Jennifer Gomez

Jennifer Gomez

Jennifer Gomez


 Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D.

Dr. Gómez is on leave from Wayne State University.

She is spending the 2021-22 academic year as a CASBS Fellow at the Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS). With a contract with APA Books, she will spend the Fellowship year writing her academic book, Cultural Betrayal, Sexual Abuse, & Healing for Black Women & Girls: From Black Lives Matter to MeToo.

Dr. Gómez is no longer recruiting graduate students at WSU, as she will begin as an Assistant Professor at Boston University (BU) School of Social Work, Clinical Practice Department, and Faculty Affiliate at BU’s Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health (July 2022).

She remains grateful for her time at MPSI and in Detroit. 

Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D., Board Member and Chair of the Research Advisory Committee at the Center for Institutional Courage, is an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI). She is also the lead co-editor of the 2021 special issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation- Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities. For the 2021-22 academic year, Dr. Gómez will be a Fellow at the Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, where she will write her book, Cultural Betrayal, Sexual Abuse, & Healing for Black Women & Girls: From Black Lives Matter to MeToo (Publisher: APA Books). Her primary research focus is cultural betrayal trauma theory (CBTT), which she created as a framework for empirically examining the mental, behavioral, cultural, and physical health impact of violence on Black and other marginalized youth, young adults, and elders within the context of inequality. Dr. Gómez has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, scholarly writings, and pieces for the general public. Her work has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and funded by the Ford Foundation—administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine (NASEM), Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR), and Wayne State University. She has additionally contributed research perspectives on violence, sexual abuse & harassment, racism, and sexism in U.S. national news outlets, including in The Lily, a product of Washington Post, NBC News, HuffPost, Newsweek, and Forbes. Finally, she has given over 100 research presentations locally, nationally, and internationally at conferences, other universities, and community organizations, including the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN CND) Side Events, the NASEM Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Public Summit, Stanford University, BBC Woman’s Hour, Motor City Singers Space, and Detroit Public Schools via Michigan Opera Theatre. Dr. Gómez’ ultimate goal for her research is to identify avenues of hope and healing for individuals, families, communities, institutions, and society.

See Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities (Lead Co-Editor) call for submissions:

See Center for Institutional Courage (Board Member):

See The Conversation article on cultural betrayal trauma theory:

See website: 

See Twitter: @JenniferMGmez1


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Program, Wayne State University, 2017-19
  • Ph.D., (Clinical) Psychology, University of Oregon, 2017
  • APA-Accredited Clinical Internship: Charleston Consortium Internship Training Program—Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) & Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)- Traumatic Stress Track, 2016-17
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Oregon, 2012
  • B.A., Psychology, San Diego State University, summa cum laude, 2011

Areas of Expertise

cultural betrayal trauma theory; betrayal trauma theory; institutional betrayal; child sexual abuse; Title IX & campus sexual violence; youth/young adults; Black/African Americans; structural & cultural racism; cultural competency & humility




Research Focus


Dr. Gómez is dedicated to contributing work that has implications for people who are subjected to both discrimination and interpersonal trauma (i.e.., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse). Specifically, her research focuses on the effects of interpersonal trauma in Black and other minority youth and young adults. In creating cultural betrayal trauma theory, she includes interpersonal trauma in conjunction with discrimination to examine mental, cultural, and behavioral health outcomes in marginalized populations.

For example, in cultural betrayal trauma theory, Dr. Gómez proposes that if a Black girl is sexually assaulted by a Black boy, the outcomes of this trauma, such as PTSD, are impacted by both the victim and perpetrator experiencing oppression in society.

As such, cultural betrayal trauma theory provides a testable framework for examining the differential impact of inequality for minority youth who experience trauma.


Honors and Awards



Courses Taught

 Wayne State University

Psych 2030, Statistical Methods in Psychology, 3 credits, Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021
Psych 7240, Ethics & Diversity, 1 credit, Winter 2020, 2021

University of Oregon. All undergraduate courses
Courses Taught:
1. Psychopathology (solo instructor/co-instructor)
2. Statistical Methods in Psychology (lab instructor)

Guest Lectures in the Following Courses:
1. Prevention of Violence (1): Sexual Violence at College: From Betrayal and Inequality to Research and Action
2. Psychology of Trauma (4): Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory
3. Culture & Mental Health (3): Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory; Introduction to Cultural Competency; The Sociocultural Context of Psychosis
4. Mind & Society [Introductory Psychology] (2): Introduction to Adult Psychopathology
5. Psychopathology (2): Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory; Introduction to Cultural Competency


For a complete list, see Curriculum Vitae

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • Gómez, J. M. (2021). Gender, campus sexual violence, cultural betrayal, institutional betrayal, and institutional support in U.S. ethnic minority college students: A descriptive study. Advanced online publication. Violence Against Women.
  • Gómez, J. M., Caño, A., & Baltes, B. B. (2021). Who are we missing? Examining the Graduate Record Examination quantitative score as a barrier to admission into psychology doctoral programs for capable ethnic minorities. Training and Education in Professional Psychology. Advance online publication.
  • Gómez, J. M., Gobin, R. L., & Barnes, M. (2021). Discrimination, violence, and healing within marginalized communities. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 22(2), 135-140. https://10.1080/15299732.2021.1869059
  • Gómez, J. M. (2021). Does gender matter? An exploratory study of cultural betrayal trauma and hallucinations in Latino undergraduates at a predominantly White university. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(3-4), NP1375–1390NP. https://10.1177/0886260517746942
  • Gómez, J. M. (2020). Gendered sexual violence: Betrayal trauma, dissociation, & PTSD in diverse college students. Advanced online publication. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma. https://10.1080/10926771.2020.1783737
  • Gómez, J. M. (2020). Cultural betrayal as a dimension of traumatic harm: Violence & PTSS among ethnic minority emerging adults. Advanced Online Publication. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. https://10.1007/s40653-020-00314-0
  • Gómez, J. M. (2020). It hurts when you’re close: The roles of high betrayal sexual trauma and dissociation in suicidal ideation in young adults. Violence & Victims, 35, 712-723. https://10.1891/VV-D-19-00150
  • Gómez, J. M. (2020). Trainee perspectives on relational cultural therapy and cultural competency in supervision of trauma cases. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 30, 60-66. doi: 10.1037/int0000154
  • Gómez, J. M., & Gobin, R. L. (2020). Black women and girls & #MeToo: Rape, cultural betrayal, & healing. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 82, 1-12. doi: 10.1007/s11199-019-01040-0
  • Gómez, J. M. (2019). Group dynamics as a predictor of dissociation for Black victims of violence: An exploratory study of cultural betrayal trauma theory. Transcultural Psychiatry, 56, 878-894. doi: 10.1177/1363461519847300
  • Gómez, J. M. (2019). Isn’t it all about victimization? (Intra)cultural pressure and cultural betrayal trauma in ethnic minority college women. Violence Against Women, 25, 1211-1225. doi: 10.1177/1077801218811682
  • Gómez, J. M. (2019). What’s the harm? Internalized prejudice and intra-racial trauma as cultural betrayal among ethnic minority college students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89, 237-247. doi: 10.1037/ort0000367
  • Gómez, J. M. (2018). What's in a betrayal? Trauma, dissociation, and hallucinations among high-functioning ethnic minority emerging adults. Advanced online publication. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2018.1494653
  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2018). Psychological outcomes of within-group sexual violence: Evidence of cultural betrayal. Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, 20, 1458-1467. doi: 10.1007/s10903-017-0687-0
  • Gómez, J. M., Lewis, J. K, Noll, L. K., Smidt, A. M., & Birrell, P. J. (2016). Shifting the focus: Nonpathologizing approaches to healing from betrayal trauma through an emphasis on relational care. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation [Special Section], 17, 165-185. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2016.1103104
  • Gómez, J. M., Kaehler, L. A., & Freyd, J. J. (2014). Are hallucinations related to betrayal trauma exposure? A three-study exploration. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy, 6, 675-682. doi: 10.1037/a0037084

Book Chapters:

  • Gómez, J. M. (2020). Exposure to discrimination, cultural betrayal, and intoxication as a Black female graduate student applying for tenure-track faculty positions. In Y. F. Niemann, G. Gutierrez y Muhs, & C. G. Gonzalez, Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, & Resistance of Women in Academia (pp. 204-214). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.
  • Gobin, R. L., & Gómez, J. M. (2020). The cultural context of sexual assault and its consequences among ethnic minority women. In R. Geffner, V. Vieth, V. Vaughan-Eden, A. Rosenbaum, L. K. Hamberger, & J. White, (Eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan. New York City, NY: Springer/National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV).
  • Gómez, J. M., & Freyd, J. J. (2019). Betrayal/trauma. In J. J. Ponzetti (Ed.), Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach (pp. 79-82). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning Inc.

Public Scholarship:

  • McDaniel, M. C. & Gómez, J. M. (2021, June). As Biden Administration Reviews Title IX Regulations, We are Reminded that Universal Mandated Reporting Creates Increased Risk for Marginalized & LGBT+ Sexual Violence Survivors (online).
  • Gómez, J. M. (2021, June). Reforming Title IX: Evidence of the harm of universal mandated reporting for marginalized survivors of campus sexual violence. Talk at the U.S. Department of Education Title IX Live Hearings, Washington, D.C. (online).
  • Gómez, J. (2019, November 7). Live up to your mission, UO. The Register-Guard. Retrieved from
  • Gómez, J. M. (2019, September 13). Navigating the dialectic of privilege and oppression. Inside Higher Ed Conditionally Accepted Blog. Retrieved from
  • Gómez, J. M. (2019, May 13). The unique harm of sexual abuse in the Black community. The Conversation. Retrieved from
  • Gómez, J. M. (2018, December 6). Black women and #MeToo: The violence of silencing. The Black Commentator, 767. Retrieved from
  • Gómez, J. M. (2018, February 16). A time for arrogance: A minority scholar describes the challenges she experienced on the academic job market. Inside Higher Ed Conditionally Accepted Blog. Retrieved from /2018/02/16/minority-scholar-describes-challenges-she-experienced-academic-job-market-opinion


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