Kimberly Rapoza

  • Associate Professor, Psychology
Kimberly Rapoza headshot

Kimberly A. Rapoza , PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Mercy University. She has a steady stream of authoring or co-authoring peer-reviewed articles, edited chapters, and presentations on family violence and health. As a PI on institutional grants, she directs the Ronald E. McNair program at the University, supported by a renewed grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and pursued her research on childhood maltreatment and health, under an NIH-RIMI subproject, and multiple NIH-EARDA awards. Her most current research is funded by NIDILRR and she seeks to understand, with her two co-PIs, how patient-provider discordance alters the health and healthcare experience of teens with Lupus. She has been active in professional associations, including the American Psychological Association and Association of Psychological Sciences.

Boston University 

Ph.D. in Psychology/Human Development

Boston University 

Master of Arts in Psychology

University of Massachusetts/ Amherst

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology


Grants and Fellowships

2018-2020 National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).  “Adolescents with Lupus: The Impact of Patient/Provider Discordance, Depression, Cognition and Language on Quality of Life” (90IFST0003-01-00 Lead PI: Kenney-Riley, K & Co-PIs Rapoza, K. and Berkowitz, S.). 

2017-2022 & 2012-2017 Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program (Department of Education). Mercy University’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. An institutional grant Funded by the Department of Education. The training program’s aim is to increase the number of students from underrepresented backgrounds in graduate education. 

2014- 2019 Langston University- Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (LU-RRTC) Subcontract grant. Research fellow. Research examines disability outcomes of persons from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations and communities. 

2008-2012 Research Infrastructure for Minority Serving Institutions (RIMI) Award (NIH). Mercy University’s RIMI-COR Training Program for Promoting Minority Health institutional grant. Grant No. 1P20MD002717 (PI: Sperling, M).  “A multi-component model exploring how psychological, behavioral, and environmental characteristics influence physical health and psychological wellness”. 

2008 Extramural Associates Research Development Award (EARDA)  “The Role of Prenatal Sex Hormone Exposure and Chronic Stress in susceptibility to Adult Illness” (G11 HD035965 PI: Daniel, S.)

2006 Extramural Associates Research Development Award (EARDA)  “The relationship between insecure attachment, stress, and illness” (G11 HD035965 PI: Daniel, S.). 



Research Methods (PSYN 616). Class focusing on research methods and statistical analyses. Students write and develop independent research projects and IRB applications. This entails developing a critical review; developing hypothesis; planned data analyses; questionnaire/ research methods selection. 


Social Psychology (PSYN 244). Introductory class on social psychology taught in person and online. Lectures are based on text readings, assigned readings on practical applications of social psychological research, as well as current events drawn from films, news, or magazines to illustrate how social psychological theories and concepts are present in the world around us.  

Contemporary Issues: Family violence (PSYN 295). Seminar and on-line class on current issues in family violence (e.g. child abuse, spouse abuse, abuse of the elderly, etc.). Assigned weekly exercises requiring a scholarly analysis of the assigned readings and application to a current case in the news. Students develop final paper projects analyzing one area of family violence and develop a prevention or intervention program. 



  • Kenney-Riley, K., Berkowitz, S. S., & Rapoza, K. (2020). Understanding patient-provider discordance in adolescents with lupus: The role of pain and antidepressant medication use. Health Psychology Open, 7(2), 1-7.
  • Salzhauer Berkowitz, S,  Kenney-Riley, K., Rapoza, K.A., Lewis, A.N. (2018). Lupus: Disease impact on functioning and the need for vocational rehabilitation counseling services.  Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 49(1), 23-31.
  • Rapoza, K.A., Kenney-Riley, K., Salzhauer Berkowitz, S., Lewis, A.N. & Rosen Reynoso, M. (2017). Lupus in culturally diverse populations:  A transdisciplinary model for vocational rehabilitation counseling. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 48(4), 18-27. 
  • Rapoza, K.A. (2017). Does life stress moderate/mediate the relationship between finger length ratio (2D4D), depression and physical health? Personality and Individual Differences, 113, 74-80.
  • Kenney-Riley, K. Berkowitz, S. & Rapoza, K. (2016). Level of discordance between adolescents with Lupus and their providers. Pediatric Therapeutic,6 (3).
  • Rapoza,K.A., Vassell, K, Wilson, D.T., Robertson, T., Manzella, D., Ortiz-Garcia, A., & Jimenez-Lazar, L.A. (2016). Attachment as a moderating factor between social support, physical health and psychological well-being. SAGE Open,Oct/Dec, 1-13. DOI: 10.1177/2158244016682818 
  • Trenz, R. C., Ecklund-Flores, L., & Rapoza, K.A. (2015). A comparison of mental health and alcohol use between traditional and nontraditional students. Journal of American College Health, 63(8), 584-588. DOI:10.1080/07448481. 2015.1040409
  • Rapoza, K.A., Wilson, D.T., Widmann, W.A., Riley, M.A., Robertson, T.W., Maiello, E., Villot, N., Manzella, D.J., & Ortiz-Garcia, A.L. (2014). The relationship between adult health and childhood maltreatment, as moderated by anger and ethnic background. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 445-456.