Dart - Kendall College of Arts and Sciences


Center for Journalism & Trauma’s Research Lab @ The University of Tulsa



Research in partnership with the Dart Center: dartcenter.org  

The University of Tulsa contains the Research Lab for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. This lab completes psychological and interdisciplinary research on trauma on journalists, traumatic media and the public, and trauma reporting and victims. It consists of clinical psychology researchers from the TACTS lab and industrial-organizational psychology researchers.  Dr. Jennifer Ragsdale and Dr. Bradley Brummel have participated in certain projects.

How do the Dart Center and clinical psychology fit together?

Journalists are a unique population often exposed to trauma as they cover stories about war, accidents, illness, and other situations. Clinical psychologists and clinical psychology students provide important information about how journalists cope with trauma and how PTSD symptoms can be avoided and reduced in this population. At the University of Tulsa, clinical psychologists work together with industrial-organizational psychologists to better understand, target, and provide information and aid to this occupational group. This aid can take many forms, including tools to help protect journalists, to help journalists sensitively interview victims of trauma, and help journalists thoughtfully portray traumatic events to consumers.

Expertise in trauma and psychology can also help address many of the current problems facing journalists. Dr. Newman was featured in a campaign by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the Safety of Female Journalists Online.

How can a clinical psychology student benefit from working with Dart?

Dart provides a unique opportunity for clinical students to do pure psychology or interdisciplinary trauma research with respect to traumatic stress theory, methods, and unique journalist samples. All work done by the TACTS Lab is naturally of an interdisciplinary nature as students work at the intersection of media studies, clinical psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology. Dart’s mission includes educating and advocating, and students who work with Dart have the opportunity to produce original research while also creating material designed to educate journalist populations. Students also have the opportunity to serve as advocates for journalists and their sources.

Students working with the Dart Center learn to:

  • hone research skills
  • critical thinking
  • translate psychology science by removing jargon

How can an industrial-organizational psychology student benefit from working with Dart?

The clinical psychology students in Dr. Newman’s lab work with I/O students advised by Dr. Bradley Brummel and Dr. Jen Rangsdale to better understand journalism and trauma. also provides an opportunity for I/O students to do pure psychology or interdisciplinary work with respect to management theory, occupational distress, and training. All work done by the Dart Lab is naturally of an interdisciplinary nature as students work at the intersection of communication, clinical psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology. Dart’s mission includes educating and advocating, and students who work with Dart have the opportunity to produce original research while also creating material designed to educate journalist populations. Students also have the opportunity to serve as advocates for journalists and their sources.

Current Research

Current projects include: journalists’ resiliency, covering mass violence, the effects of occupational and social support for journalists, substance abuse in journalists.

Previous Research (Dissertations)

Women Journalists’ Experiences of Online Harassment – Autumn Slaughter
Autumn’s dissertation examines factors that increase women journalists’ risk of experiencing online harassment and the resulting psychological outcomes.

The war on journalists: Pathways to posttraumatic stress and occupational dysfunction among journalists – Susan Drevo
This dissertation examines the extent to which occupational intimidation, sexual harassment, and moral injury impact journalists’ health and ability to perform their job relative to personal and coverage-related trauma exposure by examining hierarchical predictor models of posttraumatic stress symptoms and occupational dysfunction.

Aggression against journalists: Understanding occupational intimidation of journalists using comparisons with sexual harassment – Kelsey Parker
This dissertation introduces the construct of occupational intimidation as a form of occupation-specific aggression faced by journalists. In order to better understand the functioning of occupational intimidation, it is compared to an empirically supported model of the risk factors and consequences associated with sexual harassment.

Emotional intelligence as a predictor of occupational functioning and probable posttraumatic stress disorder in American journalists – Summer Nelson
This study aims to strengthen the research literature about journalists by exploring both PTSD and occupational dysfunction. Additionally, the utility of emotional intelligence as a predictor of both PTSD symptomology and occupational dysfunction is explored.

Trauma and journalism: exploring a model of risk and resilience – River Smith
The study examines the impact of covering work-related traumatic events. To expand upon previous research examining exposure to work-related trauma among journalists, a model of risk and resilience is explored.

Previous Research Completed by Dr. Newman

Pfefferbaum, B., Nitemia, P. & Newman, E. (in press) A critical review of effective mass trauma interventions: What we know and don’t know from the evidence. Behavioral Sciences.

Pfefferbaum, B., Nitemia, P. & Newman, E. (in press)  The Association of Mass Trauma Media Contract with Depression and Anxiety: A Meta-analytic Review.  Journal of Affective Disorders Report

Pfefferbaum, B., Varman, V., Varman,Y., Nitiema, P. & Newman, E. (2020).  Terrorism media effects in children: What have we learned since the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing? Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, 113(3), 111-116.

Pfefferbaum, B., Tucker, P., Varman, V., Varman,Y., Nitiema, P. & Newman, E. (2020). Children’s reactions to media coverage of war. Current Psychiatry Reports, 22(42). doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-020-01165-0.

Pfefferbaum,B.,  Nitiema, P. & Newman, E. (2020). The effect of interventions on functional impairment in youth exposed to mass terrorism: A meta-analysis. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 48(4), 449-477.

Brummel, B., Newman, E., Arnold, B., & Slaughter, A. (2019). Sexual harassment and sexual assault training needs analysis for journalists. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 12, 115-118. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-019-09494-9.

Pfefferbaum, B., Nitiema, P., Newman, E. (2019). Is viewing mass trauma television coverage associated with trauma reactions in adults and youth? A meta‐analytic review.  Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32, 175-185.

Pfefferbaum, B, Tucker, P., Pfefferbaum, R. L, Nelson, S. D., Nitiéma., P.  & Newman, E. (2018). Media effects in youth exposed to terrorist Incidents: A historical perspective. Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(2), 11. doi: 10.1007/s11920-018-0875-1.

Slaughter, A. Newman, E., Brummel, B.J. & Drevo, S. (2018). Journalists safety trainings: Effective for all? Australian Journalism. 40(2), 53-65.

Smith, R J., Drevo, S., & Newman, E. (2017). Covering traumatic news stories: Factors associated with posttraumatic stress disorder among journalists. Stress and Health, 34(2), 218 – 226. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smi.2775

Newman, E., Drevo, S., Brummel, B., Rees, G., & Shapiro, B. (2016). Online abuse of women journalists: Towards an evidence-based approach to prevention and intervention. In B. Gardiner (Ed.), New challenges to freedom of expression: Countering online abuse of female journalists (pp. 46-52). The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), an intergovernmental agency.

Newman, E. & Shapiro, B. (2014). Clinicians and journalists responding to disaster. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 24(1), 32-8. doi: 10.1089/cap.2013.0068

Newman, E. (2007). Summary of Empirical Questions Pertaining to Trauma Research. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 2, 57-59.

Pyevich, C., Newman, E. & Daleidan, E. (2003). The relationship among cognitive schemas, job-related traumatic exposure, and PTSD in journalists. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 16(4): 325-328,

Newman, E., Simpson, R. & Handschuh, D. (2003) Trauma exposure and post-traumatic Stress Disorder among Photojournalists. Visual Communication Quarterly, 10, 1.4-13.

Previous and Current Dart Students (Where are they now?)

Autumn Slaughter
Clinical Doctoral Student

Autumn is a sixth year doctoral student. Current projects include research into journalists’ experiences with hostile environment, first aid and safety training programs. Autumn’s clinical interests include journalists covering traumatic news and psychology advocacy/public policy.
Ariel Durosky
Clinical Doctoral Student

Ariel is a fourth year doctoral student. She is interested in researching the effects of war zones and hostile environments on journalists and military personnel. Her clinical interests include prevention training for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.
Amanda Gentz
Clinical Doctoral Student

Amanda is a third year doctoral student. She is interested in the effects the media has on individuals' resilience to traumatic stress. She is particularly interested in underserved communities and moral injury.
Ava Hanson
Clinical Masters Student

Ava is a first year master's student. She is interested in studying the effects of trauma, with a special attention to minority mental health.
Bret Arnold
I/O Doctoral Student

Bret is a fifth year doctoral student of Industrial and Organizational (IO) psychology. His IO research focuses on burnout interventions and their intercultural transferability. For Dart, Bret explores how the IO principles of occupational health psychology, organizational climate, and training can help news organizations address trauma at work.
Susan Drevo
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, 2017

Clinically, Susan's interests involve those who are often first to arrive at traumatic scenes and who endure repeated and prolonged trauma exposure as a result of their occupational duties. Her specific interests include traditional first responders (e.g., police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc.), journalists covering traumatic stories around the globe, veterans, and active duty combat soldiers. Susan is currently a post doctoral fellow at the National Center for Organizational Development where she provides organizational health services for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nationwide.
Ilissa Madrigal
I/O Master Student, 2020

Ilissa’s research interests include employee wellness, work stress recovery, and leadership. Ilissa’s experience as a high school science teacher helped influence her interests in I/O psychology.
Julia Richardson
Undergraduate Student, 2020

Julia has a broad interest in trauma psychology and is developing her research interests within the trauma psychology field. Julia is currently earning her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.