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Bertranna Muruthi, PhD

Contact Information

Bertranna A. Muruthi


Assistant Professor

Counseling and Family Therapy Department

An important aspect of my work focuses on transitional issues that immigrant families must negotiate as well as predicting factors associated with their risk and resilience behaviors. Specifically, I use an intersectionality lens within a transnational framework to explore how immigrant experiences evolve and change as immigrants stay connected to their native countries while in their host countries. Intersectionality considers the social identities and statuses that may differ between countries and are often considered as existing independently, yet in practice immigrants experience these statuses simultaneously. Transnationality refers to immigrant families who live across borders and spend some or all of the time separated from each other yet maintain a collective welfare. These perspectives provide me with vital tools to highlight the lives of marginalized families while empowering their cultural practices. They allow for a closer examination of connections that immigrants have to their native countries and how these connections may affect immigrants’ resettlement experiences in host nations.

My current research looks at the family as the unit of analysis within the context of communities and the community-based organizations that serve them. As such, family needs and resilient behaviors are understood at a systemic level. There are three areas I address to develop my program of research: (a) migration, resettlement, and transnationalism of documented and undocumented immigrants; (b) predictors of risk and resilient behavior in immigrant families; and (c) development of intervention and prevention programming for immigrant families. My research uses culturally responsive community-based collaborative methods. I use this strength-based model to look at individuals and families within the context of communities and the community-based organizations that serve them. I incorporate community culture and knowledge and practices throughout research with the aim of producing culturally effective actions that lead to community transformation and social change.

Selected Publications

Muruthi, B.A., *Thompson Cañas, R. E., *Romero, L., Chronister, K., *Cheng, Y., *Taiwo, A., *Krakani, B.S., Lahoti, A. (2022). African immigrant women’s perspectives on network support and interpersonal violence: A Transnational Perspective., Journal of Family Violence

Muruthi, J.R., Muruthi, B.A., *Thompson-Cañas, R. E., *Romero, L., *Taiwo, A., Ehlinger, P.P. (2022). Discrimination, Church Support, Personal Mastery, and Psychological Distress in Black People in the U.S., Ethnicity & Health

Taschman, K., Muruthi, B.A., *Romero, L., *Thompson Cañas, R.E. (2022) “Sentí que Alguien Murió” [“I felt someone died”]: Ambiguous Loss in the Face of Parental Deportation., Child and Family Social Work

Muruthi, B.A., *Janes, E. E., Chou J., Richardson, S., West, J. M., & *Chevalier, M. (2021). “First thing when I walk through the door, I am a Black woman”: Understanding Afro-Caribbean women's perceptions of race and ethnicity in the United States. Journal of Systemic Therapy, 40(1).

Muruthi, B.A., Watkins, K., McCoy, M. A., White, K. J., McRell, A. S., Thomas, M., & *Taiwo, A. (2021). “Save, even if it’s a penny”: Transnational financial socialization of Black immigrant women. Journal of Financial Therapy, 11 (2), 3.

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Georgia, 2016
    Major area of study: Human Development and Family Science
    Specialization: Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Master of Science, Miami University, 2010
    Major area of Study: Family Studies
    Specialization: Culturally Diverse Families and Stressful Family Context
  • Bachelor of Arts, Miami University, 2007
    Major: Women’s Studies