Culture; Social Class; Cultural Existential Psychology; Debt; Environmental Psychology; Contamination; Psychology of Time
I am a second year PhD student in the Social Psychology program working with Dr. Daniel Sullivan. I am interested in how culture, social class, and systemic inequality influence the ways that individuals cope with suffering and threat. In one line of research, I study the psychological ramifications of living through chronic environmental contamination. We have been conducting interviews with community members in South Tucson who have lived through water contamination. We have also been working with ATSDR to conduct a systematic review on the mental health effects of chronic contamination. In another line of research, I study how people cope with economic stressors like debt. A unifying theme in my work is that disadvantaged people are often forced to cope with threatening situations by employing short-sighted coping strategies that can create self-perpetuating cycles.
Schmitt, H.J., Keefer, L., Sullivan, D., Stewart, S. & Young, I. (Under Review). Stress reponses to debt vary as a function of social class. Journal of Social and Political Psychology.
Sullivan, D., Palitsky, R., & Schmitt, H.J. (In press). The spatialization and temporalization of environmental suffering. Narrative Inquiry.
Palitsky, R., Sullivan, D., Young, I., Schmitt, H.J. (in press). Religion, community, and the construction of identity. In C. Routledge & K. Vail (Eds.), The science of religion, spirituality, and existentialism. Elsevier.