Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Cynthia J. Najdowski

  • Media Contact
  • SPN Mentor

As an assistant professor in the University at Albany-SUNY School of Criminal Justice, my research centers on using psychological theory to understand criminal justice and legal issues, particularly those affecting vulnerable and victimized populations. My goals as a researcher are to contribute to social science and disseminate relevant results to other researchers and to front-line professionals and lawmakers to improve public policy. Given these goals, I investigate (1) stereotype threat and racial disparities in criminal justice contexts, (2) people's reactions to juvenile offenders, and (3) coping and recovery in victims of abuse and trauma.

I also enjoy serving as a mentor for undergraduate students who want to learn about research and prepare for graduate school, as well as graduate students who want to begin their own careers in research. I sincerely enjoy facilitating students' understanding and appreciation of theoretically driven and methodologically sound research. I also enjoy fueling students’ interest in the social sciences in courses such as Criminology and Children, Psychology and Law.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Causal Attribution
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping

Research Group or Laboratory:

  • The Psychological Understanding of Legal System Encounters (PULSE) Laboratory


Journal Articles:

  • Bottoms, B. L., Najdowski, C. J., Epstein, M. A., & Badanek, M. J. (2012). Trauma severity and defensive emotion-regulation reactions as predictors of forgetting childhood trauma. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 13, 291-310.
  • Najdowski, C. J. (2011). Stereotype threat in criminal interrogations: Why innocent Black suspects are at risk for confessing falsely. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 17, 562-591.
  • Najdowski, C. J. (2010). Jurors and social loafing: Factors that reduce participation during jury deliberations. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 28(2), 39-64. Reprinted in American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 31(3), 49-76.
  • Najdowski, C. J., & Bottoms, B. L. (2012). Understanding jurors’ judgments in cases involving juvenile defendants: Effects of confession evidence and intellectual disability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 18, 297-337.
  • Najdowski, C. J., Bottoms, B. L., & Vargas, M. C. (2009). Jurors’ perceptions of juvenile defendants: The influence of intellectual disability, abuse history, and confession evidence. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 27, 401-430.
  • Najdowski, C. J., & Ullman, S. E. (2011). The effects of revictimization on coping and depression in female sexual assault victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24, 218-221.
  • Najdowski, C. J., & Ullman, S. E. (2009). PTSD and self-rated recovery among adult sexual assault survivors: The effects of traumatic life events and psychosocial variables. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 43-53.
  • Najdowski, C. J., & Ullman, S. E. (2009). Prospective effects of sexual victimization on PTSD and problem drinking. Addictive Behaviors, 34, 965-968.
  • Najdowski, C. J., & Winer, E. S. (2009). The neuroscientific study of the self: Methodological and theoretical challenges. New School Psychology Bulletin, 6, 7-12.
  • Salerno, J. M., Najdowski, C. J., Stevenson, M. C., Wiley, T. R. A., Bottoms, B. L., Vaca, Jr., R. A., & Pimentel, P. S. (2010). Psychological mechanisms underlying support for juvenile sex offender registry laws: Prototypes, moral outrage, and perceived threat. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 28, 58-83.
  • Stevenson, M. C., Najdowski, C. J., & Wiley, T. R. A. (2013). Knowledge of juvenile sex offender registration laws as a predictor of adolescent sexual behavior. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 22, 103-118.
  • Thompson, R., Dancy, B. L., Wiley, T. R. A., Najdowski, C. J., Perry, S. P., Wallis, J., Mekawi, Y., & Knafl, K. (2013). African American families' expectations and intentions for mental health services. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 40, 371-383.
  • Thompson, R., Dancy, B. L., Wiley, T. R. A., Perry, S. P., & Najdowski, C. J. (2011). The experience of mental health service use for African American mothers and youth. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 32, 678-686.
  • Ullman, S. E., & Najdowski, C. J. (2011). Prospective changes in attributions of self-blame and social reactions to women’s disclosures of adult sexual assault. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 1934-1962.
  • Ullman, S. E., & Najdowski, C. J. (2010). Alcohol-related help-seeking in problem drinking women sexual assault survivors. Substance Use and Misuse, 45, 341-353.
  • Ullman, S. E., & Najdowski, C. J. (2010). Understanding alcohol-related sexual assaults: Characteristics and consequences. Violence and Victims, 25, 29-44.
  • Ullman, S. E., & Najdowski, C. J. (2009). Correlates of suicidal ideation and attempts in female sexual assault survivors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 39, 47-57.
  • Ullman, S. E., & Najdowski, C. J. (2009). Revictimization as a moderator of psychosocial risk factors for problem drinking in female sexual assault survivors. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70, 41-49.
  • Ullman, S. E., Najdowski, C. J., & Adams, E. (2012). Women, Alcoholics Anonymous, and related mutual aid groups: Review and recommendations for research. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 30, 443-486.

Courses Taught:

Cynthia J. Najdowski
School of Criminal Justice
University at Albany, SUNY
135 Western Avenue, Draper Hall 219
Albany, New York 12222
United States

  • Phone: (518) 591-8786
  • Fax: (518) 442-5212

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