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2017 - Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology Words: 243 words || 
1. Ray Vollhardt, Johanna. and Twali, Michelle. "Counteracting Genocide Denial: Psychological Consequences for Reconciliation and Psychological Well-being" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K., <Not Available>. 2018-09-21 <>
Publication Type: Paper (prepared oral presentation)
Abstract: Acknowledgment of genocide and other group-based mass atrocities is crucial for reconciliation, while denial (such as the ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915) contributes to ongoing conflict and resentment (Vollhardt et al., 2014). Yet, most research on acknowledgment has focused on getting perpetrator groups to acknowledge their ingroup’s harmdoing against others, while often assuming that we know what acknowledgment means and should entail. Yet, only very little research has investigated what acknowledgment actually means to members of victim groups, what counts as adequate acknowledgment from their perspective, and in contrast what is experienced as a form of denial. The present, qualitative study investigated these questions in depth among 72 Armenian Americans, utilizing an open-ended survey among community members (age 18-80; M = 38.64) and qualitative content analysis (Schreier, 2013) of the responses. We found that the most commonly perceived forms of denial among the participants were literal denial and interpretative denial (Cohen, 2001), but also lack of interest or knowledge and education about the Armenian genocide. Conversely, forms of acknowledgment that were viewed as desirable spanned from symbolic (e.g., calling it what it is, education) to tangible acknowledgment (e.g., reparations). Reasons for the perceived importance of acknowledging the ingroup’s genocide included psychological well-being and regard for the ingroup, identity-based concerns, and reasons related to truth, accountability, and violence prevention. Taken together, these findings provide a social psychological conceptualization of post-genocide acknowledgment and its importance for psychological well-being and intergroup relations.

2015 - 15th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action Words: 306 words || 
2. Tebes, Jacob. "Philosophical Foundations of Community Psychology: Implications for Community Psychology Research and Practice" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 15th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action, UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, Lowell, MA, <Not Available>. 2018-09-21 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Philosophy of science is the intellectual scaffolding for science – how it is conceptualized, communicated, and practiced (Tebes, Thai, & Matlin, 2014). In this presentation, I summarize four central philosophy of science traditions -- perspectivism, pragmatism, feminism, and critical theory -- that provide a foundation for community psychology science and practice.
Perspectivism is a philosophy of science critique of the logical empiricist view that has dominated 20th century thought. It holds that all knowledge: a) is dependent on the observer’s point of view, b) is imperfect and incomplete, c) and is subject to social and cultural influences (Tebes, 2012; Tebes, 2014). Perspectivism provides a foundation for contemporary science, including community psychology. Pragmatism had its roots in 20th century American philosophy that criticized the standard view of science because it did not offer a suitable approach for understanding human meaning and action. It is a precursor to constructivism, a cornerstone of community psychology research and practice. Feminism represents the philosophical position closely aligned with what most community psychologists actually think and do, thus influencing theory, research, and practice. Feminism’s ascendance in 20th century philosophy coincided with community psychology’s emergence within psychology. Finally, critical theory is a widely accepted philosophical tradition within community psychology, and relevant to its theory, research, and practice. With roots in early 20th century European philosophy offering a critique of society, critical theory incorporates diverse perspectives in understanding power, privilege, oppression, and action.
Each tradition: 1) accepts constructivism as a basis for knowledge; 2) derives knowledge from systematic empirical observations accepted within its scholarly community; 3) recognizes that all knowledge is flawed and dependent on one’s context, culture, and history; and, 4) to varying degrees, utilizes knowledge as a basis for action. I illustrate these philosophical traditions by anchoring them in the community psychology’s core principles and practice competencies.

2005 - American Sociological Association Pages: 25 pages || Words: 6834 words || 
3. Pittman, LaShawnDa. "Creating “Psychological Hygiene” from the Ground Up: African American Women and Psychological Well-Being." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 12, 2005 Online <PDF>. 2018-09-21 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Past efforts to conceptualize the mental health of African American women have applied traditional mental health models a priori to this and other minority groups; often leading to inconsistent and inconclusive findings related to mental health components and processes. Such research has mainly focused on defining and testing for mental health using an objective set of measures and conceptual definitions of mental health that have failed to consider both structural and individual variables, as well as mental health processes that directly influence mental health. In-depth interviews with 20 African American women identified as having mental health in three U.S. metropolitan cities show that mental health is an active pursuit that is supported through the use of a deconstructive/reconstructive process, in addition to other coping mechanisms. Deconstruction is an interpretive process that involves recognizing and externalizing factors affecting one’s mental health and is shaped by one’s relative position to her social environment. Participants use the deconstructive process to identify four early childhood socialization practices and three factors shaping their adulthood that negatively impact their mental functioning. I argue that deconstruction alone is insufficient to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Reconstruction, or the ability to transform potential mental health threats into effective counterstrategies is a significant mental health process; this research discusses four counterstrategies used by participants. Reconstruction strategies depend on one’s race, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs/practices, mothering and marital status, age and available coping resources.

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