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About Cara S. Maffini

Dr. Cara S. Maffini is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development at San José State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her research encompasses intersections of culture, mental health, and trauma particularly among adolescents and emerging adults with a focus on underserved populations. She has three main lines of research: (a) understanding psychosocial, cultural, and developmental protective and risk factors associated with trauma (e.g., violence, victimization, and campus safety); (b) examining refugee experiences and intergenerational transmission of trauma; and (c) examining bicultural and biracial experiences and identity development. Grounded in her training in counseling psychology, her research serves to inform campus and community-based intervention and prevention programs.


Present Assistant Professor, San Jose State University Child and Adolescent Development

Curriculum Vitae


2011 - 2012 Counseling and Educational Psychology Research Fellowship
Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University Bloomington
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2011 - 2013 Associate Editor, Up Close & Personal Section, Diversity Factor, Newsletter, Society of Ethnic & Racial Diversity (Division 17) of American Psychological Association
2011 - 2012 Student Representative, Student Affiliates of Seventeen (SAS), American Psychological Association, Division 17, Society of Counseling Psychology
2011 - 2012 Student Representative, Search Committee for new Counseling Psychology Program Training Director, Indiana University
2010 - 2012 President, Counseling Psychology Student Organization (CPSO), Indiana University Bloomington
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Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Associate Instructor Award – School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington – 2012
  • Graduate Student of the Month, Research – Graduate Student and Professional Organization (GPSO), Indiana University Bloomington – 2012
  • Paul Munger Award – Counseling Psychology Program, Indiana University Bloomington – 2012
  • Commission of Multicultural Understanding (COMU) Graduate Student Award – Indiana University Bloomington – 2012


  • Supervised Fieldwork in Counseling (EDCO 292)
  • Seminar in Professional Counseling: Psychopharmacology for Counselors (EDCO 289)
  • Advanced Counseling Theories & Techniques (EDCO 288)
  • Trauma Counseling & Crisis Intervention (EDCO 285)
  • Law & Ethics in Counseling (EDCO 232)
  • Research Seminar in Counselor Education (EDCO 221)
  • Child Development (CHAD 060)


2014 Ph.D., Indiana University - Bloomington ‐ Counseling Psychology
2009 M.A., California State University, Sacramento ‐ Psychology
2006 B.S., University of California, Davis ‐ Psychology
2006 B.A., University of California, Davis ‐ Dramatic Art

Contact Information


Peer-Reviewed Publications (25)