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Asian American Center on Disparities Research

University of California, Davis
Psychology Department
149 Young Hall
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Tel: (530) 723-9831
Fax: (530) 752-2087

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Research

Current Research Programs

Assessment of an Evidence-Based Parenting Intervention in Asian American Families
Biracial Mental Health, Identity & Adjustment
Examining Health and Mental Health in Diverse Older Adults
Impacts, Mechanisms, and Individual Variations in the Stress Response to Racial Microaggressions
Interdisciplinary Frontiers in the Humanities and Arts (IFHA): Interdisciplinary Reappraisals to Enhance Health and Resilience in Immigrant Communities
Student Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Campus Ethnocultural Diversity
The Effects of Face Concern on Self-Disclosure and Emotion Regulation
Variations in Emotion Regulation
Utilization and Outcomes of University Counseling Services for Ethnic Minority Students


Assessment of an Evidence-Based Parenting Intervention in Asian American Families

Primary Investigators: Cindy Huang, and Nolan Zane

Study Status: Data Collection Complete
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? No

The primary purpose of this study is to determine the social validity of the Family Check-Up (FCU), an evidence-based parenting intervention by Asian American immigrant families. We are collecting survey data to determine whether Asian American immigrant parents and White parents differ in their perception of the significance, relevance, and appropriateness of the FCU in treating child behavioral problems. In collaboration with a community-based agency, parents with preadolescent-adolescent children (9 to 13-years-old) will be recruited in Sacramento, CA and Davis, CA.

This study has the following objectives:

a) Determine the social validity of the FCU for Asian American parents.

b) Determine differences in social validity ratings of the FCU between Asian American and European American/White parents.

c) Determine differences between Asian American and European American/White parents in the parenting behaviors targeted in the FCU.


NLAAS – Biracial Mental Health, Identity & Adjustment

Primary Investigators: Lauren Berger, Nolan Zane, and David Takeuchi

Study Status: Data Collection Complete
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? No

This study looks at biracial mental health on a nationwide scale, and compares biracial to monoracial populations in an attempt to determine how the complexity of ethnicity is related to functioning and psychological distress. Results from the 2000 US Census show that 6.8 million people (2.4%) marked more than one race category (US Census Bureau, 2001) with the overwhelming majority (93.3%) reporting exactly two races. Despite the presence of this rapidly growing minority group, little if any research has been conducted on biracial mental health. Most studies conducted with biracials are severely limited in size and data collection methods. Data from the present study comes from the first ever national epidemiological household survey of Asian Americans in the United States: the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). NLAAS is the largest, most rigorously conducted psychiatric epidemiological and service use study of Asian Americans and Latinos in the U.S.

Future research may include: (1) Identifying how psychosocial factors such as parenting styles, peer group ethnicity, neighborhood/school ethnic make-up, primary household language, phenotype, parent ethnicity, and personality styles may lead to varying ethnic self-identities and bicultural adaptation modes in the adolescent biracial population. (2) Examining the academic performance of biracial students as a function of ethnic self-identity and bicultural adaptation mode. (3) Studying the effect of ethnic self-identity development and different bicultural adaptation modes on biracial social and psychological adjustment outcomes.


Examining Health and Mental Health in Diverse Older Adults

Primary Investigators: Oanh Meyer, Ph.D. (Department of Neurology; UC Davis School of Medicine)

Study Status: Active
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? Yes (see below for the May 8, 2015 job announcement and instructions specific to this project)

Research Assistant Position
The Vietnamese Caregiver Study is seeking research assistants for a qualitative study about the experiences and preferences for care of Vietnamese American caregivers whose family member has dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or problems with memory loss. The principal investigator in this study is Dr. Oanh Meyer, at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Research assistants will be responsible for recruiting and interviewing caregivers in the Sacramento and Bay Areas, as well as administrative, project management work. He/she will also learn how to code and analyze interview data. This is an excellent opportunity to learn qualitative research methods and about the experiences of an understudied population. Research assistants should have a valid California driver’s license and be able to travel to interviews and lab meetings. Vietnamese language proficiency is required. This is a one-year, part-time, volunteer opportunity with potential for pay. A cover letter and resume should be submitted to Dr. Oanh Meyer at olmeyer@ucdavis.edu as soon as possible. Position will start July 1st, 2015. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.


Impacts, Mechanisms, and Individual Variations in the Stress Response to Racial Microaggressions

Primary Investigators: Gloria Wong

Study Status: Data Collection Complete
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? No

People of Color (POC) report racial microaggressions as the most commonly experienced racial discrimination (D.W. Sue, 2010). These are everyday slights delivered as “put-downs” and denigrations directed towards POC (Pierce, Carew, Pierce, Gonzalez, and Willis, 1978). Scholars are interested in examining the impact of racial microaggressions on psychological and physical health outcomes, yet only a few studies uncover the mechanisms by which racial microaggressions impact mental health and physical health. Reviews of existing research suggest that discrimination is associated with depression and anxiety symptoms, decreased psychological well-being, lower self-regard, and physical health issues (e.g., higher blood pressure and cardiovascular disease) (Carter, 2007; Clark et al., 1999; Harrell et al., 2003, Mays et al., 2007, and Sue et al., 2007). Critics of racial microaggressions research claim that racial microaggressions are not as impactful compared to general forms of discrimination and therefore, not as stressful for POC (Thomas, 2008; Schacht, 2008; D.W. Sue, 2008). They argue that racial microaggressions are experienced by all people, White Americans included. This study conceptualizes racial microaggressions as a stressor and uses the transitional model of stress (Lazarus and Folkman, 1987) to uncover the mechanisms by which racial microaggressions may negatively impact mental and physical health. The major goals are to 1) determine if microaggressions are actually more stressful to POC, in this case, Asian Americans, 2) examine why racial microaggressions are more stressful for Asian Americans compared to White Americans, and 3) study individual differences within Asian Americans to determine if certain marginalized individuals are more vulnerable to racial microaggressions.


Interdisciplinary Frontiers in the Humanities and Arts (IFHA): Interdisciplinary Reappraisals to Enhance Health and Resilience in Immigrant Communities

Primary Investigators: Nolan Zane, Jill Joseph, Lynette Hunter, Carolina Apesoa-Varano, Cindy Huang, and Lauren Berger

Study Status: Data Collection Complete
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? Yes

The purpose of this pilot intervention study is to use an interdisciplinary and community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to enrich health disparities research. This study is collaboration between the UC Davis Department of Psychology, School of Nursing, and the Department of Theatre and Dance. Vietnamese elderly adults (ages 60-75) experiencing inordinate amounts of mental and/or emotional distress are recruited to participate in a 10-week intervention using a traditional, ancient Asian movement system focused on the coordination of breathing and movements. The movement system utilizes elements of tai chi, yoga, breathing exercises, aikido-type movement, energy work, dance, and sports training/martial arts. Participants are recruited from the Sacramento, CA community and assessed at baseline, post-test, and at 6-week follow-up to determine the effects of this intervention on their health and mental health well-being. It is hypothesized that participants who are enrolled in the 10-week movement class will experience improvements in their health and mental health well-being compared to participants in the control (no movement class) group.


Student Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Campus Ethnocultural Diversity

Primary Investigators: Alan Chan, Gordon Hall, and Jennifer Chain

Study Status: Active
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? No

This study tests Hall et al.’s (2011) three-class model of student support towards campus ethnocultural diversity (active support, passive support, and dissent) on two college campuses with different levels of student diversity. This study will examine (a) what student attitudes and behaviors reflect different categories in diversity support, (b) what factors affect student attitudes and behaviors toward campus diversity, and (c) the relationship between different categories of diversity support with positive academic and civic outcomes.


The Effects of Face Concern on Self-Disclosure and Emotion Regulation

Primary Investigators: Nolan Zane, and Lauren Berger

Study Status: Active
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? Yes

Face concern is a very salient interpersonal dynamic in many Asian cultures. Scholars have posited that face concern may affect psychotherapy processes among Asian American clients. This study utilizes an experimental analog design to examine the extent to which self-disclosure tendencies and emotion regulation strategies differ among individuals who vary in their levels of face concern. These results have implications for identifying therapeutic processes that may be especially important for ethnic minority clients.


Variations in Emotion Regulation

Primary Investigators: Nolan Zane, and Helen Ku

Study Status: Data Collection Complete
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? No

A major issue in the provision of mental health care is the ability to provide effective treatments for different ethnic groups. Discovering the specific ways in which Asian Americans vary from White Americans in coping with and expressing their emotions may help mental health service providers be more aware of how they can effectively treat members of various ethnic groups. Thus, the aim of this study is to determine if there are cultural variations in emotion regulation, particularly in response to negative emotions. Since the magnitude of variation may depend on a specific target emotion, we are examining four target emotions: depression, anxiety, anger, and shame. Findings from this study may better equip mental health service providers with the knowledge they need to apply more culturally-sensitive practices in psychotherapy.


Utilization and Outcomes of University Counseling Services for Ethnic Minority Students

Primary Investigators: Nolan Zane, Sam Park, Jenss Change, Amy La, and Jin Kim

Study Status: Data Collection Complete
Accepting Undergraduate Research Assistant Applications? No

Significant disparities exist in mental health treatments for ethnic minorities. This study investigates ethnic minority students’ use of university counseling services to investigate sociocultural and clinical factors related to utilization and outcomes. These results have implications in improving the treatment experiences of students who utilize university counseling services.

 


Completed Research Programs

Clinical Effectiveness
Medication Adherence
Therapist Factors
Vietnamese Youth Stress and Coping Study (Adolescents Coping with Everyday Stress, ACES)