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, client-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 arragements, 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.

Dr. Cattaneo will not be taking a new PhD student for the Fall 2022 application cycle. 

Selected Publications

Cattaneo, L.B., Stylianou, A.M., *Hargrove, S., Goodman, L.A. *Gebhard, K. & Curby, T.W. (2020). Survivor-centered practice and survivor empowerment: Evidence from a research-practitioner partnership. Violence Against Women.

Cattaneo, L.B., Chan, W.Y, Shor, R., Gebhard, K.T., Elshabassi, N.E. (2019). Elaborating the connection between social class and classism. American Journal of Community Psychology. Published on-line.

Cattaneo, L.B, *Shor, R., *Calton, J.M., *Gebhard, K.T., *Buchwach, S.Y., *Elshabassi, N. & *Hargrove, S. (2019). Social problems are social: Empirical evidence and reflections on integrating community psychology into traditional curriculum. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 10(1), accessible at

*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.

Chan, W.Y., Cattaneo, L.B., Mak, W.S. & Lin, W.S. (2017). From moment to movement: Empowerment and resilience as a framework for collective action in Hong Kong. American Journal of Community Psychology, 59(1-2), 120-132.

*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.

*Calton, J.M., Cattaneo, L.B. & *Gebhard, K.T. (2016). Barriers to helpseeking for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer survivors of intimate partner violence. Trauma, Violence and Abuse, 17(5), p. 585-600. Doi:10.1177/1524838015585318

Cattaneo, L.B., *Grossmann, J.L & *Chapman, A.R. (2016). The goals of IPV survivors receiving orders of protection: An application of the empowerment process model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(17), 2889-2911

Goodman, L.A., Cattaneo, L.B., Thomas, K, *Woulfe, J., *Chong, S.K. & Smyth, K.F. (2015) Advancing domestic violence program evaluation: Development and validation of the Measure of Victim Empowerment Related to Safety (MOVERS). Psychology of Violence, 5(4),355-366.

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.


Expanded Publication List

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.

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.

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

PSYC 892 Diversity, History, and Clinical Psychology

HNRS 130 Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing

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 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. (2017, June). Social Class and Attitudes toward Poverty in a Diverse University In S. Hargrove* (Chair), Transforming Attitudes toward People Living in Poverty: Implicit, Explicit, and Change Over Time. Symposium presented at the Society for Community Research and Practice Biennial Conference, Ottawa, CN.

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

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)