Katharine Meese Putman, on the faculty since 2003, is associate professor of psychology and part of the Headington Program, established to serve the needs of aid workers and missionaries facing stress, trauma, and adversity. Her specialty is community psychology, and she conducts research and organizational evaluations with first responders, caregivers, and humanitarian aid workers in Central America and Los Angeles. The primary focus of this research is to find ways to equip and support staff members who experience stress and trauma during their work and to assess the impact of training in these environments.
Currently, Putman is conducting research in Guatemala and El Salvador, centering on preparing teachers and aid workers to work with children who have been abused and supporting workers who experience vicarious trauma. Additionally, Putman is conducting a study at the Los Angeles Police Academy evaluating the impact of a change to a problem-solving curriculum on officer performance in the field.
Putman has authored articles published in the American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, Journal of Traumatology, Psychology of Women, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Health and Development, and The Community Psychologist. She is co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology entitled Faith in Practice: Reflections on Community Psychology in Action. Putman also recently published the chapter “Children’s Needs for Parental Love in a Systemically Broken World,” in the book Understanding God’s Heart for Children (2007, ed. by McConnell, et. al). She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Community Research in Action, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the American Evaluation Association.
Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching:
Community psychology, integration of theology and community psychology, family systems framework, prevention science, community interventions, cross-cultural research, qualitative methods, stress and coping, program evaluation, organizational consultation, play therapy, clinical work with children and families, risk and resilience factors for at-risk children, caregivers, and first responders.