Oklahoma State University
Human Development and Family Science
Kami Lyn Gallus

Kami Gallus

Associate Professor, Marriage & Family Therapy

Area: Human Development and Family Science

225 Human Sciences
Stillwater OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-8351
Fax: 405-744-6344

  • Profile
  • Publications
  • Research

Educational Background:

Degree Institution Area of Study
Ph.D. Texas Tech University Marriage and Family Therapy
M.S. Kansas State University Family Studies and Human Services with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy
B.A. Anderson University Psychology & Family Science

Courses Taught:

Coping with Family Crises HDFS  5543
Theoretical Models of Marriage and Family Therapy HDFS  5613
Systems Theory HDFS  5623
Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum HDFS  5690


  • Editorial Board, Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy (2012-present)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Loss and Trauma (2010 present)
  • Editorial Board, Marriage & Family Review (2010-present

Professional Memberships:

  • National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
  • The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
  • American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy

Research Statement:

My primary research and clinical interests focus on the mental health and relational impact of traumatic stress. Currently, I am working on several projects all exploring the impact of traumatic stress on various populations. Bob Larzelere and I are finishing up a manuscript using data from Mom and Tots Study exploring the impact of maternal trauma on parenting styles and toddler-aged child outcomes. Ron Cox, Karina Shreffler, Mike Merten and I are currently working on analyzing the data from our Pathways to School Success (PaSS) study of seventh-graders in Oklahoma City Public Schools. With funding from the Kaiser Foundation, we are also working to expand the project to the Tulsa Public Schools, with a specific focus on teen sexuality and pregnancy prevention. Through these research projects, I am interested in expanding the knowledge of the impact of early trauma on adolescents, specifically looking at the connection to school attrition and teen pregnancy. I presented research from my previous studies in the area of trauma and pregnancy with students at the annual American Association for Marriage and Family Therapist (AAMFT) conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Along this line of research, I am working with Karina Shreffler to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the pathways of maternal trauma and pregnancy outcomes. We are excited to present a theoretical paper outlining this framework at the National Council for Family Relationsí Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop in November. My teaching and clinical responsibilities primarily lie within the Marriage and Family Therapy masterís program. I particularly enjoy sharing my research and clinical interests and training our students in trauma focused clinical models. Three MFT students and I traveled to Shreveport, Louisiana to be trained in disaster response and emergency management procedures. Each spring I enjoy the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students as the instructor for Research Methods.

Research Areas:

  • Marriage and family therapy outreach and outcomes in rural settings
  • Womenís mental health and childbearing issues
  • Systemic factors of posttraumatic growth and resiliency
  • Systemic dynamics and intergenerational transmission of trauma


  • Cox, R., (PI), Shreffler, K., Merten, M., & Schwerdtfeger, K. L. (Co-PIs). Preventing Teenage Pregnancy: A Needs Assessment and Baseline Study of Youth in Tulsa, OK. (2010-2012). George Kaiser Family Foundation. ($87,000).
  • Cox, R., (PI), Johnston, J., & Schwerdtfeger, K. L. (Co-PIs) Hispanic Children and Youth Needs Assessment. (2008-2010). Team Initiative Program. ($51,000).


  • Cox, R. B., Shreffler, K.M., Merten, M.J., Schwerdtfeger, K. L., & Dowdy, J. (2015). Parenting, peers, and perceived norms: What predicts attitudes toward sex among early adolescents? Journal of Early Adolescence, 35(1), 30-53.
  • Gallus, K. L., Shreffler, K., Cox, R., & Merten, M. (2014). Early life trauma, parent and school connectedness, and psychological distress in early adolescence. Journal of Early Adolescence, doi: 10.1177/0272431614548067
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. (2014). The trauma-informed clinician: Developing self-awareness and self-care. In R.A. Bean, S.D. Davis, & M.P. Davey (Eds).) Increased Self-Awareness: Experiential Exercises for Dedicated Clinicians and Supervisors, (pp. 119-126). New Jersey: Wiley.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L., Shreffler, K. M., Merten, M.J., & Cox, R. B. (2014). Interpersonal trauma and depressive symptoms in early adolescents: Exploring the moderating roles of parent and school connectedness.  Journal of Early Adolescence, online before print.
  • Cox, R.B., Zapata, M., Merten, M.J., Shreffler, K.M., & Schwerdtfeger, K. L.  (2013). Do parent-child acculturation gaps affect early adolescent Latino alcohol use? A study of the probability and extent of use. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 8(4). doi: 10.1186/1747-597X-8-4.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L., Larzelere, R. E., Werner, D., Peters, C., & Oliver, M. (2013). Intergenerational transmission of trauma: Mediation of parenting styles on toddlerís DSM-related symptoms. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 22, 211-229. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2013.743941 Ü Featured in the Editorís Choice Article Collection (June, 2014) for the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. & Oseland, L.   (2013). The interpersonal paradox of trauma. In T. Van Leeuwen & M. Brouwer (Eds.), Psychology of Trauma. In T. Van Leeuwen & M. Brouwer (Eds.), Psychology of Trauma. New York: NOVA, (pp. 183-196). New York: NOVA.
  • Shreffler, K.M., Wilson, G., Stamps Mitchell, K., & Schwerdtfeger, K. L.  (2012). Considering planning salience in pregnancy intentions. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 38(3), 204.
  • Henry, S. B., Smith, D. B., Archuleta, K., Sanders-Hahs, E., Nelson Goff, B. S., Reisbig, A. M. J., Schwerdtfeger, K. L., Bole, A., Hayes, E., Hoheisel, C. B., Nye, B., Osby-Williams, J., & Scheer, T. (2011). Trauma and couples: Mechanisms in dyadic functioning. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37, 319-332.
  • Gardner, B. C. & Schwerdtfeger, K. L.   (2010). Trauma, transitions and the marital relationship. In K. S. Pearlman (Ed.), Marriage: Roles, Stability, and Conflict: Family Issues in the 21st Century. New York: NOVA. (Book Chapters).
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. (2009). The appraisal of quantitative and qualitative trauma-focused research procedures among pregnant participants. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 3(1), 39-51.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. & Shreffler, K.M.   (2009). Trauma of pregnancy loss and infertility for mothers and involuntarily childless women in the contemporary United States. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 14(3): 211-227.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. & Wampler, K. S.   (2009). Sexual trauma and pregnancy: A qualitative exploration of womenís dual life experience. Contemporary Family Therapy, 31(2), 100-122.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. & Nelson Goff, B. S.   (2008). The effects of trauma-focused research on pregnancy female participants. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 3(1), 59-67.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L., Osby-Williams, J., Hoheisel, C. B., Nye, B., Nelson Goff, B. S., Reisbig, A. M. J., Archuleta, K., Henry, S. B., Bole, A., Hayes, E., Sanders-Hahs, E., Scheer, T., & Smith, D. B. (2008). Individual symptoms and coping resources reported by trauma survivors and their partners: A qualitative research study with clinical couples. American Journal of Family Therapy, 7(3), 187-209.
  • Schwerdtfeger, K. L. & Nelson Goff, B. S.   (2007). The intergenerational transmission of trauma: Exploring mother-fetus prenatal attachment. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 39-51.
  • Nelson Goff, B. S., Reisbig, A. M. J., Bole, A., Scheer, T., Hayes, E., Archuleta, K. L., Henry, S. B., Hoheisel, C. B., Nye, B., Osby, J., Sanders, E., Schwerdtfeger, K. L., & Smith, D. B. (2006). The effects of trauma on interpersonal functioning: A clinical research study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 451-60.
  • Nelson Goff, B. S. & Schwerdtfeger, K. L.   (2004). The systemic impact of traumatized children. In D.R. Catherall (Ed.), Handbook of stress, trauma, and the family, 179-202.