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.

Overview of recent research

Selected recent publications

In press

Wachs, T.D. & Gorman, K.S. Linking Poverty and Developmental Disabilities.  In L.M. Glidden, L.J. Abbeduto, L.L. McIntyre, & M.J. Tasse (Eds.).  APA Handbook of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

In print

Laurent, A., Prizant, B., & Gorman, K.S. (2018).  Supporting parents to promote emotion regulation abilities in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A SCERTS Model perspective. In M. Siller & L. Morgan (Eds). Handbook of Parent-Implemented Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism.  New York, NY: Springer, 301-320.

Gorman, K., & Caviness, C.M. (2018).  Teaching Developmental Psychology: Celebrating the dialectics of development.  In J. Mena & K. Quina (Eds.), Integrating Multiculturalism and Intersectionality into the Psychology Curriculum.  Washington, DC: American Psychology Association, 243-255.

Laurent, A. & Gorman, K. (2018). Development of emotion self-regulation among young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Special edition on Parents, Primary Caregivers and Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https:/

Fede, J., Gorman, K., & Cimini, M. (2018).  Student employment as a model for experiential learning.    Journal of Experiential Education, 41, 107-124.

Fallon, M., Halloran, K., Gorman, K., Ward, D., Greene, G., & Tovar, A. (2018).  Self-reported and observed feeding practices of Rhode Island Head Start teachers: Knowing what not to do.  Appetite, 120, 310-317.

Halloran, K., Gorman, K., Fallon, M. & Tovar, A. (2018). Nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and fruit and vegetable intake as predictors of Head Start teacher’s classroom mealtime behaviors.   Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50, 340-348.


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, recently completed 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 examined 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. (2017). Family feeding strategies differ by food security status. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117, 8-57.

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. (2018). Student employment as a model for experiential learning.  Journal of Experiential Education, 41, 107-124.

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

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

Jacquelyn Fede, Ph.D.  Sin papeles y licencia: Access to drivers’ licenses and participation in early care and education. (Dissertation, May 2018). 

Amy Laurent, Ph.D., EdM, OTR/L,  Parent Behaviors in Relation to Characteristics of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Dissertation, November, 2016).

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.