Jennifer M.  Gómez

Jennifer M. Gómez

Assistant Professor


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Jennifer M. Gómez


Department of Psychology; Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI)

Dr. Gómez will be recruiting graduate students in clinical psychology for Fall 2020.

Deadline: 1 December 2019

See Prospective Students section for more details:

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow (2019) and Ford Fellow (2015-16; 2018-19), is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI) at Wayne State University. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2017 from University of Oregon. She has published over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, scholarly writings, and pieces for the general public. Additionally, she is the lead co-editor of the upcoming special issue of Journal of Trauma & DissociationDiscrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities (deadline for submissions: 1 December 2019). In creating cultural betrayal trauma theory, Dr. Gómez identifies cultural betrayal as a dimension of within-group violence that harms minority survivors.

See Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities, call for submissions:

See The Conversation article on cultural betrayal trauma theory:

See website:

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • clinical psychology; cultural betrayal trauma theory; betrayal trauma theory; institutional betrayal; trauma psychology; child sexual abuse; campus sexual violence; youth/young adults; Black/African Americans; cultural minorities; discrimination; cultural competency & humility



Dr. Gómez is dedicated to contributing work that has implications for people who are subjected to both discrimination and interpersonal trauma (i.e.., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse). Specifically, her research focuses on the effects of interpersonal trauma in Black and other minority youth and young adults. In creating cultural betrayal trauma theory, she includes interpersonal trauma in conjunction with discrimination to examine mental, cultural, and behavioral health outcomes in marginalized populations.

For example, in cultural betrayal trauma theory, Dr. Gómez proposes that if a Black girl is sexually assaulted by a Black boy, the outcomes of this trauma, such as PTSD, are impacted by both the victim and perpetrator experiencing oppression in society.

As such, cultural betrayal trauma theory provides a testable framework for examining the differential impact of inequality for minority youth who experience trauma.

Current Projects: 

Dr. Gómez’ current projects include the development and validation of the Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory for Black American Young Adults [ages 18-29] (CBMI). The CBMI includes subscales on (intra)cultural trust, cultural betrayal, cultural betrayal trauma, (intra)cultural pressure, (intra)cultural support, and posttraumatic growth.

Collaborator: Dr. Lars Johnson, WSU I/O Psychology Faculty

Editorial Experience: 

Co-Editor: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Special Issue on Discrimination, Violence, and Healing in Marginalized Communities

Member: Editorial Board, Psychology of Violence

Member: Editorial Board, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
Member: Student Editorial Board, Child Maltreatment

Co-Editor: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Special Issue on Self Injury & Suicidality: The Impact of Trauma & Dissociation 16(3) – Spring 2015

Ad-Hoc Reviewer: 

Journal of Traumatic Stress

Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma
Psychology of Violence
Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Violence Against Women

Violence & Victims
Developmental Psychology (co-reviewer)
Child Maltreatment (co-reviewer)
Ethnicity & Health
Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Journal of Trauma & Dissociation


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Program, Wayne State University, 2017-19
  • Ph.D., (Clinical) Psychology, University of Oregon, 2017
  • APA-Accredited Clinical Internship: Charleston Consortium Internship Training Program—Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) & Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)- Traumatic Stress Track, 2016-17
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Oregon, 2012
  • B.A., Psychology, San Diego State University, summa cum laude, 2011

Awards and grants

  • Funding:

    Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine; $45,000

    Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine; $25,000

    National Awards/Honors:

    Invited attendee to the 2019 Conference of Ford Fellows: Empowered Scholarship: Engaging with the World, Connecting with Each Other

    Invited attendee to The Critical-Interdisciplinary Sexual Violence Research Summit; funded by the Spencer Foundation Conference Grant

    Invited attendee to the 2019 National Academy of Sciences 30th Annual U.S. Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium

    Trainee Award for the National Science Foundation [NSF] Summer Course on Grant Writing in the Social, Economic, and Behavioral Sciences (SCG)

    Trainee Award for the 2018 Summer Training Institute for Research in Child Abuse and Neglect, funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

    Top 10 Most Cited Article of 2016 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy

    American Psychological Association (APA) Division 56 Award for Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Trauma Psychology: Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory

    National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID): Diversity Scholars Network- Invited Member

    Richard Kluft Award for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2016 Best Article

    WSU Awards/Honors:

    Wayne State University Graduate School PostDoctoral Research Award

    Wayne State University Certificate of Appreciation for Efforts in Building an Inclusive Community

    Wayne State University Spotlight on Postdoctoral Scholar Series Feature


Selected publications

For a complete list, see Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae here:


Gómez, J. M. (in press). Trainee perspectives on relational cultural therapy and cultural competency in supervision of trauma cases. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration.

Gómez, J. M. (2019). Group dynamics as a predictor of dissociation for Black victims of violence: An exploratory study of cultural betrayal trauma theory. Advanced online publication. Transcultural Psychiatry. doi: 10.1177/1363461519847300

Gómez, J. M., & Gobin, R. L. (2019). Black women and girls & #MeToo: Rape, cultural betrayal, & healing. Advanced online publication. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. doi: 10.1007/s11199-019-01040-0

Gómez, J. M. (2019). Isn’t it all about victimization? (Intra)cultural pressure and cultural betrayal trauma in ethnic minority college women. Violence Against Women, 25, 1211-1225. doi: 10.1177/1077801218811682

Gómez, J. M. (2019). What’s the harm? Internalized prejudice and intra-racial trauma as cultural betrayal among ethnic minority college students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89, 237-247. doi: 10.1037/ort0000367

Gómez, J. M. (2018). What's in a betrayal? Trauma, dissociation, and hallucinations among high-functioning ethnic minority emerging adults. Advanced online publication. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2018.1494653

Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2018). Psychological outcomes of within-group sexual violence: Evidence of cultural betrayal. Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, 20, 1458-1467. doi: 10.1007/s10903-017-0687-0

*Gómez, J. M., Lewis, J. K, Noll, L. K., Smidt, A. M., & Birrell, P. J. (2016). Shifting the focus: Nonpathologizing approaches to healing from betrayal trauma through an emphasis on relational care. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation [Special Section], 17, 165-185. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2016.1103104

*Winner of Richard P. Kluft Award for Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2016 Best Article

*Gómez, J. M., Kaehler, L. A., & Freyd, J. J. (2014). Are hallucinations related to betrayal trauma exposure? A three-study exploration. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy, 6, 675-682. doi: 10.1037/a0037084

* Top 10 Most Cited Article of 2016 in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy

Book Chapters:

Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2019). Betrayal/trauma. In J. J. Ponzetti (Ed.), Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach (pp. 79-82). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning Inc.

Gómez, J. M. (in press). Exposure to discrimination, cultural betrayal, and intoxication as a Black female graduate student applying for tenure-track faculty positions. In Y. F. Niemann, G. Gutierrez y Muhs, & C. G. Gonzalez, Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, & Resistance of Women in Academia (pp. TBD). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

Public Scholarship:

Gómez, J. M. (2019, September 13). Navigating the dialectic of privilege and oppression. Inside Higher Ed Conditionally Accepted Blog. Retrieved from

Gómez, J. M. (2019, May 13). The unique harm of sexual abuse in the Black community. The Conversation. Retrieved from 

Gómez, J. M. (2018, December 6). Black women and #MeToo: The violence of silencing. The Black Commentator, 767. Retrieved from

Gómez, J. M. (2018, February 16). A time for arrogance: A minority scholar describes the challenges she experienced on the academic job market. Inside Higher Ed Conditionally Accepted Blog. Retrieved from /2018/02/16/minority-scholar-describes-challenges-she-experienced-academic-job-market-opinion

Currently teaching

  • Psych 7240, Ethics & Diversity, 1 credit, Winter 2020

  •  Psych 2030, Statistical Methods in Psychology, 3 credits, Winter 2020

Courses taught

University of Oregon. All undergraduate courses

Courses Taught:
1. Psychopathology (solo instructor/co-instructor)
2. Statistical Methods in Psychology (lab instructor)

Guest Lectures in the Following Courses:
1. Prevention of Violence (1): Sexual Violence at College: From Betrayal and Inequality to Research and Action
2. Psychology of Trauma (4): Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory
3. Culture & Mental Health (3): Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory; Introduction to Cultural Competency; The Sociocultural Context of Psychosis
4. Mind & Society [Introductory Psychology] (2): Introduction to Adult Psychopathology
5. Psychopathology (2): Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory; Introduction to Cultural Competency

Citation index