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TAMIU Graduate Students Present Findings at National Convention Posted: 8/23/18

TAMIU Graduate Students Present Findings at National Convention



Seven graduate students from the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP) program at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) recently presented their research findings on dating violence prevention at the annual American Psychological Association Convention in San Francisco.   

Their study focused on the psychoeducational group program, Dating Relationships Involving Violence End Now, or DRIVEN. Each peer-reviewed poster presentation delved into different aspects of their research that included outlining the effects of groups such as DRIVEN and addressed pertinent issues surrounding dating violence prevention.

MACP students who attended the convention were Ashley Cavazos, Naomi Cortina, Amanda Lewis, Mariana Mendiola, Sandra Minjares, Daniela Ortiz, and Gabriela Sánchez. TAMIU assistant professor and director of the MACP program Dr. Ediza García and assistant professor of psychology Dr. Elizabeth Terrazas-Carrillo led the research efforts.

Extensive research showed that individuals between the ages of 18 to 25 are at a higher risk for experiencing dating violence, noted Terrazas-Carrillo.

“While many advances in prevention programming for middle school and high school students have been rigorously tested, no prevention program has been developed specifically for Latino college students,” explained Terrazas-Carrillo.

In an effort to address these gaps in the research literature, Terrazas-Carrillo and García spearheaded the development of DRIVEN.

“The literature on prevention is clear regarding the importance of tailoring programming to the needs of the specific population we are trying to reach. Dr. García and I developed the psychoeducational group program DRIVEN in response to this need,” said Terrazas-Carrillo, “DRIVEN is tailored to the unique experiences of Latino young adults attending college, including biculturalism, cultural identity integration, acculturation, traditional gender roles and the overall influences of these experiences on relationship dynamics.”

Through DRIVEN, MACP students piloted 16 groups and served 112 TAMIU students participating in the program. The endeavor was an opportunity for students to gain valuable counseling skills, including experience in conducting similar groups when they become licensed professional counselors, explained Terrazas-Carrillo.

During the four-day convention, students were able to explore other areas within the field of psychology and network with nationally renowned psychologists. The American Psychological Association is a scientific and professional organization focused on the advancement of psychology in the United States.

For more information on the American Psychological Association convention, visit

Fall registration information is available from the TAMIU Office of the Registrar at 956.326.2250, by email at, or by visiting offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, 121. Fall classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 28.

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MACP students two

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