, Ph.D. Program in Educational Neuroscience; and Dr. Gail Demmler-Harrison, Department of Pediatrics and Pathology & Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine.

Mr. Wright entered the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Gallaudet University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Purdue University and Master of Science and Education Specialist degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Kentucky, where he completed a year-long internship at the Kentucky School for the Deaf.  During his training at Gallaudet University, he completed practica at Gallaudet University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic, the Child Development Center at Children’s National Medical Center, Multicultural Clinical Center, Community Counseling and Mentoring Services, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  Mr. Wright has published and given presentations at a number of local and national conferences.  He will begin his pre-doctoral internship in the intellectual and developmental disabilities track at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the fall.

Please join me in extending best wishes to Garry Wright for his dissertation defense.

Posted by Elizabeth Gibbons | Posted June 29, 2018 at 1:06 PM


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