Associate Professor Sheila Grant, Ph.D.

Office Location: ST 335
Office Phone: (818) 677-2983


Ph.D. 1996, University of California, Santa Barbara
M.A. 1989, California State University, Northridge
B.A. 1987, California State University, Northridge


Specialty Area(s):

  • Clinical
  • Counseling
  • Cross Cultural
  • Persons with Disabilities



PSY 150 - Principles of Human Behavior

PSY 370/L - Psychology of Personality

PSY 460 - Counseling and Interviewing



Wittig, M. A., & Grant-Thompson, S. (1998). The utility of Allport's conditions of intergroup contact for predicting perceptions of improved racial attitudes and beliefs. Journal of Social Issues, 54(4), 795-812.

Tests the predictive power of perception as it relates to G. W. Allport's (1954/1979) classic articulation of the conditions of contact conducive to reducing intergroup prejudice and increasing tolerance (Contact Hypothesis). The authors present results of an evaluation of a prejudice reduction program that trains and places college student facilitators in middle and high school classrooms to lead discussions about race. Survey data was taken from 35 teachers. Results show that a composite of 5 classroom climate conditions that the Contact Hypothesis suggests are conducive to prejudice reduction predicts teachers' and college student facilitators' perceptions of change in 3 aspects of middle and high school student racial attitudes. Students' perceptions of the school interracial climate are modestly predictive of their changes in these 3 aspects of racial attitudes. However, teacher and facilitator estimates of student outcomes are uncorrelated with actual student outcomes. Implications of these results for prejudice reduction theory and practice are discussed.

Grant, S. K. (1997). Disability identity development: An exploratory investigation. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 57(9-B), 5918.

Prior to the current study, there was no model of disability identity development in the psychology literature. The purpose of this study was to empirically develop and evaluate an identity development model for people with disabilities. The results from Part I, with its three rounds of Delphi polling, were 564 responses, which were subsequently decreased to 113, and eventually reduced to 69 attitudinal statements. In Part II this reduced set of 69 items was then pilot tested on a final sample of 111 individuals with visible physical disabilities. Exploratory factor analytic studies revealed 37 items loading on four subscales. Preliminary reliability and validity studies supported the existence of disability identity. The four subscales represent four stages of Disability Identity Attitude Development (DIAD). In Part III, a panel of 4 judges, expert in developmental psychology, ranked and labeled the stages. The most important outcome from this study is the production of an instrument, Disability Identity Attitude Scale (DIAS), to measure the DIAD of people with disabilities. The DIAS more than meets the minimum criterion for using the scale, with high internal consistency reliability coefficients which ranged from.82 to.90. The validity studies in general supported the use of the DIAS as a meaningful measure of Disability Identity Attitude Development. The subscales correlated with other measures that previous research and other theoretical identity development models have shown to be related to identity attitude development (e.g., self-esteem). For example, there was a statistically significant relationship between participant's stage of Disability Identity Attitude Development and degree of acceptance of disability. Evidence also revealed higher Stage 2 (Diffusion/Dysphoria) attitudes associated with lower levels of global self-esteem and higher Stage 4 (Introspective/Acceptance) attitudes associated with higher levels of global self-esteem, thus providing for criterion-related validity. It is suggested that the subscales not be used separately until further validity studies have been conducted on the DIAS. In addition, the importance and use of the DIAS to assess within-group variance is discussed, especially with regards to counselors addressing the psychological needs of clients with disabilities.

Grant-Thompson, S. K., & Atkinson, D. R. (1997). Cross-cultural mentor effectiveness and African American male students. Journal of Black Psychology, 23(2), 120-134.

Examined the effects of mentor ethnicity, cultural sensitivity, and student level of cultural mistrust on perceptions of mentor credibility and cultural competence. 74 African American men attending Southern California community colleges listened to a tape-recorded mentoring session in which the faculty mentor was described as either African American or European American, and was portrayed as either culturally responsive or culturally unresponsive. Mentor ethnicity, as well as an interaction between mentor ethnicity and participant level of cultural mistrust, were found to be related to perceptions of mentor credibility/effectiveness. In addition, mentor ethnicity and cultural sensitivity were found to be related to perceptions of mentor cross-cultural competence.

Atkinson, D. R., Thompson, C. E., & Grant, S. K. (1993). A three-dimensional model for counseling racial/ethnic minorities. Counseling Psychologist, 21(2), 257-277.

Proposes that at least 3 factors should be considered when selecting the roles and strategies to adopt when working with a racial/ethnic minority client (REMC). These factors are (1) the client's level of acculturation, (2) the locus of the problem's etiology, and (3) the goals of helping. Each of these factors is examined, and a 3-dimensional model for identifying appropriate counseling roles and strategies when working with an REMC is presented. Because each of the 3 factors represents a continuum, their interaction can be conceptualized along 3 axes. Eight roles of counseling associated with the intersection of the 3 continua extremes are discussed. These are the adviser, advocate, facilitator of indigenous support systems, facilitator of indigenous healing systems, consultant, change agent, counselor, and psychotherapist roles.



Minority Academic Personal Success (MAPS)... Exploring Pathways to Actualize Student Potential.

This project is a formal, systematic educational research program, exploring the differences between the resilient and the at‑risk student. Exploration of various social and psychological factors is conducted to ascertain which variables or sets of variables contribute to this lack of academic success.

Research Interns will receive training in basic and applied research principles and gain experience in drafting assessments, coding, data entry, and analyzing results. Motivated students will have the opportunity to prepare and present posters at professional meetings and co-author articles, depending on the nature of their contributions to the overall project.

View Office Hours (pdf) | Return to Faculty List