Lauren B Cattaneo

Lauren B Cattaneo

Lauren B Cattaneo

Associate Professor

Clinical Psychology: empowerment, resilience, community-based learning, transformative education, civic engagement, intimate partner violence, survivor-centered services

Dr. Cattaneo earned her doctorate in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of Maryland (College Park) in 2001, and joined the faculty of the Clinical Psychology Program at George Mason University in 2003. Dr. Cattaneo applies a community psychology orientation to her work, centering on the ways psychology can facilitate and fuel efforts to address social problems, and create a more just society. Community psychology highlights the multiple layers of context influencing individuals and groups, and prioritizes partnership with community members and organizations in research, teaching and advocacy. Broadly, in her Lab for Community REACH (Resilience, Empowerment, Action, Change), Dr. Cattaneo and her students are interested in the wellbeing of marginalized populations, exploring and reimagining the role of institutions in societal arrangements, and in catalyzing critical civic awareness and engagement. Within the area of intimate partner violence, Dr. Cattaneo’s research has focused on the key constructs of empowerment and survivor-centered practice to explore the best ways to assist survivors. Dr. Cattaneo has won awards for excellence in teaching and mentorship from George Mason University and from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Selected Publications

*Chaudhry, T. & Cattaneo, L.B. (in press). Religious help-seeking in survivors of intimate partner violence. Journal of Family Violence.

*Strickler, S., *Martin, L., *Khong, K.K. & Cattaneo, L.B. (2023) Variations in women’s attribution of blame for sexual assault. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 38(19-20):10947-10971. doi: 10.1177/08862605231178359.

Cattaneo, L.B., *Salazar, M.M., *Ramseur II, K., Calton, J. & Shor, R. (2023). Uncomfortable emotion in a justice-oriented service-learning class: Anger predicts civic engagement. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 29(1). doi:

*Gebhard, K., *Hargrove, S., *Chaudhry, T., *Buchwach, S.Y. & Cattaneo, L.B. (2022). Building strength for the long haul toward liberation: What psychology can contribute to the resilience of communities targeted by state-sanctioned violence. American Journal of Community Psychology.

Cattaneo, L.B. *Calton, J.M., *Shor, R., *Buchwach, S.Y., *Gebhard, K.T., *Hargrove, S., *Elshabassi, N. & *Al-Shaar, B. (2021). Attitude change and action in a course aiming for the social justice turn. Special issue: Centering Social Justice in the Scholarship of Community Engagement. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning, 27(1), 5-32.

Cattaneo, L.B. & Goodman, L.A. (2015). What is empowerment anyway? A model for domestic violence practice, research and evaluation. Psychology of Violence, 5(1), 84-94.

Brodsky, A. & Cattaneo, L.B. (2013). The transconceptual model of empowerment and resilience: Divergence, convergence and interactions in kindred community concepts. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 333-346.

*student author

Expanded Publication List

*Shor, R., *Calton, J.M. & Cattaneo, L.B.  (2018). The development of the Systems and Individual Responsibility for Poverty (SIRP) Scale. Journal of Community Psychology. Advance on-line publication. Doi: 10.1002/jcop.22088

*Grossmann, J., Cattaneo, L.B., *Shor, R. & *Schaefer, K. (2018). Development of a tool to assess survivor-centered practice on a domestic violence hotline. Journal of Social Work. Advance on-line publication. Doi: 10.1177/1468017318757395

*Ramseur, K., Cattaneo, L.B., *Stori, S. & Adams, L.A. (in press). Black men need friends: Social support moderates the connection between gendered racism and psychological distress. Journal of Men and Masculinities.

*Woerner, J., Sullivan, T., Cattaneo, L.B., Backes, B.L. & Bellucci, B. (2023). Criminal protective orders for victims of intimate partner violence, future system engagement, and well-being: Understanding the importance of prior abusive relationships. Victims and Offenders.

Cattaneo, L.B., *Salazar, M.M., *Ramseur II, K., Calton, J. & Shor, R. (2023). Uncomfortable emotion in a justice-oriented service-learning class: Anger predicts civic engagement. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 29(1). doi:

*Shor, R., Cattaneo, L.B. & *Calton, J.M. (2017). Pathways of transformational service-learning: Exploring the relationships between context, disorienting dilemmas, and student response. Journal of Transformative Education, 15(2), 156-173. DOI: 10.1177/1541344616689044

*Deloveh, H.L.M. & Cattaneo, L.B. (2017). Deciding where to turn: A qualitative investigation of college students’ helpseeking decisions after sexual assault. American Journal of Community Psychology, 59(1-2), 65-79.

Cattaneo, L.B., Calton, J.M. & Brodsky, A.E. (2014). Status quo versus status quake: Putting the power back in empowerment. Journal of Community Psychology, 42(4), 433-446.

Cattaneo, L.B. & Chapman, A.R. (2010). The process of empowerment: A model for use in research and practice. American Psychologist, 65(7), 646-659.

Bennett Cattaneo, L. & Goodman, L. (2010). Through the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence: The relationship between empowerment in the court system and wellbeing for intimate partner violence victims. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25, 481-502.

Courses Taught

UNIV 318/HNRS 130 Foundations for Building a Just Society

PSYC 325 Abnormal Psyc

PSYC 326 Therapeutic Communication Skills

PSYC 427/HNRS 230 Community Engagement for Social Change

PSYC 830 History and Systems of Personality and Psychotherapy

PSYC 856 Diversity, History, and Clinical Psychology

PSYC 883 Ethical and Professional Issues in Clinical Practice


Recent Presentations

Building and Maintaining Inclusive Classrooms

Developed training. Presented at Institute for Faculty Learning, New Faculty Orientation, Adjunct Faculty Success Workshop, and to Psychology Department faculty, George Mason, Fairfax, VA (August-September, 2020).

Standing in the Messy Middle, and other Key Steps in Building Resilience

Keynote speaker at University Life Staff Development Event, George Mason, Fairfax, VA (October, 2019); Faculty/Staff Enrichment Day (December, 2019).

Cattaneo, L.B. (2018, July). What we can do from where we are: Teaching to incite creative maladjustment. Invited speaker at event for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award, Society for the Psychological Study for Social Issues Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Cattaneo, L.B. & Stylianou, A. (2018, July). How does survivor-defined practice affect empowerment? Results from a longitudinal CBPR evaluation. In L.A. Goodman (Chair), "Nothing about us without us:" Using CBPR to evaluate DV program practices. Paper presented at the Seventeenth International Family Violence Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

*Hargrove, S., *Gebhard, K, *Buchwach, S. & Cattaneo, L.B. (2018, June). Building Resilience to State-Sanctioned Violence. Interactive discussion led at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, Pittsburgh, PA

Cattaneo, L.B. (2018, June). Social Problems are Social: Connecting Individual Struggle with Social Inequity. In L.B. Cattaneo (chair), Building Bridges through Higher Education:Teaching Strategies that Make Connections. Symposium presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Cattaneo, L.B. (2017, October). Efficacy of interventions with victims: What do we mean by “effective?”  Webinar hosted by the Battered Women’s Justice Project, attended by intimate partner violence service providers across US.

Cattaneo, L.B. (2016, September). Building Research-Practitioner Partnerships in the Field of Victim Services. Panel discussion presented at the National Center for Victims of Crime National Training Institute, Philadelphia, PA. 

Cattaneo, L.B. (2016, June). Civic Engagement and Social Class in College: Whose Engagement Are We Facilitating? In L.B. Cattaneo (Chair), Facilitating Civic Engagement through Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities. Symposium presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

*Gebhard, K., Cattaneo, L.B. & *Hargrove, S. (2016, June). How can academics be allies to activists? Interactive session presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, Minneapolis, MN.


Dissertations Supervised

Jason Feinberg, White Therapist-Trainee Racial Identity Development, Self-Reported Broaching Styles, and Observed Broaching (2022)

Stephanie Hargrove, Wellness Beyond Symptom Reduction: An Exploration of Black Woman-Centered Wellness for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (2021)

Kris T. Gebhard , Understanding How to Prevent Male Violence: Investigating the Role of Threatened-masculinity Shame and Testing an Intervention (2019)

Rachel E. Shor, The Impact of Disclosure on Resilience Resources During Help-seeking for Sexual Assault (2018)

Jenna Calton, The Impact of Minority Stress on LGBTQ Individuals’ Intentions to Seek Help for Intimate Partner Violence (2016)

Jessica Grossmann, Examining the Impact of Parenthood and Family Connectedness on Offenders' Reentry Experiences (2015)

Heidi DeLoveh, Where do I Turn? A Qualitative Investigation of College Students' Helpseeking Decisions After Sexual Assault Victimization (2014)

Aliya Chapman, Marital Power and Marital Satisfaction among American Muslims (2013)

Adriana Pilafova, Familialism, Privacy of Problems and Egalitarianism as Predictors of Recognition and Disclosure of Abuse (2011)