Delishia Pittman

Delishia Pittman
Assistant Professor, Counseling
(202) 994-0780

Dr. Delishia Pittman’s research centers on racial and ethnic disparities in health behaviors and outcomes. Areas of particular emphasis include substance use, coping behavior, and stress (chronic and traumatic) with the intent to further understanding of how these factors, independently and collectively, affect behavioral health outcomes among African Americans. She employs life course epidemiological frameworks to study behavioral and psychosocial processes that link adult health and disease risk to physical or social exposures during emerging adulthood.

Dr. Pittman’s current projects extend this work in two interrelated directions: 1) a focus on HIV infection risk behaviors in heterosexual Black women and 2) the impact of trauma on health behaviors and outcomes in men and boys of color. The first of these two projects seeks to model the complex relationships between psycho-socio-cultural contextual factors in HIV infection risk among Black college women. The second effort, the Male Addiction and Trauma study (MATs), is a 2-year study funded by Helping Men Heal; it examines the roles of trauma and adverse life experiences in critical quality-of-life indicators (e.g., educational attainment, employability, criminality, addictive behaviors, and suicidality) for men and boys of color between the ages of 15-25.

Dr. Pittman is a practicing licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia specializing in addiction treatment and African American mental health. Her clinical experiences exert strong influence on her teaching pedagogy and research paradigms in behavioral health disparities.

Prior to joining the faculty of the George Washington University, Dr. Pittman worked as an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.

Ph.D., University of Georgia
M.A., Lewis & Clark College
B.A., Concordia University


Obasi, EM, Cavanagh, L, Pittman, DM & Brooks, JJ. (2016). Effects of evaluative context in implicit cognitions associated with alcohol and violent behaviors. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 3, 48-55.

Pittman, DM, Kim, SC, & Hunter, CD, Obasi, EM. (2016). The Role of Minority Stress in Second-Generation Black Emerging Adults’ High-Risk Drinking Behaviors. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Accepted for publication.

Zhang, H, Pittman, DM, Lamis, DA, Fischer, NL, Schwenke, TJ, Carr, ER, Shah, S, & Kaslow, NJ (2015). Childhood maltreatment and PTSD: Spiritual well-being and intimate partner violence as mediators. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 24, 501-519. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2015.1029182.

Obasi EM, Shirtcliff EA, Brody GH, MacKillop J, Pittman DM, Cavanagh L & Philibert RA (2015). The relationship between alcohol consumption, perceived stress, and CRHR1 genotype on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in rural African Americans. Front. Psychol.6:832. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00832

Pittman, DM (2014). African American: An ethnic rather than racial distinction. In S. Thompson (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of diversity and social justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Zhang, H, Neelarambam, K, Schwenke, TJ, Rhodes, MN, Pittman, DM, & Kaslow, NJ. (2013). Mediators of a culturally-sensitive intervention for suicidal African American women. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 20(4), 401-41.

Obasi, EM, Richards, JL, Pittman, DM, Ingram, JA. (2013). The roles of race and sex in addiction research. In J. MacKillop and H. de Wit (Eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Addiction Psychopharmacology. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell Press.

Warner, CB, Phelps, RE, Pittman, DM, & Moore, CS. (2012). Anticipating and working with controversy in diversity and social justice topics. In D. S. Dunn, J. C. Wilson, R. A.R Gurung, & K. Naufel (Eds.) Controversy in the psychology classroom: Using hot topics to foster critical thinking. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Pittman, DM (2012). Blame it on the Stress: An Exploration of Coping Motivated Substance Use Behavior in African Americans (Doctoral dissertation), University of Georgia.

Obasi, EM, Brooks, JJ, Pittman, DM, Richards, JL, & Mrnak, J. (2009). Contextual variability of implicit alcohol-related cognitions and their relationship to personality. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 33 (8). DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00957.x

In the News

Dr. Delishia Pittman delivered a keynote address titled Hold On Then Let Go: From Coping to Healing, focusing on the important work of healing from traumatic experiences for men and boys of color at the inaugural Black Men and Boys Healing Summit in Portland, OR.