Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology


Leyla Gulcur’s research interests have focused on the way structural and psychological variables affect the well-being of individuals who are disenfranchised by economic and social inequalities, as well as by human rights violations.  Her work history primarily reflects the larger philosophical question of how individuals can reach their full potential and how cultures and communities can act to impede or facilitate this potential.

In examining these themes in multiple cultural and interdisciplinary contexts, Dr. Gulcur has undertaken research in the following areas:

  • cultural constructions of sexuality and intimate relationships
  • the impact of human rights violations on mental health outcomes
  • the impact of gender violence on women’s health and well-being
  • gender role conflicts in work and family life
  • the relationship between migration policies and international sex work
  • recovery and community integration of individuals with histories of mental illness, substance use and homelessness


Dr.  Gulcur has been an adjunct faculty member at New York University since 1998, where she has taught graduate level classes in cross-cultural psychology, community psychology and traumatic stress reactions. She has degrees in psychology from Duke University (B.S.) and New York University (Ph.D.).  Her background includes in-depth training in survey research design and multivariate statistical analysis, as well as organizational change management.  Cross-cultural research and advocacy is a particular area of focus.

Dr. Gulcur has also worked as a trainer and consultant for organizations working to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and human rights worldwide.  Using her knowledge of the body of best practices in the area of leadership and organizational change management, she has developed educational materials and conducted trainings for a variety of organizations working on sexuality, health and human rights in Asia and the Middle East. Topics of interest include the role of religion on women’s sexual lives and relationships; attitudes related to virginity and pre-marital sex; forced marriages and honor crimes, and international sex workers’ rights. She is the co-founder of the Turkish NGO Women for Women's Human Rights. 

More recently, Dr. Gulcur has headed research departments at organizations in New York City and has conducted evaluation research on programs serving individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders as well as histories of homelessness.  She has also focused on providing the technical assistance necessary to help non-profits develop, refine and test best practice models through incorporating an “outcomes framework” into their research and program evaluation agendas. Currently, she has a private practice and continues to conduct trainings and workshops nationally and internationally.

Current Courses

  • G89.2040         Love and Attachment in Adult Relationships
  • G89.2043         Cross-Cultural Identities
  • G89.2057         Traumatic Stress Reactions

Selected Publications

Gulcur, L., Tseng, T., Fields, D., & Cohen, A. (2011). The differential impact of housing and service use on quality of life and community integration of homeless individuals with and without mental illness (submitted for publication).

Tseng, T., & Gulcur, L. (2011). A place of one’s own: The impact of housing choice, residential quality and neighborhood integration on the quality of life of individuals with histories of homelessness (submitted for publication).

Gulcur, L., & Ilkkaracan, P. (2008).  The "Natasha" experience:  Migrant sex workers from the former Soviet Union in Turkey. In P. Ilkkaracan (Ed.) Deconstructing Sexuality in the Middle East : Challenges and Discourses. London: Ashgate.

Gulcur, L., Tsemberis, S., Stefancic, A., & Greenwood, R. (2007). Community integration of adults with psychiatric disabilities and histories of homelessness. Community Mental Health Journal, Vol. 43: 3 , 211-228.

Padgett, D.K, Gulcur, L. & Tsemberis, S. (2006).  Housing First services for people who are homeless with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse. Research on Social Work Practice, 16, 74-83.

Tsemberis, S., Gulcur, L., & Nakae, M. (2004).  Housing First, consumer choice, and harm reduction for individuals who are homeless with dual diagnosis: A 24-month follow-up. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 94:4, 651-656.

Gulcur, L., Stefancic, A., Shinn, M., Tsemberis, S., & Fischer, S. (2003). Housing, hospitalization and cost outcomes for homeless individuals with psychiatric disabilities participating in continuum of care and housing first programmes.  Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 13, 171-186.

Gulcur, L. (2000).  Evaluating the role of gender inequalities and rights violations in women's mental health. Health and Human Rights, Vol.5, No. 1, 46-66.

Gulcur, L. (1996).  Violence against women in the family: The Ankara study.  In P. Ilkkaracan, L. Gulcur, C. Arin (Eds.), The Myth of the Warm Home (Sicak Yuva Masali).  Istanbul: Metis Publications.

Gulcur, L., & Galinsky, E. (1993).  The role of gender and child care experiences in work-family conflict and stress.  Community Psychologist, 27:2, 41-44.


Dr. Leyla Gulcur
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology
6 Washington Place
New York University
New York, NY 10003