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.

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

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.

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 recently became board certified in counseling psychology, making her the only African American Board Certified Counseling Psychologist in the District. In addition, Dr.

Dr. Delishia Pittman published an article entitled "Hidden in Plain Sight: Making a Case for Heterosexual Black College Women Being Identified as a High-Risk Population for HIV Infection" in Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology. This article is co-authored by GSEHD doctoral student, Preet Kaur (Counseling).

Dr. Delishia Pittman has been awarded a 2018-19 American Fellowship from the American Association for University Women for her project titled Hidden in Plain Sight: Making the Case for Heterosexual Black College Women as a High-Risk Population for STI and HIV Transmission. In addition, Dr. Pittman's study titled An investigation of a mobile recruitment strategy aimed at increasing Black college women's participation in sexual health research has been funded through the University Facilitating Fund. Dr. Pittman and GSEHD doctoral student Preet Kaur (Counseling and Human Development) also recently published a paper, "Examining the role racism plays in the drinking behaviors in Black college women," in the Journal of American College Health.

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.