The Multicultural Health Psychology Lab researchers are working on three interrelated lines of research:
Discrimination and Psychological Distress
Discrimination occurs when one is deemed less capable, valuable and/or deserving of equal opportunities, goods and services. Discrimination is based on stereotyped group characteristics and targets are subject to individual and structural impact. Consequences of discrimination include detriments to mental and physical health and quality of life. The overarching questions in this area include: What are the experiences of marginalized culture-sharing groups across ecological levels? And, how do they cope with discrimination and oppression? Our work in this area considers the multi-level impact of discrimination and oppression encompassing interpersonal, institutional, community, and structural discrimination and stigma.
Social stratification (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) is associated with differences in health-related outcomes. These health-related outcomes are disparities because they are not inherently related to social groups, rather they are linked to how people are treated. What’s more, health disparities are preventable. The overarching goals of this line of research are to increase awareness of health disparities and to develop interventions to improve the health and healthcare experiences of underserved diverse populations. This research addresses the documented and preventable adverse health outcomes associated with social and behavioral determinants of health.
Multicultural Education and Social Mobility
In modern times, education and social mobility has been an optimistic site for combating the effects of oppression. Although, by no means the great equalizer, education has the potential to improve access to resources to those that are marginalized and to debunk harmful myths held by all people, especially those with power and privilege. Through my scholarship in this area I offer resources and pedagogical expertise to the field of psychology. Furthermore, classrooms are a powerful site of growth and transformation for students and instructors alike and should be better understood.
Mena, J. A. & Quina, K. (Eds.). (2019). Integrating multiculturalism and intersectionality into the psychology curriculum: Strategies for instructors. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Borge, M. Soto, J. A., Aldemir, T., & Mena, J. A. (in press). Building multicultural competence by fostering collaborative intergroup dialogue skills. Teaching of Psychology.
*Berwise, C. & Mena, J. A. (2020). Perceived discrimination and educational attainment for U.S. Black adults: The influence of Black racial identity. Social Psychology of Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-020-09587-7
*Ulerio, G., & Mena, J. A. (2020). Parental cultural socialization practices in a predominantly White rural college community. Journal of Child and Family Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-020-01778-2
Mena, J. A., Soto, J. A., Wei, W., *Kaplan, S., & *Salazar, S. (2020) Does centrality moderate the relation between skin tone satisfaction and psychological adjustment for Latinx Blacks and non-Latinx Blacks? Race and Social Problems.
Mena, J. A., *Faust, K., *Cook, N., & Faust, D., *Holt, R. (2020). Multicultural considerations in the use of digital technology to deliver psychotherapeutic services. In M. Potenza, K. Faust, & D. Faust (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of digital technologies and mental health. Oxford.
Mena, J. A., Durden, T. E., *Bressette, S. E., & *McCready, T. (2019). Black and White self-identified Latinx respondents and perceived psychological distress and impairment. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 41(4), 504-522.
Mena, J. A. & Vaccaro, A. (2017). “I’ve struggled, I’ve battled”: Invisibility microaggressions experienced by women of color at a predominately White institution. NASPA Journal about Women in Higher Education, 10(3), 301-318.
Mena, J. A. & Rogers, M. R. (2017). Factors influencing multicultural teaching competence: Social justice orientation and multicultural environment. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 11(2), 61-68.
Mena, J. A., *Ampadu, G., & Prochaska, J. O. (2016). The influence of engagement and satisfaction on smoking cessation interventions: A qualitative study. Substance Use and Misuse, 52(3), 322-331.
Mena, J. A., & Vaccaro, A. (2014). Role modeling community engagement for college students: Narratives from women faculty and staff of color. In S. V. Iverson & J. H. James, (Eds.), Feminist Community Engagement: Achieving Praxis. Pelgrave.
Mena, J. A. (2011). Latino parent home-based practices that bolster student academic persistence. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 33(4), 490-506.
Vaccaro, A., & Mena, J. A. (2011). It’s not burnout, it’s more: Queer college activists of color and mental health. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, 15, 339-367.