Nicole’s dissertation research titled, Social Cognitive Processes Underlying Victim Self and Identity: Evidence of Explicit and Implicit Victim Identity and Self-Stereotyping, examined whether a past violent victimization experience leads individuals to explicitly and/or implicitly identify with the group victims and its attributes, what she refers to as victim identity and victim self-stereotyping, respectively. She also examined under what conditions victim identity may be strengthened. Across four original studies, her results showed that those with past violent victimization experience exhibited greater explicit (but not implicit) victim identity and self-stereotyping, that reminders of a victimization experience strengthen explicit (and sometimes implicit) victim identity, and that measures of explicit and implicit victim identity and self-stereotyping are unrelated. Further, in her exploratory analyses, Nicole found that explicit victim identity partially mediates the relation between past violent victimization experience and poor mental health and poor psychological well-being, and explicit victim identity is related to several routine activities linked to risk of (re)victimization. Collectively, Nicole’s dissertation research may support future intervention efforts to decrease the negative consequences of victimization that, in turn, empowers those with violent victimization experience with a sense of agency and promotes their overall mental health and well-being.
Nicole will be a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metro Campus, beginning August 2018.