Clinical Focus


  • Psychology

Academic Appointments


  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Professional Education


  • Fellowship: Stanford University Adult Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship (2023) CA
  • Internship: Sacramento VA Medical Center Psychology Training Program (2022) CA
  • PhD Training: University of Miami Office of the Registrar (2022) FL

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Culturally Sensitive Therapy is a group psychotherapy for people with early psychosis and their families. Study aims are to understand if this treatment is compatible with this population, to assess improvements in family functioning and mental health symptoms, to assess mediating factors (e.g., increased usage of adaptive religious and other cultural beliefs/values), and to assess longevity of improvements. Last, we aim to qualitatively understand participants’ experiences with this treatment.

All Publications


  • A Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility and Efficacy of a Transdiagnostic, Religiously/Spiritually-Integrated, Culturally Informed Therapy SPIRITUALITY IN CLINICAL PRACTICE de Mamani, A., Lopez, D., McLaughlin, M. M., Ahmad, S., Altamirano, O. 2023; 10 (3): 233-244

    View details for DOI 10.1037/scp0000308

    View details for Web of Science ID 000884484400001

  • The association between perceived racial discrimination and subclinical symptoms of psychosis JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH Lopez, D., Altamirano, O., Weisman de Mamani, A. 2022; 31 (1): 14-21

    Abstract

    Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling disorders with the poorest outcomes. Cross-cultural research indicates an association between perceived racial discrimination and depression, anxiety, general psychological distress, and psychotic-spectrum disorders. Studies also find that coping moderates the relationship between discrimination and depression. Assessing subclinical symptoms may be useful in prevention efforts.The study aims to (1) assess if perceived racial discrimination is associated with psychosis subclinical symptoms among a non-clinical sample and (2) examine the role of maladaptive coping and depression, anxiety, and stress.The sample consisted of 261 ethnic minority undergraduate students. A structural equation model using a subclinical psychosis latent variable within a moderated mediation model assessed relationships between racial discrimination, maladaptive coping, depression, anxiety, and stress, and subclinical psychosis.Perceived racial discrimination was associated with greater subclinical symptoms of psychosis through increased depression, anxiety, and stress at greater levels of maladaptive coping.Knowing risk factors that can be targeted, such as perceived discrimination and maladaptive coping, may have implications for vulnerable populations.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/09638237.2020.1793120

    View details for Web of Science ID 000548940500001

    View details for PubMedID 32662709

  • Risk and Resiliency Factors Related to Dementia Caregiver Mental HealthPalabras clave(sic)(sic)(sic) FAMILY PROCESS Altamirano, O., Weisman de Mamani, A. 2021; 60 (3): 904-919

    Abstract

    Prevalence rates for dementia are expected to rise exponentially as the elderly population rises. With this comes a corresponding increase in the number of family members who will become dementia caregivers. Caregivers of people with dementia often experience a deterioration in mental health. Identifying factors that relate to caregiver mental health is necessary to develop appropriate interventions. The current study explored how family functioning (measured with a latent variable that includes family cohesion, family balance, and family communication), caregiver expressed emotion (EE), and patient symptom severity related to caregiver mental health (measured with a latent variable that includes depression, anxiety, and stress). Participants included 107 dementia caregivers. The following specific hypotheses were tested: lower levels of both (1) EE and (2) patient symptom severity, and (3) higher levels of family functioning would be related to better caregiver mental health. Results produced a well-fitting model: X2 (18) = 14.858, p = .672; CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00; SRMR = .037. Moreover, results indicated that better family functioning (Ɣ = -3.54, SE = 1.34, p = .008), lower levels of caregiver EE (β = .36, SE = 0.07, p < .01), and higher patient symptom severity (β = -3.03, SE = 0.88, p = .001) were related to better caregiver mental health. Results from this study suggest that efforts to bolster family functioning (i.e., enhance communication, promote cohesion, encourage flexibility) could help improve caregiver mental health.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/famp.12569

    View details for Web of Science ID 000545408800001

    View details for PubMedID 32619332

  • Pediatric Posttraumatic Stress Altamirano, O., Carrion, V. G., Noll, J. G., Shalev SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG. 2018: 71–88