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Debra Major




My Research Program and Publications

My current program of research focuses on career barriers, especially for women, and effective strategies for overcoming them. Conflict between work life and other life domains is a major area of interest.  My research on this topic is aimed at understanding how individuals and organizations address work-family conflict through mechanisms such as preventive coping, effective role relationships, and accommodation seeking. I am also interested in the experiences of women in male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. To study this topic, I examine inclusive climate, fairness perceptions,  and professional development opportunities. My work in this area has been supported by National Science Foundation grants for the past decade. My research often requires multi-disciplinary collaborations with computer science, engineering, and other sciences.

My research lab operates on a mentoring model. In addition to the mentoring I provide my graduate and undergraduate students, substantial peer mentoring also occurs. As can be seen below, much of my published work is co-authored with students.

Research Opportunities

I invite graduate or undergraduate students who are interested in these topic areas to contact me to discuss research opportunities available on my research team. I also welcome any students seriously considering pursuing a graduate degree in I/O Psychology to contact me to discuss Old Dominion University's I/O Psychology Program.

Edited Books

 Burke, R. J. & Major, D. A. (Eds.). (2014). Gender in organizations: Are men allies or adversaries to women's career advancement?  Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Major, D. A., & Burke, R. J. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of work-life integration among professionals: Challenges and opportunities. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (since 2010)

 Major, D. A., Fletcher, T. D., Streets, V. N., & Sanchez-Hucles, J. (in press). One is the loneliest number: Comparing ethnic minority solos and non-solos. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.

Morganson, V. J., & Major, D. A. (2014). Exploring retaliation as a coping strategy in response to customer sexual harassment. Sex Roles, 71, 83-94.

Streets, V. N. & Major, D. A. (2014). The limited utility of stereotype threat research in organizational settings. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: New Perspectives on Science and Practice, 7, 447-449.

Major, D.A., Morganson, V. J., & Bolen, H. M. (2013). Predictors of occupational and organizational commitment in information technology: Exploring gender differences and similarities. Journal of Business and Psychology, 28, 301-314.

Holland, J. M., Major, D. A., & Orvis, K. A. (2012). Understanding how peer mentoring and capitalization link STEM students to their majors. Career Development Quarterly, 60, 343-354.

Lauzun, H. M., Major, D. A, & Jones, M. P. (2012). Employing a conservation of resources framework to examine the interactive effects of work domain support and economic impact on work-family conflict. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 15, 25-36.

Major, D. A., Holland, J.M., & Oborn, K. L. (2012). The influence of proactive personality and coping on commitment to STEM majors. Career Development Quarterly, 60, 16-24.

Holland, J. M., Major, D. A., Morganson, V. J., & Orvis, K. A. (2011). Capitalizing on opportunity outside the classroom: Exploring the supports and barriers to the professional development activities of computer science and engineering majors. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 17, 172-192.

Major, D.A., & Morganson, V. J. (2011). Applying I-O psychology to help organizations and individuals balance work and family. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: New Perspectives on Science and Practice, 4, 398-401.

Major, D. A., & Morganson, V. J. (2011). Coping with work-family conflict: A leader-member exchange perspective. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16, 126-138.

Rizvi, M., Humphries, T., Major, D., Jones, M., & Lauzun, H. (2011). A CS0 course using Scratch. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 26, 19-27.

Lauzun, H. M., Morganson, V. J., Major, D. A., & Green, A P. (2010). Seeking work-life balance: Employees' requests, supervisors' responses and organizational barriers. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 13, 184-205.

Major, D. A., & Lauzun, H. M. (2010). Equipping managers to assist employees in addressing work-family conflict: Applying the research literature toward innovative practice. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 13, 69-85.

Morganson, V. J., Jones, M. P, & Major, D. A. (2010).  Understanding women's underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: The role of social coping. Career Development Quarterly, 59, 169-179.

Morganson, V. J., Major, D. A., Oborn, K. L., Verive, J. M., Heelan, M. P. (2010). Comparing telework locations and traditional work arrangements: Differences in work-life balance support, job satisfaction and inclusion. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25, 578-595. 

*Complete lists of publications, presentations, and grants are available in my vita.

Contact Information

Email Debra A. Major

Phone: 757.683.4235

Fax: 757.683.5087

Office: 346J Mills Godwin Building

Office Hours

Tuesdays 11-12:15 & by appointment


Research and Publications

Psychology Department