Graduate Student Committee report

Activities of Division 19 students

By LT Kristen Kochanski

What's happening for students in Division 19


We are very pleased that the Division 19 Students/Careers webpage is now operational. The webpage provides information on student membership benefits, information regarding student awards, and important resources for learning more about how to start a career in military psychology. Please check out the new page!

Student accomplishments

I would like to highlight some tremendous work that is being done for students by students within our division. Please join me in congratulating and thanking Jennifer Barry and Angela Legner for their impressive initiative and dedication to Military Psychology by serving as school representatives and interest group founders for Military Psychology. Please see below for their bios and information about their programs.

Jennifer A. Barry is completing her first year of study in the clinical psychology program at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (D.C. Campus). She is the leader and founder of the Military Psychology Interest Group (MPIG) and actively advocates for student veterans and dependents on campus. Ms. Barry¡¦s research interests include noncoercive investigational interviewing, comorbidity of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma resiliency in special operations forces (SOF), and counterterrorism and counterintelligence applications of operational psychology. She works as a Mental Health/Substance Abuse Counselor for Fairfax County-Falls Church Community Services Board (Fairfax, VA) and plans to serve as an active duty Army Psychologist upon graduation.

The Military Psychology Interest Group (MPIG) at the American School of Professional Psychology is a student-run organization dedicated to the study and advancement of military psychology. The MPIG provides students the opportunity to tailor their graduate-level experience for a career working with military populations and their families, whether on activeduty or as a civilian provider. The group also serves an essential ¡§early acculturation¡¨ function for students with little or no prior exposure to military culture. MPIG members benefit from military-specific research, presentation, networking, volunteering, and clinical training opportunities, as well as from the invaluable experience shared by student members who are current or prior-service military. Activities include field trips, guest speakers, discussion groups, workshops, and conference attendance.

For more information, please visit our website, or contact the MPIG's Community Outreach Officer, Katrina Silvera.

Angela E. Legner earned a Master of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL in 2010. She is currently finishing her first year in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, D.C. and is the President and Founder of the Military Psychology Student Association (MPSA). Upon completion of the doctoral program, she plans to serve as an active duty Navy Psychologist. In addition to school, she is currently serving in the Navy Reserves, and has eight years of service.

The Military Psychology Student Association (MPSA) Mission Statement:

The Military Psychology Student Association (MPSA) is dedicated to promoting student awareness, competence, scholarship, and community engagement in the area of Military Psychology. More specifically, the MPSA raises awareness of military culture and the role of mental health professionals serving military populations; and it fosters student competence in the field by providing campus lectures, seminars, and workshops. The MPSA promotes militaryrelated research opportunities by gathering campus resources, and it actively engages in volunteer activities with the military community and collaborates with established professional networks.

Past campus events include guest speaker presentations:

  • Life as a Company Commander in Support of OIF — Presenter: CPT Michael Jensen, Army National Guard
  • The Role of the Military Psychologist — Presenter: CDR Smith, MSC, USN
  • Film Screening of When I Came Home: A Documentary to Raise Awareness of Homeless Veterans
  • Outreach event with the Fisher House in D.C.
APA Annual Convention

The 120th Annual APA Convention was held in Orlando Aug. 2-5, 2012. We had a number of student poster presentations, highlighting the fantastic research our students are contributing to the field of Military Psychology. Additionally, it was exciting for me to meet so many talented and interested students eager to be more involved in the Division.

We are also excited to report that we had more student award submissions this year for both the student travel award and the research grant than ever before. The Student Awards Committee awarded a total of 8 student travel awards to assist students with transportation costs to attend the APA Annual Convention.

We presented awards to the following students with impressive posters and presentations:

  • Ms. Erin K. Bailey: Committing Acts of Purposeful Harm and Substance Use in Combat Veterans and Suicide and Moral Injury among Combat Veterans
  • Ms. Marilyn A. Cornish: Help-Seeking Stigma in the Military: Insights From Military Personnel
  • Mr. Matthew S. Jackson: Predictors and Protective Factors of Burnout in Military Psychologists and Beliefs About Psychological Services Held by the ROTC Population
  • Ms. Amanda M. Kruszewski: Crying Wolf, or Feigning "Fine": Honesty in Reporting of Psychological Symptoms in the Military
  • Ms. Katharine Lacefield: Strategies for Training Perceptual Skills in Military Settings: Review and Recommendations
  • Mr. David S. Schwab: Post-Deployment Health Reassessment of Air Force Mental Health Personnel Deployed From 2004-2011 and Veterans in Higher Education: The Impact of Hope, Social Support, and Stress on Academic Achievement
  • Ms. Dana J. Weber: Promoting Academic Success Following OEF/OIF Deployment
  • Ms. Lauren M. Young: Sexism as a Predictor of Attitudes Toward Women in Combat


Award winners, from left to right, are Erin K. Bailey, Katherine Lacefield, Marilyn A. Cornish, David S. Schwab, Matthew S. Jackson (on the right), Dana J. Weber, Amanda M. Kruszewski, and Lauren M. Young.

Ms. Jessica M. MacIntyre receives her prize.Additionally, the Division is pleased to have awarded two student research awards this year.

Ms. Jessica M. MacIntyre from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences was awarded our student research grant for her proposal entitled An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study of Emotion Dysregulation in Suicidal and Non-Suicidal Military Psychiatric Inpatients. Ms. MacIntyre’s abstract follows:

Background: Suicide remains a public health concern within the United States military. While a number of suicide risk factors and precipitants (e.g., failed relationships, military legal problems) have been identified, little is known about the role of emotion dysregulation in military suicide. In fact, very few studies have examined the direct relationship between emotion dysregulation and suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) in civilian samples and to date, only one study has examined this topic in a military sample. Recent advances in technology have made it possible to investigate realtime measures of the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that precede and follow STBs. Purpose: The objectives of this study are twofold: (1) to examine the realtime affective experiences of negative emotions (and their shift over time) in relation to suicidal thoughts and behaviors; and (2) to determine typologies of negative affect in a sample of military psychiatric inpatients admitted for suicide versus nonsuicide related events. Method: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) will be used to measure emotion dysregulation and STBs in a sample of military psychiatric inpatients with or without a recent history of a suicide attempt. Data Analytic Plan: Univariate one-way analysis of variance to identify relationships between negative affect clusters, emotion dysregulation, and STBs will be conducted. A cluster analysis will be performed to identify typologies of negative affect.

Ms. Amber D. Guzman from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Ms. Jessica M. MacIntyre receives her prize. Washington, D.C., was awarded our student research grant for her proposal entitled Anticipatory Grief in Spouses of Deployed Service Members. Ms. Guzman’s specific aims follow:

Psychological suffering in the spouses of deployed service members is well documented and impacts marriages, families, and service members themselves. Although distress in spouses has been supported in many studies, the literature lacks an organizing theoretical framework to guide research and intervention. Therefore, the following research has two overall aims:

I. The primary aim of this project is to evaluate the psychological suffering in spouses of deployed service members as a grief reaction (i.e., "anticipatory grief"). While the construct of anticipatory grief has existed in the literature for nearly 70 years, writings on the topic to date are entirely confined to a descriptive and qualitative level. This project has four specific hypotheses related studying anticipatory grief in spouses that derive from contemporary theories of complicated bereavement:

  1. levels of ‘grief’ in spouses from deployment separations will be comparable to published norms for spouses experiencing grief from actual loss due to death
  2. anticipatory grief will be strongly associated with marital distress, and more strongly associated with marital distress than measures of psychological well-being
  3. the relationship between anticipatory grief and marital distress will be moderated by insecure attachment
  4. the relationship between anticipatory grief and marital distress will be moderated by avoidance coping

Support for the construct of anticipatory grief in spouses would provide a valuable and novel unifying theoretical framework for understanding and managing family problems from deployment separations.

II. A secondary aim of this research is to develop a preliminary questionnaire for anticipatory grief. Items from existing grief measures will be modified and pooled with novel items specifically written for the current study to reflect anticipatory grief. The pooled items will be subjected to preliminary psychometric analysis.

What’s coming up for students in Division 19

Ways to get involved in Division 19

As indicated in the student accomplishments section of this newsletter above, some students have started Military Psychology Interest Groups in their schools. Starting an interest group at your school is a great way to contribute to the Division and to Military Psychology. You have the opportunity to keep your interested students up to speed on what’s happening in our division and in military psychology in general. If you are interested in starting a group at your school, please let me know how we can support you in this process.

I’m sad to report that my time as the Division 19 Student Representative will be coming to an end this year. The Society for Military Psychology (Division 19) reserves two positions on the Executive Committee for interested and qualified graduate students to serve as Graduate Student Representatives. Student Representatives are expected to advance issues of concern of student members within our Society. I am thrilled that we have had a number of top students who have been interested and who have since applied for these positions. We expect to make the selections in early November. Stay tuned next fall for your next chance to apply to become a student representative.

Each year Division 19 student membership and activities continue to grow. I am very interested to hear any new programs or ideas you would like to see implemented and hear any ideas of how you would like to be involved.