Delishia Pittman

Delishia Pittman
Associate 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 to focus on sexual health vulnerabilities, including STI and HIV infection risk behaviors in heterosexual Black women. This project seeks to model the complex relationships between psycho-socio-cultural contextual factors in STI and HIV infection risk among Black college women.

Dr. Pittman is a practicing licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia.

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.

EdFix Podcast - Episode 14: Racial Disparities in College Student Health Heterosexual Black women have the 2nd highest rate of HIV infection as a group; however, Black women in college are nearly ignored in the HIV literature. Dr. Delishia Pittman discusses her research on the shared and unique risk factors of this population, whether online dating has increased the risks, and ongoing racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.
Ph.D., University of Georgia
M.A., Lewis & Clark College
B.A., Concordia University


Pittman, DM, Rush, CR, Hurley, K, & Minges, ML. (2020). Double Jeopardy: Understanding Intimate Partner Violence Vulnerability Among Emerging Adult Women in College Through Lenses of Race and Sexual Orientation. Journal of American College

Pittman, DM, Quayson, AA, Rush, CR, & Minges, ML. (2019). Revisiting Resilience: Examining the Relationships between Stress, Social Support, and Drinking Behavior among Black College Students with Parental Substance Use Disorder Histories. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2019.1707142.

Pittman, DM, Kaur, P, & Eyler, LT. (2019). Hidden in Plain Sight: Making a Case for Heterosexual Black College Women being Identified as a High-Risk Population for HIV infection. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 25(1), 104-112. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000225.

Pittman, DM & Kaur, P. (2018). Examining the Role Racism Plays in the Drinking Behaviors of Black College Women. Journal of American College Health, 66(4), 310-316. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2018.1440581.

Zhang, H, Watson-Singleton, NA, Pollard, SE, Pittman, DM, Lamis, D, Fischer, N, Patterson, B, & Kaslow, NJ. (2017). Self-Criticism and Depressive Symptoms: Mediating Role of Self-Compassion. Journal of Death and Dying. doi: 10.1177/0030222817729609.

Pittman, DM, Brooks, JJ, Kaur, P, & Obasi, EM. (2017). The Cost of Minority Stress: Risky Drinking Behavior and Coping Motivated Alcohol Use in Black College Students. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2017.1336958.

Pittman, DM, Cho Kim, S, Hunter, CD, & Obasi, EM. (2017). The Role of Minority Stress in Second-Generation Black Emerging Adults’ High-Risk Drinking Behaviors. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23(3), 445-455. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000135.

Obasi, EM, Shirtcliff, EA, Cavanagh, L, Ratliff, KL, Pittman, DM, & Brooks, JJ. (2017). Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Reactivity to Acute Stress: An investigation into the Roles of Perceived Stress and Family Resources, 18(8), 923-931.  Prevention Science. doi: 10.1007/s11121-017-0759-3.

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.

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 presented on the panel, "Can you see me? Honoring Black Mental Health During a Double Pandemic," hosted by the DC Psychological Association with Drs. Jessica Smedley and Candice Hargon. Over 250 people joined the live discussion and the recorded webinar was viewed over 1300 times in the first week.

Dr. Delishia Pittman was awarded the 2020 Early Career Psychologist Diversity Award by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She is the first board certified counseling psychology specialist to receive the award since its inception.

Dr. Delishia Pittman's tips for "Taking Care of Your Mental Health While Sheltering In Place," were highlighted in GW Today.

Dr. Delishia Pittman published an article entitled, “Double Jeopardy: Intimate partner violence vulnerability among emerging adult women through lenses of race and sexual orientation” in the Journal of American College Health.

Dr. Delishia Pittman published an article entitled "Revisiting resilience: Examining the relationships between stress, social support, and drinking behavior among black college students with parental substance use disorder histories" in the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. This article is co-authored by three GSEHD Counseling PhD students: Alicia A.