Karin Wachter

Karin Wachter
Assistant Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920
Assistant Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920
Assistant Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920
Assistant Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920

Biography

Karin Wachter's goal is to generate applied research for local, national, and international practitioners and policy makers to alleviate the psychosocial consequences of forced migration and violence against women.  

Dr. Wachter worked for 10 years as a humanitarian aid worker focused on violence against women and girls in war and displacement, primarily in African contexts. Since returning to academia, she has worked with U.S.-based refugee resettlement agencies as an evaluator and researcher. 

Dr. Wachter served as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Trainer in Mauritania in the late 1990s.

Education

  • PhD in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin
  • MEd in International Education, University of Massachusetts
  • BAs in Social Science and Drama, University of Michigan
  • She also had the privilege as an undergraduate student to study at the University of Ghana

Google Scholar

Research Interests

My research focuses on the intersection of forced migration, violence against women, and social support. I also conduct research on social service provider wellbeing, spanning the practice fields of IPV/sexual assault, refugee resettlement, and health. Drawing from qualitative and quantitative methods, feminist and postcolonial theories, and a practice-orientated perspective, my research elucidates the forced migration experiences of women to inform psychosocial interventions for women, their famiilies, and their communities. 

Research Group

I am affiliated with:

  1. The Office of Gender-Based Violence Office (OGBV), School of Social Work, ASU, led by Dr. Jill Messing
  2. The Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), School of Social Work, ASU, led by Dr. Sabrina Oesterle. 

Publications

Journal Articles

Wachter, K., & Mathis, C.M.* (provisionally accepted). Global perspectives on violence against women: a study of a social work elective during COVID-19. Journal of Social Work Education.

Mercado, M., Wachter, K., Schuster, R.C., Mathis, C.M.,* Johnson, E.,* Davis, O., Johnson-Agbakwu, C. (2022). A cross-sectional analysis of factors associated with stress, burnout, and turnover intention among health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Health & Social Care in the Community. doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13712

Shaw, S. & Wachter, K. (2022). “Through social contact we’ll integrate:” Refugee perspectives on integration post-resettlement. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies. doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2021.2023719

Messing, J., Wachter, K., AbiNader, M., Ward-Lasher, A.,* Njie-Carr, V., Sabri, B., Murray, S. Noor-Oshiro, A., Campbell, J. (2022). “We have to build trust": Intimate partner violence risk assessment with immigrant and refugee survivors. Social Work Research. doi.org/10.1093/swr/svab030

Voth Schrag, R., Wood, L., Wachter, K., & Kulkarni, S. (2022). Compassion fatigue among the intimate partner violence and sexual assault workforce: Enhancing organizational practice. Violence Against Women, 28(1), 277-297. doi.org/10.1177/1077801220988351

Wachter, K., Cook Heffron, L. & Dalpe, J. (2021). “We weren’t ready:” Provider perspectives on addressing intimate partner violence among refugees and immigrants in the United States. Journal of Family Violence, 37, 235-246. doi.org/10.1007/s10896-021-00285-2

Wachter, K., Bunn, M., Schuster, R.C., Boateng, G., Cameli, K.,* & Johnson-Agbakwu, C., (2021). A scoping review of social support research among refugees in resettlement: Implications for conceptual and empirical research. Journal of Refugee Studies. doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feab040

Wachter, K., Cook Heffron, L. & Dalpe, J. (2021). “Back home you just go talk to the family”: The role of family among women who seek help for intimate partner violence pre- and post-resettlement to the United States. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(15-16), 7574-7598. doi.org/10.1177/0886260519835861

Wachter, K., Gulbas, L. & Snyder, S. (2021). Connecting in resettlement: An examination of social support among Congolese women in the United States. Qualitative Social Work. doi.org/10.1177/14733250211008495

Gonzalez Benson, O., Wachter, K., & Mathis, C.M.* (2021). Refugee resettlement and macro practice in the United States. Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work. Oxford. doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.1416

Horn, R., Wachter, K., Friis, E., Wanjiku Ngugi, S., Creighton, J. & Puffer, E. (2021). Mapping complex systems: Responses to intimate partner violence against women in three refugee camps. Frontiers Human Dynamics, 3(613792). doi.org/10.3389/fhumd.2021.613792

Wachter, K., Cook Heffron, L., Dalpe, J., & Spitz, A. (2021). “Where is the women’s center here?”: The role of information in refugee women’s help seeking for intimate partner violence in a resettlement context. Violence Against Women, 27(12-13), 2355-2376. doi.org/10.1177/1077801220971364 

Njie-Carr, V.P.S., Sabri, B., Messing, J.T., Ward-Lasher,* A., Fleming, C., Wachter, K., Campbell, J. (2021). Understanding intimate partner violence among immigrant and refugee women: A grounded theory analysis. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 30(6), 792-810. doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2020.1796870 

Wachter, K., Bonz, A., & Dalpe, J., Drozdowski, H.,* Hermer, J., (2021). A scoping review of interventions that promote social support among refugees in resettlement contexts. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 19(4), 557-572. doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2020.1854917 

Gonzalez Benson, O., Wachter, K., Lee, J.E., Hylton, E. & Nicols, D. (2021). Social work scholarship on forced migration: A scoping review. The British Journal of Social Work, 51(7), 2680-2702. doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcaa081 

Wachter, K., Voth Schrag, R., & Wood, L. (2020). Coping behaviors mediate associations between occupational factors and compassion satisfaction among the intimate partner violence and sexual assault workforce. Journal of Family Violence, 35, 143-154. doi.org/10.1007/s10896-019-00072-0 

Cheng, S.-Y.,* Wachter, K., Kappas, A., Brown, M., Messing, J., Bagwell-Gray, M., & Jiwatram-Negron, T. (2020). Patterns of help seeking strategies in response to intimate partner violence: A latent class analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi.org/10.1177/0886260520966671 

Reed, L. A., Conn, K.,* & Wachter, K. (2020). Name-calling, jealousy, and break-ups: Teen girls’ and boys’ worst experiences of digital dating. Children and Youth Services Review, 108. doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104607 

Wachter, K., Dalpe, J. & Cook Heffron, L. (2019). Conceptualizations of domestic violence-related needs among women who resettled to the U.S. as refugees. Social Work Research, 43(4), 207-219. doi.org//10.1093/swr/svz008 

Wood, L., Wachter, K. Rhodes, D. & Wang, A. (2019). Turnover intention and job satisfaction among intimate partner violence and sexual assault professionals. Violence and Victims, 34(4), 678 - 700. doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-18-00134 

Wachter, K. & Gulbas, L. (2018). Social support under siege: An analysis of forced migration among women from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Social Science and Medicine, 208, 107-116. doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.04.056 

Wachter, K., Murray, S.M., Hall, B.J., Annan, J., Bolton, P., Bass, J. (2018). Stigma modifies the association between social support and mental health among sexual violence survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Implications for practice. Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 31(4), 459 – 474. doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2018.1460662

Wachter, K. & Snyder, S. (2018). Centering subjectivities: Theoretical considerations for practice with women in forced migration. Affilia, 33(3), 395-409.  doi.org/10.1177/0886109918766620 

Murray, S.M., Augustinavicius, J., Kaysen, D., Rao, D., Murray, L., Wachter, K., Annan, J., Falb, K., Bolton, P., Bass, J. (2018). The impact of Cognitive Processing Therapy on stigma among sexual violence survivors in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Conflict and Health, 12(1), 1-9. doi.org/10.1186/s13031-018-0142-4 

Wachter, K., Horn, R., Friis, E., Falb, K., Ward, L., Apio, C., Wanjiku, S., & Puffer, E. (2018).  Drivers of intimate partner violence against women in three refugee camps. Violence Against Women, 24(3), 286-306. doi.org/10.1177/1077801216689163 

Wachter, K., Cook Heffron, L., Busch-Armendariz, N., Nsonwu, M. B., Kerwick, M., Kellison, B., Jones, L.E., Sanders, G.M.  (2016). Responding to Domestic Minors Sex Trafficking (DMST): Developing principle-based practices. Journal of Human Trafficking, 2(4), 259-271. doi.org/10.1080/23322705.2016.1145489 

Wachter, K., Cook Heffron, L., Snyder, S., Nsonwu, M., & Busch-Armendariz, N. (2016). Unsettled Integration: Pre- and post-migration factors in Congolese refugee women’s resettlement experiences in the United States. International Social Work, 59(6), 875-889. doi.org/10.1177/0020872815580049 

Wachter, K., Thompson, S.J., Bender, K., & Ferguson, K. (2014). Predictors of multiple arrests among homeless young adults: Gender differences. Children and Youth Services Review, 49, 32-38.  doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.12.017 

Hall, B. J., Bolton, P.A., Annan, J., Kaysen, D., Robinette, K., Cetinoglu, T., Wachter, K., & Bass, J.K. (2014). The effect of cognitive therapy on structural social capital: Results from a randomized controlled trial among sexual violence survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. American Journal of Public Health, 104(9), 1680-1686. doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.301981

Bass, J.K., Annan, J., McIvor Murray, S., Kaysen, D., Griffiths, S., Cetinoglu, T., Wachter, K., Murray, L.K., & Bolton, P.A. (2013). Cognitive processing therapy for mental health problems of sexual violence survivors in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: Outcomes of a randomised controlled trial. New England Journal of Medicine, 368, 2182-2191. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1211853

Technical Reports

Wachter, K., Mercado, M., & Mathis, C.M.* (2022). An evaluation of a staff care initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Rescue Committee.

Wachter, K., Mathis, C.M.,* Mercado, M., Schuster, R.C., Davis, O., Johnson-Agbakwu, C. (2021). Provider wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Preliminary findings from a survey of workers within a public safety net hospital in Arizona. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Wachter, K., Mathis, C.M.,* Mercado, M., Schuster, R.C., Davis, O., Johnson-Agbakwu, C. (2021). Provider wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Preliminary findings from a survey of staff employed by refugee resettlement agencies in Arizona. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona State University, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Wachter, K. & Dalpe, J. (2018). Bridging the Gaps: A study of refugee and immigrant women’s experiences with seeking help for domestic violence and sexual assault. New York, NY: International Rescue Committee. doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.36185.16484

Wood, L., Wachter, K., Wang, A., Kammer-Kerwick, M. Busch-Armendariz, N. (2017). VOICE: Victim services occupation, information, and compensation experiences survey. Austin, TX: Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault.

Wachter, K. & Donahue, K. (2015). Bridge to Safety: An evaluation of a pilot intervention to screen for and respond to domestic and sexual violence with refugee women in the U.S. New York, NY: International Rescue Committee. doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.3643.3369

Busch-Armendariz, N.B., Olaya, D., Kerwick, M., Wachter, K., & Sulley C. (2015).  Health and well-being: Texas statewide sexual assault prevalence. The University of Texas at Austin, Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault: Austin, Texas.

Horn, R., Puffer, E. Fria, E. & Wachter, K. (2014). Private Violence, Public Concern: A research study on the drivers, forms and consequences of intimate partner violence on women and girls in conflict settings. New York, NY: The International Rescue Committee.

Busch-Armendariz, N., Wachter, K., Cook Heffron, L., Snyder, S., & Nsonwu, M.B. (2014). The continuity of risk: A three city study of Congolese women-at-risk resettled in the US. Austin, TX: The Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault.    

Bass, J., Bolton, P., Murray, S., Cole, G., Robinette, K., Poulton, C., Murfet, T., Topolska, M., Greco, D., Wachter, K., Cetinoglu, T., & Annan, J. (2014). Study of effectiveness of a social-economic intervention for sexual violence survivors in eastern DRC.  New York, New York: International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Applied Mental Health Research Group (AMHR) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH).

Wachter, K. & Crawford-Garrett, B. (2013). Theory of change for women’s engagement in structured demand. Washington, DC: Oxu Solutions.

Busch-Armendariz, N., Heffron, L. C., Wachter, K., Sulley, C., & Kalergis, K. (2013). Engaging adult victims of non-stranger sexual assault: A law enforcement toolkit. Austin, TX: Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Bass, J., Bolton, P., Kaysen, D., Griffith, S., Murray, S., Cetinoglu, T., Robinette, K., Poulton, Guimond, M.F., Wachter, K., & Annan, J. (2013). Addressing sexual violence related trauma in eastern DRC with cognitive processing therapy.  New York, New York: International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Applied Mental Health Research Group (AMHR) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH).

Research Activity

2019 – 2022  

Principal Investigator (Co-Investigators: Schuster, Boateng, Johnson-Agbakwu) 

“Something is missing here”: Culturally relevant measurement of social support among Congolese refugee women in resettlement, funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities within the U54 Specialized Center of Excellence, Marsiglia, F. (PI). “Leveraging biocultural mechanisms to increase the impact of multi-level preventable disease interventions in partnership with populations of the Southwest.” Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), Arizona State University. $50,0000, U54MD002316.

2020 – 2021               

Co-Principal Investigator (co-PIs: Johnson-Agbakwu, Schuster, Davis)

Provider wellbeing and health/psychosocial implications of COVID-19 among refugee and immigrant women, funded by the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions COVID-19 Community Mitigation Grants, $10,275.  

2020 – 2021               

Co-Investigator (co-PIs: Johnson-Agbakwu, Schuster, Davis)

Understanding barriers and facilitators refugee communities experience in staying healthy and accessing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, funded by the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University, $1,000.

2016 – 2018              

Principal Investigator

Bridging the gap: A multi methods study to inform services for refugee and immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, funded by the Office for Violence against Women (OVW), Department of Justice, grant recipient: The International Rescue Committee, New York, NY, $314,666, 2016-SI-AX-0004.

2012 – 2013               

Co-Principal Investigator (co-PIs: Busch-Armendariz, Cook Heffron)

Assessing the needs of Congolese at-risk refugee women, funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), grant recipient: the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, The University of Texas at Austin, $15,000.

Courses

Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 418Global Violence Against Women
SWG 718Qualitative Research Methods
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk
SWU 418Global Violence Against Women
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 320Research Methods in Social Wk