Dr. Karen M. O’Brien is a professor in the Department of Psychology and associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on the vocational development of women (e.g., studying factors associated with successful management of work and family in the United States and internationally) and intimate partner violence (e.g., developing interventions to reduce dating violence). Dr. O’Brien is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and she serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Counseling Psychology and the Journal of Career Assessment. She is a licensed psychologist in the State of Maryland and a member of the Board of Directors for the Family Crisis Center of Prince George's County, Inc. Recently, Dr. O'Brien completed a Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Thanatology at the University of Maryland Baltimore to enhance her knowledge regarding theory, research and clinical practice related to death, dying and grieving.
Recent projects include: (1) an international study of the meaning of motherhood and its relationship to career outcomes for American and Korean mothers, (2) the development and testing of an online intervention to reduce dating violence on college campuses, and (3) a grant proposal (with colleagues at the University of Maryland Medical Center) to obtain funding to develop and evaluate the efficacy of an online course intervention focused on improving knowledge of end-of-life issues, reducing death anxiety, and enhancing communication skills for future health care professionals including pre-medical students and undergraduate psychology students.
Please refer to Dr. O'Brien's website for additional information about her research, teaching and service.
Areas of Interest
- Women's Vocational Development and Economic Self-Sufficiency
- Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence
- Death, Dying and Grieving
PhDCounseling Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, January, 1993.
MACounseling and Guidance, University of Missouri, Kansas City, July, 1988.
BSBiology, B.A., Sociology, Loyola University Chicago, May, 1983. Minor: Women's Studies.
Teaching and mentoring offer unique opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching is developing mentoring relationships with students and assisting them in identifying, pursuing, and achieving their career and educational goals. My graduate and undergraduate courses are designed to maximize critical thinking and active. My greatest contribution to teaching undergraduate students is reflected in the development of a two-semester service learning course focused on domestic violence. The first semester of this course focuses on the acquisition of knowledge related to research and theory on domestic violence and multicultural issues. During the second semester, students work in a shelter in our community that serves women and children who experienced domestic violence. Please refer to my website for more information about my teaching. http://counselingpsychologyresearch.weebly.com/index.html
My research focuses on the vocational development of women (e.g., studying factors associated with successful management of work and family in the United States and internationally), intimate partner violence (e.g., developing interventions to reduce dating violence), and death, dying and grieving (e.g., educating future helping professionals about end-of-life issues). Please refer to my website for detailed information about my research. http://counselingpsychologyresearch.weebly.com/index.html
Dr. O'Brien is committed to making a difference through volunteer service. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Family Crisis Center of Prince George's County, a program that provides safe shelter and therapeutic services to abused women and their children. Dr. O'Brien places graduate and undergraduate students in the shelter to facilitate psychoeducational groups for the children to lessen the intergenerational transmission of intimate partner violence. Please refer to my website for more information about my teaching. http://counselingpsychologyresearch.weebly.com/index.html
CampusUniversity Institutional Review Board