“I’m very interested in any way that psychology and the criminal mind intersect."

by Rebecca Endres

In just a few years, Fallon Kane, an Adelphi University junior majoring in psychology and criminal justice, has earned the respect of her peers and professors as an ambitious student and committed campus leader and advocate. Kane’s drive to help others is especially evident in her work with faculty in the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies and in her extracurricular pursuits.

At Derner, Kane has opted to participate in the selective Emerging Scholars Program, in which undergraduates work alongside faculty in pursuing original research. Kane explained that she is working with Professor Robert Bornstein, Ph.D., on a quantitative analysis of “the relationship between dependency and male perpetrators of intimate partner violence.” They are analyzing the studies on this topic that have been conducted in the past 25 years and finding trends based on quantitative data.

Their research to date indicates that “the more dependent men are, the more likely they are to physically hurt their spouse,” a phenomenon Kane attributes to a desperate need to hold on to a partner or spouse. “Hurting them becomes a way to make them stay,” she said. The next step will be finding ways to train therapists to effectively treat these perpetrators. She will be presenting the findings at three conferences, including the American Psychological Association conference in Toronto.

“I’m very interested in any way that psychology and the criminal mind intersect,” Kane explained, and when she approached Dr. Bornstein, he proposed collecting research for his study of dependency and violence. She jumped at the opportunity to unite her two interests. “I think it’s something I definitely want to do in the future; I didn’t realize how interested I was in that specific area of interpersonal violence and domestic violence until I started researching it,” she said.

Beyond her academic pursuits, Kane has also been involved in multiple internships and club activities, from serving as a program intern and mentor for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to mentoring high school students at risk for dropping out through C.A.L.I.B.E.R., a community service organization on campus that she is heavily involved with. As the president of Adelphi’s Psychology Club, she recently helped organize events to fundraise for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“Every day I want to try to find something to make the world better,” she said when asked about her tireless work on campus and drive in the classroom, “so that’s just another avenue through which I can do it.”

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