Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis (2009)
The Psychodynamic Program, The American Institute for Psychoanalysis of the Karen Horney Psychoanalytic Institute & Center (2000)
MS, Columbia University School of Social Work (1997)
BS, University of Pittsburgh (1995)
My area of interest is gender based violence and a social justice approach to community based organizational practice.
Before pursuing my Ph.D., I was the director of a domestic violence program in New York City, providing counseling and shelter to women and their children, many of whom were from Latin American and the Caribbean, South and East Asia, and North West Africa. I also worked as a psychotherapist providing mental health counseling to victims of violent crime.
In the MSW program, I teach the Foundations in Social Work Practice courses, Diversity, Oppression and the Struggle for Human Rights, and Organizational Context for Professional Practice. In the Ph.D. program, I teach the Qualitative Data Analysis course, and advise doctoral students in the completion of their dissertation.
I engage in community based, mixed method research to understand the phenomenon of intimate partner and other forms of interpersonal violence, as well to evaluate programs and interventions that aim to reduce gender based violence, by empowering women, psychologically, economically, socially, spiritually, to create conditions of safety in their lives.
Advanced Research Topics: Qualitative Data Analysis
Foundations Of Social Work Practice I
Organization Context For Professional Practice
Area of Research
I study the phenomenon of intimate partner and other forms of interpersonal violence, as well evaluate programs and interventions that aim to reduce gender based violence, by empowering women, psychologically, economically, socially, spiritually, to create conditions of safety in their lives.
Research in the field of social work requires that we possess the skills to access and engage with the most vulnerable communities to solve the most pressing social problems. This often means crossing cultural, economic, and national borders utilizing decolonized methods of research. I am particularly interested in the design of multi-faceted interventions and programs to address violence against women in communities and cultures where there is minimal tradition of solving problems using formalized counseling services. Therefore, my research tends to be with immigrant communities in the US, or in parts of the world where there is a stigma associated with seeking counseling and other mental health services.
Currently, in collaboration with a local NGO and researcher, I am conducting research with women engaged in transactional sex work in Barbados. This is a population that experiences astoundingly high levels of work related and intimate partner violence. It is also one of the most stigmatized, marginalized and disempowered communities in Barbados. Part of this research involves gaining a more sophisticated understanding of transactional sex workers’ sources of power, or agency as it is called in the gender based violence literature. Agency is the capacity to realize an autonomous will. This capacity is dependent on one’s existing power within a social context and their social locations within that context. This knowledge is critical, because for any intervention to be fully effective, it must take into account how the population being served exercises agency. Otherwise, interventions intended to empower women, can undermine or destroy the existing sources of agency they possess within their social structure (Mahmood, 2005).
I have developed expertise conducting qualitative and program evaluation research across cultural, national and linguistic boundaries with communities at high risk for exposure to violence, as well as social and legal retribution. In mentoring doctoral students and graduate assistants, I impart this knowledge and the skills necessary to conduct rigorous research that is safe and also respects the culture, social history and integrity of research participants. I train students on how to conduct in-depth interviews safely with highly vulnerable communities that may be experiencing chronic and severe mental illness, trauma or exposure to violence. I provide hands on training on the techniques and skills necessary to conduct data analysis using rich qualitative interview data. My goal, through my research, teaching and mentorship, is to create learning opportunities that prepare Adelphi social work students to understand and solve social problems in a world that is increasingly diverse and interconnected.
I have developed expertise conducting qualitative and program evaluation research across cultural, national and linguistic boundaries with communities at high risk for exposure to violence, as well as social and legal retribution. Research in the field of social work requires that we possess the skills to access and engage with the most vulnerable communities to solve the most pressing social problems. This often means crossing cultural, economic, and national borders utilizing decolonized methods of research. I am particularly interested in the design of multi-faceted interventions and programs to address violence against women in communities and cultures where there is minimal tradition of solving problems using formalized counseling services. Therefore, my research tends to be with immigrant and refugee communities, or in parts of the world where there is a stigma associated with seeking counseling and other mental health services.
My last study examined the experiences of intimate partner violence of Mexican immigrant women. Currently, in collaboration with a local NGO and researcher, I am conducting research with women engaged in transactional sex work in Barbados. This is a population that experiences astoundingly high levels of work related and intimate partner violence. It is also one of the most stigmatized, marginalized and disempowered communities in Barbados. At this time I am also engaged in a collaboration with an NGO in Athens, Greece that provides assistance to migrant and refugee women seeking safety from violence and abuse in their home country, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ who have fled violence and persecution in their country due to their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
Torres, L.R., Kyriakakis, S. Zayas, L.H. (2009). Culturally competent assessment of Latinos. In Rich Furman, Nalini Junko Negi, Derek Kenji Iwamoto, Diana Rowan, Allison Shukraft and Jennifer Gragg (Eds.). Social Work Practice with Latinos. Chicago: Lyceum Books, Inc..
Goddard-Durant, S. & Kyriakakis, S. (2022). Beyond Individual Coping: Daily living Conditions which Negatively Shape the Wellbeing of Female Sex Workers in Barbados. International Journal of Sociology.
Kyriakakis, S. & Goddard-Durant, S. (2022). Surviving while female in Barbados: an examination of entry factors into sex work. Sexuality & Culture.
Kyriakakis, S., Henning, J., Goddard-Durant, S. (2021). The intimate relationship experiences of women engaged in transactional sex work in Barbados. Violence Against Women.
Newransky, C., Kyriakakis, S., Samaroo, K., Owens, D., & Abu Hassan Shaari, A. (2020). Ethical and Methodological Challenges of Implementing Social Work Survey Research in Schools: A Perspective from the Suburban United States. International Journal of School Social Work, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.4148/2161-4148.1047
Davis, M., Fernandez, B., Johnson-Reid, M., and Kyriakakis, S. (2019). Pathways to Seeking Help from a Partner Abuse Intervention Program: A Qualitative Study of Voluntary and Non-Court Mandated Latino Men’s Experiences. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 39, 10454-10478.
Kagotho, N., Salim. N., Patak-Pietrafesa, M., Kyriakakis, S. (2019). Inheriting the Family Farm: Generational Wealth Transfers in Rural Kenya. Developmental Policy Review, 39(S1).
Kyriakakis, S., Waller, B., Kagotho, N., & Edmond, T. (2015). Conducting safe research with at-risk populations: design strategies from a study with unauthorized immigrant women experiencing intimate abuse. Qualitative Social Work, 14(2), 259-274.
Kyriakakis, S., Panchanadeswaran, S. & Edmond, T. (2015). Mexican immigrant women searching for a solution to intimate partner abuse: common breaking points and type of help needed. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 13(1), 1-18.
Kyriakakis, S. (2014), Mexican Immigrant Women Reaching Out: The role of Informal Networks in the Process of Seeking Help for Intimate Partner Violence. Violence Against Women, 20 (9), 1097-1116.
Kyriakakis, S., Araujo, B. & Edmond, T. (2012), Mexican immigrant survivors of intimate partner abuse: determinations and descriptions of abuse. Violence & Victims, 27(4).
Society for Social Work Research (Washington DC, January 2018) Hassan Shaari, A., Newransky, C., Kyriakakis, S., Riley, T., Classroom-based surveys of teen dating violence: Possible ways to reduce biases. Poster Presentation
CANPA Caribbean Regional Conference of Psychology (Port Au Prince, Haiti, November 2016) Goddard-Durant, S. and Kyriakakis, S. Towards Culturally Relevant Mental Health Service Outcomes and Strategies for Afro-Caribbean Women Engaged in Transactional Sex. Oral Presentation
Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (Urbana-Champaign, May 2016) Goddard-Durant, S. and Kyriakakis, S. When it’s better not to ask: Ethical Considerations when Interviewing Women Engaged in Transactional Sex Work. Oral Presentation
Quiros, L., Kyriakakis, S. (2011). Raising the voice: the empowerment of oppressed and marginalized women of color through the qualitative research process. In Seventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Urbana-Champaign.
Quiros, L., Daniel, C. L., Gregg, G. & Kyriakakis, S. (2010). Keeping and crossing boundaries: negotiating identities in qualitative research. In Sixth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Urbana-Champaign.
Panchadadeswaran, S., Kyriakakis, S., Chaudhuri, K., Roldan, M. (2010). Straddling the challenges of service provision to Latino/a and South Asian survivors of intimate partner violence in the United States- practitioners perspectives. In Fourth Annual International Conference on Sociology, Mini-Conference on Violence against Women. Athens.
Bunger, A., Hovmand, P.S., Kyriakakis, S. (2010). Exploring organizational roles in domestic violence service systems: a network approach. In Society for Social Work Research January 2010 Annual Conference. San Francisco.
Kyriakakis, S., Fortuna, L. and Zayas, L.H. (2007). Understanding the high rate of suicide attempts among Latina adolescents: the role of boyfriends and dating relationships. In American Psychological Association Annual Convention. San Francisco.
Kyriakakis, S. and Zayas, L.H.. (2006). Suicide attempts among adolescent Latinas in the United States. In International Association of Schools of Social Work Biannual Congress. Santiago, Chile.
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Bridgetown, Barbados (January 11, 2017) Goddard-Durant, S. and Kyriakakis, S., The Experiences and Needs of Women Engaged in Transactional Sex Work in Barbados: Dissemination of Findings and Next Steps. Oral Presentation
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Bridgetown Barbados (January 10, 2017) Goddard-Durant, S. and Kyriakakis, S., Research and Evaluation Capacity Building Utilizing Cross National Partnerships. Oral Presentation
Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY (March 28, 2012) The Role of the Health Care Team in Responding to Domestic Violence: Being a Bridge to Services and Safety. Oral Presentation
Lincoln Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Bronx, NY (December 1, 2009) Mexican Immigrant Women and Domestic Violence: Assessment and Treatment. Oral Presentation
Grant Funded Research
Healthy Marriages, Responsible Fatherhood Grant, United States Department of Children and Families ($120,000 annually over 3 years, awarded 2015): Evaluation of Project FORWARD, Nassau County, NY.
Co-PI: Stavroula Kyriakakis, Adelphi University School of Social Work, Garden City, NY
Co-PI: Chrisann Newransky, Adelphi University School of Social Work, Garden City, NY
Project FORWARD, led by Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services, works with young adults, ages 16-29, using a partnership based case management model integrating evidence based to address related causes of stress, dysfunction, or obstacles to long term economic stability, healthy relationships, healthy parenting and overall wellness. Partners include The Safe Center LI (family violence prevention), Nassau County DA’s Office, and Abilities, Inc. (economic stability/job development).
Adelphi University Faculty Development Grant ($4,000 awarded 2015): Women's Wellbeing Study, Bridgetown, Barbados.
PI: Stavroula Kyriakakis, Adelphi University School of Social Work, Garden City, NY
Co-Investigator: Sadie Goddard Durant, Safe Spaces, Bridgetown Barbados
This is a qualitative study of women engaged in transactional sex. The focus of study include the general pathways for entry into sex work, experiences with work and the influence of transactional sex work on relationships, safety and overall wellbeing, as well as service needs and recommendations. The study involved in-depth individual interviews with a sample of 30 women engaged in transactional sex work. Focus groups also took recruited from the same sample of women. The focus groups involved a deeper exploration of service needs and optimal services for this population of women.
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