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Dr. Kathleen Gorman’s research interests include: the study of the effects of malnutrition and specific nutrient deficiencies on children’s cognitive development in low-income countries; the effects of poverty and food insecurity on Rhode Island families and children; and the study of participation and access to nutritional assistance programs. Program evaluation research examines the effectiveness of various aspects of the SNAP Outreach Project and selected SNAP policies.  In addition, she supervises the research of doctoral students in the Department of Psychology and involves undergraduates in research through opportunities working with graduate students or on their own independent research or Honor’s Projects.

Current research projects:

Family food behaviors, food security and child overweight

Dr. Karen McCurdy, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and Dr. Kathleen Gorman, Director, Feinstein Hunger Center, have been collaborating on a project (NIH RO3) to examine the relationship between maternal depression, family food behaviors and child food security and overweight among low-income households in RI. The project examines how families with limited resources access and provide food for their families and the impact that limited resources and parental stress may have on child outcomes.  Recent publications from this effort include:

Gorman, K., Metallinos-Katsaras, E., McCurdy, K., & Kisler, T. (in press). Family feeding strategies differ by food security status. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

McCurdy, K., Gorman, K. S., Kisler, T., & Metallinos-Katsaras, E. (2014).  Associations between family food behaviors, maternal depression, and child weight among low-income childrenAppetite, 79, 97-105.

McCurdy, K., Gorman, K., Kisler, T. & Metallinos-Katsaras, E. (2012).  Maternal mental health and child health and nutrition (pp. 124-144).  In V. Maholmes & R. King, The Oxford Handbook on Child Development and Poverty.  Oxford, OH: Oxford University Press.

McCurdy, K., Gorman, K.S., & Metallinos-Katsaras, E. (2010).  From Poverty to Food Insecurity and Child Overweight: A Family Stress ApproachChild Development Perspectives, 4, 144-151.

McCurdy, K., & Gorman, K. (2010).  Measuring family food environments in diverse families with young children.  Appetite, 54, 615-618.

Programmatic evaluation of the SNAP Outreach Project

Fede, J., Gorman, K., & Cimini, M. (2016). Beyond the classroom: A unique model of student engagement.  Manuscript submitted for review.

Gorman, K., Pumaccahua, T., Armendarez, J., Cimini, M., & West, K. (2016). Improving access to nutritional assistance among Hispanic households: Input from community leaders.  Manuscript submitted for review.

Gorman, K., Smith, A.E., Cimini, M., Halloran, K. & Lubiner, A. (2013).  Reaching the Hard-to-Reach: Lessons Learned from a Statewide Outreach Initiative.  Journal of Community Practice, 21:1-2, 105-123.

Food insecurity and overweight among families participating in WIC

Metallinos-Katsaras, E., Must, A., & Gorman, K. (2012).  A longitudinal study of food insecurity on overweight in preschool children.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(12), 1949-1958.

Metallinos-Katsaras, E., Gorman, K., Wilde, P., & Kallio, J. (2011).  A Longitudinal Study of WIC Participation on household food insecurity.  Maternal Child Health Journal, 15(5), 627-633.

Food security and food assistance among low income working families

Gorman, K., Kondo, K., & Favasuli, S. (2011).  Does acculturation matter?: Food insecurity and child problem behavior among low-income working Hispanic households.   Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 33(2), 152-169.

Food Security, Hunger and Food Stamp Participation among Low-Income Working Families in Rhode Island
Kathleen S. Gorman, PhD, Kelly D. Horton, MS, & Robert F. Houser, PhD
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Vol. 1 (2006) 105-125.

Doctoral students

Nicole Baker, B.A., B.S.,  Social support as a protective factor for high risk populations.

Bonita S. Basnyat, B.A., B.S., School climate as a protective factor for children in low-income communities.

Jacquelyn Fede, M.A.,  The association between policies allowing drivers’ licenses for immigrant households and access to early childhood education.

Amy Laurent, EdM, OTR/L,  Parental Behaviors and Emotion Self-Regulation among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Dissertation proposed May 2014).

Katherine Halloran, Ph.D. (May 2016).  Child Care Provider Diet as a Predictor of Classroom Mealtime Behaviors with Children.

Anna Lubiner, Ph.D.(August 2015).  School Climate as a Predictor of School Discipline Policies and Practices.

Celeste Caviness, Ph.D. (May 2014).  Historically Marginalized Groups in Psychological Science.

Undergraduate Honors Project

Duncan Stiller, B.S.  May 2014.  Global Malnutrition: Challenges associated with the current intervention strategies and prevention initiatives.




The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program is the new name for the Food Stamp Program.

Learn more about the SNAP Outreach Project or to access a benefits application:


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