14:29 PM

UST Psychology Professor Advocates Teaching Conflict Resolution to Mitigate Campus Violence

Dr. Lesley Teitelbaum Dr. Lesley Teitelbaum, adjunct professor of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas-Houston, is an advocate for campus opportunities to help students improve their conflict management skills as a critical first step to promoting student safety and emotional wellbeing across university settings. Teitelbaum is an expert on conflict resolution and teaches Abnormal Psychology at UST this fall.

She delivered her premise at a recent research poster presentation given at the American Psychological Association Washington – 2023 Conference entitled “Disagreements are Inevitable… Hostility is NOT.” She stated that teaching conflict management resolution to students can reduce the effects of conflict on academic and athletic performance, among other areas of life.

According to Teitelbaum, “Conflict increases stress, can hinder academic and athletic performance, eclipse dreams, damage relationships, and can lead to behavior that is destructive to oneself and others. As with putting out physical fires, effectively negotiating conflict in everyday life requires a plan, a skill set and resources.

“Introducing conflict management educational programs can help students become more self-aware and build skills that help them manage conflict better,” she said.

Teitelbaum outlines the aspects of an effective conflict management educational program, including the following:

(a) behavioral psychology

(b) neuropsychology and its relationship to emotional regulation

(c) discernment between emotional reaction and response

(d) pathways for de-activating the dis-stress response

(e) effective communication and emotional wellness skills

(f) contemplative activities to explore choices for achieving the most positive and productive outcome (All student participants will be offered didactic instruction and opportunities to learn through role-play techniques using conflict scenarios)

“Skills and resources that support students amid challenging life experiences,” Teitelbaum said, “can reduce their vulnerability to destructive consequences. Increasing effective management of conflicts that inevitably arise on campus can benefit the safety, emotional wellbeing and productivity of each student and the entire campus community.”