Applied Social Psychology

Researcher - Dr. Debra Oswald

Research Overview

“There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” Kurt Lewin

In this lab we study a variety of socially important topics. Guided by social psychological theory we investigate topics such as women’s experiences with sexism, how sexist beliefs influence relationships, how people can be allies to marginalized groups, Black women’s activism in the face of discrimination and more.


Franzoi, S. & Oswald, D. L. (2021). Social Psychology (8th edition).  Redding, CA: BVT publishing

Interested in being a member of our Research Lab?

Please note that Dr. Oswald is not reviewing graduate student applications this year. Undergraduate students from Marquette University who are interested in a position should send Dr. Oswald an email. Preference is given to students who have completed Psych Stats and Social Psychology.

The Research Team

Dr. OswaldDirector: Debra Oswald, Ph.D.

Dr. Oswald completed her Ph.D. in social psychology at Saint Louis University. She completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in quantitative psychology at the University of Illinois. Dr. Oswald is passionate about understanding socially significant topics by applying social psychology theory and using rigorous research methodology.


Graduate Student Lab Members

Zane Ballard

Zane Ballard grew up in LaBelle, Texas and attended undergraduate studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. While working toward his bachelor’s degree in psychology, Zane developed an interest in aspects of sexual identity as they relate to LGBTQ community involvement and social affect. Following graduation, Zane coordinated a study in the lab of Dr. Zina Trost at the University of Alabama-Birmingham examining the implications of an induced illusion on the likelihood of blood donation, and prospectively in the treatment of blood, injection, injury (BII) phobia. He also had the opportunity to work in a substance abuse treatment setting primarily serving low-income and homeless individuals, which broadened his conception of intervention implementation to traditionally underserved populations. Zane currently attends Marquette University as a student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program, and he hopes to continue to work with all facets of the LGBTQ community

Erick Herrera Hernandez

Erick was born in Casas Caidas, Jalisco Mexico and grew up on the southside of Milwaukee. He graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Culture, Health, and Illness. At Marquette, Erick worked on multiple research projects that focused on the psychological difficulties experienced by members of underrepresented groups, both as a McNair Scholar and as an undergraduate research assistant. Following graduation, Erick worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin as a research coordinator working on multiple studies that examined depression and PTSD in traumatically injured hospital patients, as well as the bacterial composition changes in trauma survivors at risk for PTSD.


Currently, Erick is the graduate research assistant on Marquette University's NSF ADVANCE grant, which seeks to support and retain women and underrepresented faculty in STEM and SBE fields, as well as address department climate issues. Erick’s current research interests focus on the experiences of benevolent and hostile sexism as they intersect with race and gender role expectations.


His publications to date include:

  • Herrera Hernández, E. & Oswald, D. (In Press). Who supports #MeToo and the Kavanaugh confirmation? Exploring young adults’ tolerance for sexual harassment. Journal of Social Issues.
  • Hunt, J. C., Herrera Hernández, E., Brandolino, A., Jazinski-Chambers, K., Maher, K., Jackson, B., … deRoon-Cassini, T. A. (2021). Validation of the Injured Trauma Survivor Screen (ITSS). Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 90(5), 797–806.
  • Torres, L., Mata-Greve, M., Bird, C., & Herrera Hernández, E. (2018). Intersectionality research within Latinx mental health: Conceptual and methodological considerations. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 6(4), 304-317.




* Indicates current or former graduate student co author. + indicates undergraduate student co-author.

  • *Herrera Hernandez,E., & Oswald, D.L. (in press). Who supports #MeToo and the Kavanaugh confirmation? Exploring tolerance for sexual harassment among young adultsJournal of Social Issues.
  • Oswald, D. L., Kaugars, A., & *Tait, M. (in press). Covid-19 pandemic and women’s experiences with IPV: Risk factors and implications for mental health. Manuscript in press with Violence against Women.
  • *Ballard, Zane & Oswald, D. (in press). Sexual minority behavioral health outcomes: The role of identity authenticity and self-regulation.  Manuscript in press with Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
  • Kaugars, A.S., Holly, L.E., *Tait, M., & Oswald, D. (2022). Exploring American parents’ lived experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: Ramifications for well-being, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 47, 135-147.
  • Howard, S., Oswald, D. L., & *Kirkman, M. (2020). The relationship between god’s gender, gender system justification and sexism. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 30 (3), 216-230.
  • *Kirkman, M, & Oswald, D. L.  (2020). Is it just me or was that sexist? The role of sexism type of perpetrator ethnicity on identifying sexism.  Journal of Social Psychology, 160 (2), 236-247
  • Vasquesz, K., Oswald, D. L., +Hammer, A. (2019). Being dishonest about our prejudices. Ethics and Behavior, 29(5), 382-404.
  • Oswald, D. L., *Baalbaki, M., *Kirkman, M. (2019). Women’s experiences with benevolent sexism: Scale development and validation. Sex Roles, 80, 362-380
  • Russell, B.L., Krauss, S., *Chapleau, K. & Oswald, D. L. (2019). Perceptions of Blame in Intimate Partner Violence: The Role of the Perpetrator's Ability to Arouse Fear of Injury in the Victim. In press. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
  • *Frost, K., Franzoi, S., Oswald, D. L., & Shields, S. (2018). Revising the Body Esteem Scale: Development and Validation of the BES-R. Sex Roles, 78, 1-17.
  • Bobay, K. L., Weiss, M. E., Oswald, D. L., & Yakusheva, O. (2018). Validation of the registered nurse assessment of readiness for hospital discharge scale. Nursing Research, 67, 305-313.
  • *Newman,, A.R., Faut-Callahan, M., Lerret, S.M., Oswald, D.L., & Weiss, M.E. (2018). Pediatric oncology nurses’ experiences with prognosis-related communication. Oncology Nursing Forum, 45(3):327-337. doi: 10.1188/18.ONF.327-337
  • Howard, S., Oswald, D. L., & *Kirkman, M. (2018). Who believes in a male god? Ideological beliefs and gendered conceptualizations of God. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 28, 55-70.
  • *Holmgreen, L. & Oswald, D. L. (2017). Men’s sexual aggression, dating preferences, and perceptions of women with different attachment styles. Violence and Victims, 32, 935-952.
  • Oswald, D. L. (2017). Maintaining long lasting friendships. M. Hojjat and A. Moyer (Eds.). The Psychology of Friendships. Pages 267-282. Oxford Press.
  • *LeMaire, K., & Oswald, D. (2016). How gender affects heterosexual allies' intentions of confronting sexual prejudice. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3, 453-464.
  • Russell, B. L. & Oswald, D. L. (2016). When sexism cuts both ways: Predictors of tolerance of sexual harassment of men. Men and Masculinities, 19, 524-544
  • *LeMaire, K., Oswald, D. L., & Russell, B. L. (2016). Acknowledging rape: Attitudinal and ideological associates. Violence and Victims, 31, 332-346.
  • Bull, M., *Sjorstadt, J., Boaz, L., & Oswald, D. (2015). Psychometric Properties of the Family Caregiver Delirium Knowledge Questionnaire. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 8(4), 198-207.
  • +Peters, N. E., *Holmgreen, L. & Oswald, D. L. (2015). It’s just a joke: Reactions to and justifications for sex stereotypes in advertisements. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 20(3), 160-168.
  • *Ohlendorf, J., Weiss, M., & Oswald, D. L. (2015). Predictors of Engagement in Postpartum Weight Self-Management Behaviors in the First 12 weeks after Birth. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(8), 1833-1846.
  • Monahan, C., Goldman, T., & Oswald, D. (2014). Establishing a physical impairment of weight under the ADA/ADAA: Problems of bias in the legal system. Journal of Labor & Employment Law, 29(3), 537-562.
  • *Chapleau, K., & Oswald, D. (2014). A system justification view of sexual violence: Legitimizing gender inequality and reduced moral outrage are connected to greater rape myth acceptance. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 15, 204-218. Recipient of Honorable Mention for 2014 RICHARD P. KLUFT AWARD
  • *Chapleau, K., & Oswald, D. (2013). Status, threat, and stereotypes: Understanding the function of rape myths. Social Justice Research, 26, 18-41.
  • Oswald, D., & *Holmgreen, L. (2013). Female sexual aggression on college campuses: Prevalence, correlates, and perceptions. In B. Russell (Ed.). Perceptions of Female Offenders: How Stereotypes and Social Norms Affect Criminal Justice Responses. New York, Springer. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-5871-5_5
  • Oswald, D. L., Franzoi, S., & *Frost, K. (2012). Experiencing sexism and young women's body esteem. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(10), 1112-1137.
  • Oswald, D. (2012). Gender Stereotypes and Traditionally Masculine and Feminine Occupations. In M. Paludi (Ed.) Managing Diversity in Today’s Workplace, volume 1. pp. 25-46. Praeger publishers.
  • Russell, B. L., Oswald, D. L., & Kraus, S. (2011). Evaluations of sexual assault: Perceptions of guilt and legal elements for male and female aggressors using various coercive strategies. Violence and Victims, 26(6), 799-815.
  • Mattingly, B. A., Oswald, D. L., & Clark, E. M. (2011). An examination of relational-interdependent self-construal, communal strength, and pro-relationship behaviors in friendships. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 1243-1248.
  • *Baker, L., & Oswald, D. L. (2010). Shyness and online social networking. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 873-889.
  • Oswald, D. L. *Chapleau, K. M. (2010). Selective self-stereotyping and women’s self-esteem. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 918-922.
  • *Chapleau, K., & Oswald D. L. (2010). Power-sex association: Two paths to sexual aggression. Journal of Sex Research, 47, 66-78.
  • McMullen, J. & Oswald, D. L. (2010). Why do we need a lawyer? An empirical study of divorce cases. University of Utah Journal of Law and Family Studies,12(1), 57-86.
  • Oswald, D. L. (2008). Gender stereotypes and women’s reports of liking and ability for traditionally masculine and feminine occupations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 196-203.
  • *Chapleau, K. M., Oswald, D. L., & Russell, B. L. (2008). Male rape myths: The role of gender, violence, and sexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 600-615.
  • +Noe, K., +Stoffel, C., & Oswald, D. (2007). Aggressive behavior in conflict tactics and sexual experiences in relationships. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 12, 193-199.
  • Oswald, D. L. (2007). “Don’t ask, don’t tell:” The influence of stigma concealing and perceived threat on reactions to a gay target. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 928-947.
  • *Chapleau, K. M., Oswald, D. L., & Russell, B. L. (2007). How ambivalent sexism toward men and women support rape myth acceptance. Sex Roles, 57, 131-136.
  • Oswald, D. L. & *Lindstedt, K. (2006). The content and function of gender self-stereotypes: An exploratory investigation. Sex Roles, 54, 447-458.
  • Oswald, D. L., & Clark, E. M. (2006). How do friendship maintenance behaviors and problem-solving styles function at the individual and dyadic level? Personal Relationships, 13, 333-348.
  • Oswald, D. L. & Russell, B. L. (2006). Perceptions of sexual coercion in heterosexual dating relationships: The role of initiator gender and tactics. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 87-95.
  • Oswald, D. L. (2005). Understanding anti-Arab reactions post-9/11: The role of threats, social categories, and personal ideologies. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(9), 1775-1799.
  • Oswald, D. L., Clark, E. M., & Kelly, C. L. (2004). Friendship maintenance behaviors: An analysis of individual and dyad behaviors. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(3), 413-441.
  • Oswald, D. L., & Harvey, R. D. (2003). Q-method study of women’s experiences and attitudes with math. Sex Roles, 49, 133-142.
  • Oswald, D. L., & Clark, E. M. (2003). Best friends forever?: High school best friendships and the transition to college. Personal Relationships, 10, 187-196.
  • Russell, B. & Oswald, D. (2002). Sexual coercion and victimization of college men: The role love styles. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, 273-285.
  • Russell, B. & Oswald, D. (2001). Strategies and dispositional correlates of sexual coercion perpetrated by women: An exploratory investigation. Sex Roles, 45, 103-115.
  • Oswald, D. L., & Harvey, R. D. (2000). Stereotypes, hostile environments, and math performance among undergraduate women. Current Psychology, 19, 338-356.
  • Harvey, R., & Oswald, D. (2000). Collective shame and guilt as motivation for white support of black targeted programs. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30, 1790-1811.
  • Kreuter, M., Oswald, D., Bull, F., & Clark, E. (2000). Are tailored health education materials always better than non-tailored materials? Health Education Research, 15, 305-315.
  • Kreuter, M., Bull, F., Clark, E., & Oswald, D. (1999). Understanding how people process health information: A comparison of tailored and untailored weight loss materials. Health Psychology, 18, 487-494.