Brianna Delker, PhD

she/her/hers, Associate Professor


My research group, the THRIVE Lab, focuses on interpersonal violence (IPV), or physical, sexual, and psychological abuse perpetrated within relationships. When IPV occurs, it tends to happen in relationships with power imbalances, and to reflect gendered inequalities in society, along with intersecting forms of privilege and oppression on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and so on. The lab takes a systemic perspective on trauma to better understand how individuals (survivors, harm-doers, bystanders) psychologically contend with structural forces that perpetuate IPV and invalidate survivors. In recent work, we address how and why it can be hard to "story" trauma in the midst of cultural stigma surrounding IPV. Ultimately, we wish for the lab's work to contribute to collective social efforts that affirm the dignity of survivors and support the pursuit of justice and healing.

Research Interests

  • trauma
  • interpersonal violence
  • abuse
  • cultural stigma
  • trauma narratives

Current Courses

PSY 278: Psychology of Trauma (Summer, WesternOnline)
PSY 305: Scientific Thinking and Writing
PSY 306: Research Methods & Statistical Analysis: Correlational Approaches
PSY 351: Interventions in Adult Mental Health
PSY 400: Trauma Research
PSY 451: Seminar in Mental Health Topics
PSY 586: Scholarship & Communication II: Writing

Selected Publications

*denotes student under Dr. Delker’s research supervision

Delker, B. C., Michel*, P. K., Turner*, K., & McLean, K. C. (2022). Perceptions of physical, sexual, and psychological violence stories: A registered report study. Collabra: Psychology, 8(1): 36330.

Adams-Clark, A., Gómez, J. M., Gobin, R., Noll, L. K., & Delker, B. C. (2021). Impact of interpersonal, family, cultural, and institutional betrayal on adult survivors of abuse. In R. Geffner, J. W. White, L. K. Hamberger, A. Rosenbaum, V. Vaughan-Eden, & V. I. Vieth (Eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Across the Lifespan: A project of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV). New York: Springer Nature.

Delker, B. C. (2021). Interpersonal violence in context: A call to consider cultural stigma in theory and research on the psychology of trauma. In K. C. McLean (Ed.), Cultural Methods in Psychology: Describing and Transforming Cultures. New York: Oxford University Press.

McLean, K. C., Delker, B. C., Dunlop, W. L., Salton*, R., & Syed, M. (2020). Redemptive stories and those who tell them are preferred in the U.S. Collabra: Psychology, 6, 1-20.

Delker, B. C., Salton*, R., McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. (2020). Who has to tell their trauma story and how hard will it be? Influence of cultural stigma and narrative redemption on the storying of sexual violence. PLoS ONE, 15, 1-21.

Delker, B. C., Salton,* R., & McLean, K. C. (2020). Giving voice to silence: Empowerment and disempowerment in the developmental shift from trauma ‘victim’ to ‘survivor-advocate.’ Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 21, 242-263.

Delker, B. C., Smith, C. P., Rosenthal, M. N., Bernstein, R. E., & Freyd, J. J. (2018). When home is where the harm is: Family betrayal and posttraumatic outcomes in young adulthood. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma, 27, 720-743.