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Scenes from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Tiffani Kisler

Education:


Ph.D., 2006, Family and Human Development, School of Social & Family Dynamics, Arizona State University


M.S., 2004, Family and Human Development (Concentration: Marriage & Family Therapy), Arizona State University


B.S., 2000, Psychology (Summa Cum Laude), Arizona State University

Current Positions Held:


Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies 2006-Present
Co-founder & Clinical Director of the Center for Sexual Health, Psychological Centers, Providence, RI.


Courses Taught at URI:

  • HDF 563 Marital and Family Therapy I
  • HDF 564 Marital and Family Therapy II
  • HDF 505 Human Sexuality and Counseling
  • HDF 569 Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • HDF 565 Couple & Family Therapy Practicum
  • HDF 535 Family Stress, Coping & Adaptation
  • HDF 450 Introduction to Counseling
  • HDF 230 Marriage and Family Relationships

Research Projects:

  • Sexual Coercion Project
  • Using Outcome Management for the Study of MFT Training, Supervision and Therapeutic Outcomes
  • Maternal Depression, Family Food Behavior and Child Nutritional Health
  • Technology Use In College Students: Impact on Sleep, Health & Interpersonal Relationships
  • Health, Intimacy and Belonging: Perspectives on the Transition to College

Grants:

McCurdy, K., Gorman, K., Metallinos-Katsaras, E., & Kisler, T. S. (2009-2011). Maternal depression, family food behavior, and child nutritional health. Funded by the National Institutes of Health for $138,800.

Adams, S. (Co-P.I.), Kisler, T.S. (Co-P.I.), The Net Generation: Technology and sleep during the transition to college. Proposal submitted to NICHD. (Under Review)

Program of Scholarly Activity

My program of scholarly activity focuses on three primary areas and one emerging area of interest: a) sexual aggression, b) women's sexual, psychological, and relational health, c) couple and family therapy training process/outcome research, and d) the use of technology (i.e. sexting, texting, Facebook, Twitter) on psychological, sexual, and relational health.

a) My first area of scholarly attention centers on sexual aggression in interpersonal relationships and reflects my long standing research interest in how interpersonal violence influences various aspects of one's sexual, psychological and relational health. The ultimate aim of this research is to provide a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics of sexual aggression within interpersonal relationships.

b) Extending beyond experiences of interpersonal violence and its relation to sexual, psychological and relational health, I became very interested in additional aspects of sexual health such as sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction in dating and marital relationships. Moreover, as a clinician, aspects of sexual health such as sexual functioning and satisfaction with and without a history of sexual abuse and interpersonal violence are particularly salient issues in couple and individual therapy.

c) As core faculty of the Couple and Family Therapy Program at URI I believe it is of the utmost importance that my therapeutic and clinical work inspires my research and that my research supports my teaching, service, and outreach. This leads to my third area of scholarly interest, couple and family therapy process and outcome research. I am particularly interested in what makes therapy successful as well as identifying factors that lead to a successful training process.

d) My emerging area of research focus combines my long standing interest in using a biopsychosocial framework for looking at sexual, psychological and relational health and extends this interest by examining the impact of social networking and the use of technology on these factors. I am specifically interested in the use of technology (i.e. sexting, texting, Facebook, Twitter, email, phone use) on sleep, physical and mental health and interpersonal relationships among the Net Generation. Dr. Sue K. Adams and I formed a successful collaboration due to our combined interest in this area. We have two ongoing studies, and one prior study, which examine the impact of technology use on sleep, physical health, mental health, and interpersonal relationships. Specifically, we are working to identify implications for student technology use in effort to uncover and disseminate information about the short-term health (i.e. physical and relational health) and long-term personal and professional consequences of using technology and sharing sensitive information in the Net Generation. Second, forming collaboration with Dr. Barbara Newman, we began a pilot study, Health, intimacy, and belonging: Perspectives on the transition to college.

Selected Media Coverage on Sexting Data:
http://urinewsonline.blogspot.com/

Research by Human Development and Family Studies Assistant Professors Tiffani Kisler and Sue Adams has shown the prevalence and impact of 'sexting' messages sent among college students. Following the post of a URI Today report, their study has been covered by numerous news organizations, including Time, Rolling Stone, CBS News, U.S. News and World Report, MacLean's, Channel 10, Channel 12, GoLocalProv, The Atlantic, CNET, International Business Times, and more than 100 TV stations around the country, among others.

Selected Professional Publications:

Christopher, F.S., Kisler, T.S., & Johnson, S. (in press). College women's encounters with intimate partner violence: Exploring mental health issues. Journal About Women in Higher Education.

McCurdy, K., Gorman, K., Kisler, T.S., & Metallinos-Katsaras, E. (in press). Maternal mental health and child health and nutrition. In The NICHD/Oxford Handbook on Child Development and Poverty.

Sparks, J.A., Kisler, T.S., Adams, J.F., and Blumen, D.G. (2011). Teaching accountability: Using client feedback to train effective family therapists. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Kisler, T. S. (2010). Review of the book The nature of sexual desire, by J. Giles. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 214-217.

Kisler, T. S. (2009). Marriage and sex. In Harry T. Reiss & Susan Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kisler, T.S., & Christopher, F.S. (2008). Sexual exchanges and relationship satisfaction: Testing the role of sexual satisfaction as a mediator. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25, 583-598.

Kisler, T. S., & Christopher, F. S. (2008). Writing a letter to your sexual self. In. C.F. Sori & L. Hecker (Eds.) The therapist's notebook III: homework, handouts & activities for use in psychotherapy, 95-101. New York: Routledge.

Christopher, F.S., & Kisler, T.S. (2004a). Exploring marital sexuality: Peeking inside the bedroom and discovering what we don't know - but should! In J. Harvey, A. Wenzel, & S. Sprecher (Eds.), The handbook of sexuality in close relationships. Lawrence Erlbaum. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
* Handbook was recipient of the Society of Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) Exceptional Merit Award

Christopher, F.S., & Kisler, T.S. (2004b). Sexual Aggression in Romantic Relationships. In J. Harvey, A. Wenzel, & S. Sprecher (Eds.), The handbook of sexuality in close relationships. Lawrence Erlbaum. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
* Handbook was recipient of the Society of Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) Exceptional Merit Award

Selected Professional Presentations (Refereed):

McCurdy, K., Gorman, K.S., Metallinos-Katsaras, E., & Kisler, T.S. (2011). The relationship between maternal depression and child nutritional outcomes in Low income families. Poster to be presented at the biennial meeting for the Society for Research in Child Development, March, 2011, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Adams, S. K., Kisler, T.S., Andrew, L, Mediros, T., Brooks, B.S., Vacca, A., &
Cummings, B.S. (2010). Text messaging and phone use during sleep: The impact on psychological well-being. Poster presented at the New England Psychological Association Annual Conference, October, 2010, Colchester, VT.

Christopher, F.S., Kisler, T.S., & Johnson, S. (2009). Bookendings: Beginnings and endings for women in violent relationships. Paper presented for the International Association of Relationship Research mini-conference, November, 2009, Lawrence, KS.

Kisler, T.S. (2009b). Concerns about labiaplasty from a sexual health perspective. Paper presented at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting, October 2009, Washington, D.C.

Christopher, F.S., Kisler, T.S., & Johnson, S. (2008). Experiences with partner violence and mental health problems: Exploring patterns. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, November, 2008, Little Rock, AR.

Sparks, J., Adams, J., Kisler, T.S., & Blumen, D. (2008). Teaching accountability using client feedback software. Workshop to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, October, 2008, Memphis, TN.

T. S. Kisler, Johnson, S., & Christopher, F. S. (2008). Women's experiences of intimate partner violence: Exploring mental health issues. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the International Association of Relationship Research, July, 2008, Providence, R.I.

Kisler, T.S., Sparks, J., & Adams, J. (2007). Using software to track client ratings of MFT trainee effectiveness. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, November, 2007, Pittsburgh, P.A.

Selected Invited Professional Presentations/ Clinical Workshops:

Kisler, T. S. (2010). Treating infidelity: A contemporary approach for working with affair couples. Psychological Centers/URI Counseling Center Training Program, May, 2010, Providence, RI.

Kisler, T. S. (2010). Challenges of couple therapy: What every good relational therapist should know. Psychological Centers/URI Counseling Center Training Program, March, 2010, Providence, RI.

Kisler, T.S. (2009). Couple therapy: Current approaches to helping couples. Psychological Centers/URI Counseling Center Training Program, January, 2009, Providence, RI.

Campbell, J. & Kisler, T.S. (2008). Sex therapy: An introduction to the treatment of sexual problems. Psychological Centers/URI Counseling Center Training Program, May, 2008, Providence, RI.

Upcoming Invited Professional Presentations/Clinical Workshops:

Kisler, T. S., Chalk, L., Blycker, G., & Dennewitz, S. (October 2011). Couples Therapy Series: Helping Couples Uncover their Sexual Potential. Psychological Centers/URI Counseling Center Training Program, October, 2011, Providence, RI.