Karen Parhar

Position: Instructor

Department: Psychology/Social Science

Faculty: Humanities and Social Sciences

Office: NW N3458

Office Phone: (604) 527-5841

Email: parhark@douglascollege.ca

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Applied Social Psychology (Forensic), University of Saskatchewan
  • M.A., Applied Social Psychology (Forensic), University of Saskatchewan
  • B.A., Psychology (Honours), University of British Columbia

Academic and Professional Profile

Born and raised on Vancouver’s North shore, Karen knew her calling was in forensic psychology after taking an introductory psychology course at UBC. After volunteering in the forensic psychology lab at UBC and completing her honours degree, Karen braved Saskatoon’s winters while completing her M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology (Forensic concentration) at the University of Saskatchewan. Karen worked as a Senior Research and Evaluation Analyst for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for the Government of Ontario before returning to her hometown of Vancouver and joining the Psychology faculty in 2012. Karen was also involved in producing the documentaries “100 Days of Freedom” (2006), which followed three federal offenders after being released from incarceration, and “Stolen Sisters” (2007), which profiled missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Teaching Concentrations

Forensic Psychology, Social Psychology, Research Methods


  • PSYC 1200
  • PSYC 2301
  • PSYC 3314
  • PSYC 3330

Research/Clinical Activities

Karen has been involved in a variety of applied research projects involving correctional treatment programs, housing and even health. Her main area of research is crime desistance. She is currently studying how motivation and social factors work together to help ex-offenders desist from crime in a project that was funded by the Douglas College Research and Scholarly Activity Project Fund and the Kwantlen Katalyst Grant Program.

Open to Supervising Honours Students for 2021-22: YES

Hobbies and Interests

Indoor cycling, film/television writing and production.

Selected Refereed Publications:

Parhar, K., & Wormith, J. S. (2013). Risk Factors for Homelessness Among Recently Released Offenders. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 3(1), 16-33. DOI: 10.1080/1936928X.2013.826610 Wong, S.C.P., & Parhar, K.K. (2011). Evaluation of the predictive validity of the Violence Risk Scale in a paroled offender sample: A 7-year prospective study. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 22(6), 790-808. DOI: 10.1080/14789949.2011.623172 Parhar, K.K., Wormith, J.S., Derkzen, D.M., & Beauregard, A.M. (2008). Offender coercion in treatment: A meta-analysis of effectiveness. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 35(9), 1109-1135. DOI: 10.1177/0093854808320169

Selected Conference Presentations:

Parhar-Hrynchuk, K., & Wong, S.C.P. (2012, June). Measuring Motivation, Criminogenic Risk Factors and Protective Strategies in Supervised Offenders. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Psychological Association, Halifax, NS. Parhar, K., & Wong, S.C.P. (2011, June). The Development of the Positive Self Change Framework of Crime Desistance: Testing the Hypothesis. Paper presented at the 2nd North American Correctional and Criminal Justice Psychology Conference, Toronto, ON. Parhar, K., & Wormith, J.S. (2011, June). Characteristics Related to Homelessness among Offenders Released from Federal Correctional Facilities in Saskatchewan. Paper presented at the 2nd North American Correctional and Criminal Justice Psychology Conference, Toronto, ON.