Diane R. Follingstad, Ph.D., Director

Women's Circle Endowed Chair
Department of Psychiatry
UK College of Medicine
245 Fountain Court
Lexington, KY 40509
Office: (859) 218-2610
Fax: (859) 323-4848
Cell: (859) 533-2757
Link to CV: Follingstad




In July 2008, Diane R. Follingstad, Ph.D. became the inaugural Women’s Circle Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women and a Professor of Clinical and Forensic Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky (with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology). 

Dr. Follingstad’s research in the area of intimate partner violence has covered issues related to battered women, physical dating violence, and factors impacting jury verdicts in cases where battered women killed a partner.  Most recently, her research efforts have led to more sophisticated measurement of psychological aggression and abuse, and she has published a critique regarding the problems of measurement in this field.  Her focus on psychological abuse within relationships has led to the investigation of the impact of controlling/interfering partner behaviors on women’s recovery from cancer and women’s ability to remain abstinent following treatment for opioid abuse.  Dr. Follingstad’s research interests have also extended to understanding the effects of therapeutic horticulture on battered women in a shelter and whether health professionals can be trained through an online educational intervention to better identify sex trafficking cases.  And, continuing her forensic interests in the area of intimate partner violence, she is developing innovative approaches to study the less conscious influences that impact prosecutors’, law enforcement officers’, and grand jury members’ decisions to prosecute battered women who have killed their abusers.

Dr. Follingstad is Board Certified as a Forensic Psychologist, and has served as president of the American Board of Forensic Psychology. She has also served as secretary of APA’s Division of Psychology and Law which awarded her with honorary Fellow status.  She was awarded the Distinguished Contributions Award in Forensic Psychology from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology in 2009 and the Linda Saltzman Memorial Intimate Partner Violence Researcher Award in 2012 from the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma.


Research Focus

  • Factors affecting jury verdicts or decisions to prosecute in cases where battered women kill a partner
  • Improving measurement of psychological abuse
  • Identifying factors related to marital and dating violence
  • Identifying differences in intimate partner violence in college versus same-age non-college populations
  • Evaluating the impact of a therapeutic horticulture program at a battered women's shelter 



Click here for access to selected published works for Dr. Diane Follingstad