The Multicultural Health Psychology Lab researchers are working on two 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, not individual, qualities and characteristics and targets are subject to individual and structural level 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 minoritized culture-sharing groups? How do they cope with oppression? What strengths do they employ to maintain psychological health and wellness?
Health disparities are costly and 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.
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. doi: 10.1080/19407882.2017.1347047
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. doi: 10.1037/tep0000143
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. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2016.1225765
Mena, J. A., (2016). “I love my work, but this is not my life”: Women of color in the academy. NASPA Journal about Women in Higher Education, 9(2), 190-207. doi: 10.1080/19407882.2016.1195274
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., & Vaccaro, A. (2013). “Tell me you love me no matter what”: Relationships and self-esteem among LGBQ young adults. Journal of GLBT Family Studies. 9(1), 3-23. doi: 10.1080/1550428X.2013.746052
Mena, J. A. (2011). Latino parent home-based practices that bolster student academic persistence. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 33(4), 490-506. doi: 10.1177/0739986311422897
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. doi: 10.1080/19359705.2011.600656
Florin, P., Celebucki, C., Stevenson, J., Mena, J., Salgado, D., & White, A., Harvey, B., Dougal, M. (2006). Cultivating systematic capacity: The Rhode Island tobacco control enhancement project. American Journal of Community Psychology, 38(3-4), 213-20. doi: 10.1007/s10464-006-9080-1