Renee McDonald, Psychology, How Childhood Domestic Violence Impacts Us… Young and Old

Huffington Post

Originally Posted: November 17, 2015

The following is an excerpt from a Huffington Post article titled How Childhood Domestic Violence Impacts Us… Young and Old. READ MORE

……..”They don’t often connect the dots…”

This young woman is not alone. Dr. Renee McDonald, a leading researcher at Southern Methodist University said, “They often cannot connect the dots between what they experienced in their childhood homes and the challenges they face today.” Dr. McDonald was specifically talking about Childhood Domestic Violence. READ MORE

George Holden, Psychology, to speak at congressional briefing on corporal punishment in public schools


Originally Posted: November 13, 2015

SMU Professor and Psychology Department Chair George Holden will speak before a congressional briefing titled “Spare the Rod: Protect the Child” from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Washington D.C.

Holden, a leading expert on parenting, discipline and family, will participate in a panel designed to tackle the ongoing practice of corporal punishment in schools – which is still legal in 19 states, including Texas, though outlawed in Dallas and the state’s other metropolitan areas.

“There’s very limited research about the impact of corporal punishment in schools, but what research is available is focused on how much it’s used and to whom its used on,” Holden says. “It’s mostly used on minority students and students with disabilities.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, is hosting the briefing, which will be attended by congressional staffers. Hastings’ goal, says Holden, is to introduce a bill that will outlaw corporal punishment and paddling of children in schools.

Holden believes this is the second recent attempt to pass such a bill. In 2011, New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy introduced a bill called the “Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act,” which failed to make it out of committee.

The 19 states where corporal punishment in schools is still legal are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

At a Glance
What: SMU Professor and Psychology Department Chair George Holden speaks about corporal punishment in American public schools before a congressional briefing titled “Spare the Rod: Protect the Child” hosted by U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings.

Who’s invited: The event is free and open to the public.

When: 10-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18

Where: Room 122, Cannon House Office Building, 1st and C Street, SE, Washington, D.C.


SMU students in Paris report they are safe; SMU monitoring situation

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 14, 2015

SMU has heard from all 11 of its students studying in Paris that they are safe. The SMU Travel Oversight Committee is closely monitoring the situation and is receiving updates from the U.S. State Department and International SOS.

SMU community members abroad are asked to be aware that France has declared a national state of emergency and has tightened its borders. On Saturday, November 14, the U.S. Embassy in France issued a security message regarding the terrorist attacks: “Further incidents are possible. We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security, including limiting their movements to essential activity. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.” While airports and train stations remain open, travelers may expect delays due to heightened security measures.
All SMU Abroad students are covered by emergency travel assistance through I-SOS and may use the services of I-SOS worldwide during their term of study abroad. During SMU Abroad orientation, students received laminated cards with emergency phone numbers for I-SOS. I-SOS contact information also is available online at In addition, every SMU-approved study abroad program has its own emergency preparedness plan and protocols.

Students with concerns or questions are asked to contact the SMU Abroad Director, Dr. Cathy Winnie, at (214-768-4904) or SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters at (214-768-1586). Student safety is the highest priority of SMU and our partner study abroad programs. READ MORE

Psychology professors Thomas Ritz and Alicia Meuret awarded a $2 million NIH grant to help develop a pediatric asthma monitor

Originally published: November 3, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) – A pair of SMU psychology professors working with University of Marylanasthma-childd engineers have been awarded a National Institutes of Health grant that will bring nearly $2 million to their joint project to create a wearable device for pediatric asthma patients that helps them avoid asthma triggers.

The asthma device will monitor air quality (including pollen levels and temperature), carbon dioxide levels in the blood, physical activity, breathing, emotional states and other stimuli to identify each patient’s individual asthma triggers and alert them when conditions are ripe for an attack. The concept is similar to the glucose monitor that alerts diabetes patients when their blood sugar is low, but it also includes much more complex monitoring of the patients’ environment.

The device’s current iteration is a portable unit, but the Maryland team is miniaturizing it so that it can be worn as a vest.

SMU psychology professors Thomas Ritz and Alicia Meuret, have teamed up with University of Maryland Center for Advanced Sensor Technology professors Yordan Kostov, Xudong Ge and Govind Rao, which provides a natural extension of each team’s research. The University of Maryland team also includes environmental engineering researchers Chris Hennigan and electrical engineering researchers Ryan Robucci and Nilanjan Banerjee. READ MORE

Meet Dedman College Faculty during Family Weekend

2:00PM 3:00PM

Dedman College, the heart of SMU houses the vital disciplines the underlie great accomplishment. Denman College offers 85 exciting majors and minors in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Their award winning faculty will be available to discuss their teaching and research interests. READ MORE

Professor David Rosenfield, Psychology, Climbs Tenure Ladder Twice in 3 Decades

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Originally Posted: September 28, 2015


The first time David Rosenfield went up for tenure, in the late 1970s, an academic career lay before him. The second time, 30 years later, he was trying to reclaim it.

Mr. Rosenfield’s first bid succeeded. In 1980 he became an associate professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University. But when a leave of absence grew unexpectedly longer, he had to resign his position. In 2008 he put himself in the tenure process again.

In between, Mr. Rosenfield stepped in to run the family business, in steel distribution, and little by little became an entrepreneur, drifting away from the academic life he knew.

When academics switch jobs, they usually move from one college to another, seeking a more desirable locale, a more esteemed reputation, or a bigger paycheck. Given the grueling process of earning tenure, most professors who’ve got it negotiate a way to keep it, and others at least get credit for having started on that track. READ MORE

George Holden, Psychology, how does it affect parents to spank their own children?


Originally Posted: August 24, 2015

My Kids Don’t Remember Being Spanked, But I Can’t Forget

I grew up in a house that spanked. Such punishment was usually reserved for the strongest of offenses–deliberate disregard for household property, or, more often, when my brother or I used force on each other. I don’t distinctly recall who dished out the punishment, but I do remember that, while my father occasionally threatened “the belt” (though it was never delivered), it was my mother who transformed the wooden spoons into instruments of terror. One favorite family story is how she went to change my bedding one day and found all of the wooden spoons lined up neatly under my mattress; we never figured out what I had done wrong, but I had clearly been worried about being punished for something. READ MORE

Virgin America CEO / Dedman College alum David Cush on KERA-TV “CEO” this Friday at 7:30p CST


CEO, Aug. 7
7:30 p.m.

Virgin America CEO David Cush tells host Lee Cullum why there is such a fight for access to gates at Love Field and how fierce competition in the Dallas market is driving fare wars. Cush warns of potential dangers to the industry due to sweeping consolidation. Learn how Virgin survived a turbulent start after launching the airline in 2007 and how the company built a niche business enticing passengers with creature comforts and competitive prices. READ MORE

About David Cush:

David was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcast/Film and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1982. A year later (1983), he received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from SMU.

George Holden, Psychology, study cited in a story about parents’ unconscious influences on child’s career interests

Fast Company

Originally Posted: June 19, 2015




Ever since your son or daughter was little, you’ve been showering him or her with positive affirmations about the future. “Follow your dreams.” “The world is your oyster.” “You can do whatever you set your mind to doing.” And, one day, when you’re having the “what do you want to be when you grow up” conversation, you get the payoff for all of that empowerment: A crew member on one of the Deadliest Catch boats. An undercover homicide detective. Nik Wallenda’s next protégé.

Kids say the darnedest things—and sometimes their future career fantasies can be downright terrifying. The choices may range from dangerous to financially insecure, and somewhat far afield of what you had in mind, even if you’re loathe to admit it. But be careful in your response. A 2010 report by George Holden of Southern Methodist University found that the way we react to these types of situations can have a great deal of influence on the trajectories our children follow throughout life. The research found that the things to which we introduce them, how we help them navigate obstacles, and how we react to their actions and ideas has an impact on the decisions they make. READ MORE

Andrea L. Meltzer, Psychology, At peak fertility, women who desire to maintain body attractiveness report they eat less

Three independent studies find women near peak fertility who desire to maintain body attractiveness are motivated to eat less — unlike women who are not near ovulation, using hormonal birth control, or not motivated to maintain body attractiveness

Biology isn’t the only reason women eat less as they near ovulation, a time when they are at their peak fertility.

Three new independent studies found that another part of the equation is a woman’s desire to maintain her body’s attractiveness, says social psychologist and assistant professor Andrea L. Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Women nearing ovulation who also reported an increase in their motivation to manage their body attractiveness reported eating fewer calories out of a desire to lose weight, said Meltzer, lead researcher on the study.

When women were not near peak fertility — regardless of whether they were motivated to manage their body attractiveness, near peak fertility but not motivated to manage their body attractiveness, or using hormonal birth control, they were less likely to want to lose weight and didn’t reduce their calories, Meltzer said. READ MORE

Learn more about Andrea L. Meltzer