Amber Douglas

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education; Dean of Studies; Director of Student Success Initiatives
Psychology of trauma, cross-cultural psychology, ethnic minority psychology, stress, and coping

Amber Douglas’s research interests fall into two categories: psychological trauma, with an emphasis on dissociation, and the psychology of ethnic minorities. She’s particularly interested in exploring research questions that examine the intersection of these two areas. As a clinical psychologist, Douglas says that the ultimate focus of her scholarship is contributing to the understanding of psychological adjustment, well-being, and mental health.

In 2003, she copresented a paper on the conceptualization of race-related stress within a trauma coping and adaptation model at the 20th Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Education in New York. Douglas also has done poster presentations at the 2002 and 2001 annual conventions of the American Psychological Association. In 2000, Douglas presented an evaluation of recent treatment outcomes for ethnic minorities at the Annual Eastern Psychological Association Conference.

Douglas is currently working on completing a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a treatment intervention for traumatized children focused on rebuilding attachments with significant adult caregivers. In addition, her she continues to collaborate with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services of the state of Connecticut. She is also beginning work with students on campus in her research lab.

Courses Taught

  • Seminar in Personality: Psychology of Trauma
  • Personality Theories
  • Research Methods (formerly Experimental Methods)
  • Lab in Personality & Abnormal Psychology: Stress and Coping


I am interested in trauma stress and coping.  My research examines the impact of stress and trauma on relationships and cognitions and seeks to understand mechanisms related to dissociation, dissociative coping, racial stress and “growth”.

Recent Campus News

Flexible Immersive Teaching blends traditional classroom and lab experiences with the cutting-edge technologies that have become a staple of a Mount Holyoke education.

Facing the challenges of teaching online

Mount Holyoke College has debuted a new approach to teaching that is flexible, immersive and can be used remotely.  

The 1619 Project was published in 2019 with the goal of re-examining the legacy of slavery in the United States and timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia.

The 1619 Project is the Common Read for 2020

Mount Holyoke College’s Common Read for 2020 will be prose essays from The New York Times Magazine’s ongoing initiative The 1619 Project. 


MHC’s Wonder-full first-year seminars

Mount Holyoke’s first-year seminars aim to enhance students’ analytical and critical thinking skills via diverse topics — even superheroes.

Cathy O’Neil, author of New York Times bestseller “Weapons of Math Destruction,” spoke at Mount Holyoke on April 8.

Data needs ethics — and outspoken nerds

Algorithms are hardly as objective as people think, says Cathy O’Neil, author of “Weapons of Math Destruction,” in a talk and discussion at Mount Holyoke.

LEAP 2016

LEAP: doing, learning, presenting

From solar cells and architecture to an athletic app and teaching, students spoke about their internships and research at the 2016 LEAP presentations.

Recent Publications

Douglas, A.N. (2006). Dissociative Coping: An examination of ethnic differences with a nonclinical United States sample. Poster presented at the IV World Congress on Traumatic Stress, Buenos Ares, Argentina.

Kagan, R. & Douglas, A. (2006). Real Life Heroes: Rebuilding trust with traumatized children. Paper presented at the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. 14th Annual Colloquium, Nashville, TN.

Douglas, A. & Williams, M (2003). Conceptualization of race-related stress within a trauma coping and adaptation model. Paper presentation at the 20th Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Education, New York, NY.

Williams, M.K., Douglas, A.N. & Ponce, A.N. (2002). Effects of child abuse and distorted beliefs on relationship violence. Poster presentation at the 110th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Douglas, A.N. & Williams, M.K. (2001). Dissociation and ethnic minorities: A coping mechanism? Poster presentation at the 109th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.