Socio-Cultural Factors in Mental Health

Studying Girl Cross-Cultural Validation of Clinical Measures

Growing diversity in America and the expanse of psychological inquiry cross-culturallly requires diagnostic clarity and the use of quantifiable and reliable methods of collecting clinical and research data. It imperative that we are able to measure psychological constructs accurately for use in cross-cultural research. The CMHD is working to establish cross-cultural validity or equivalence among several popular diagnostic instruments. We are currently working on a project with colleagues at the University of Houston - Clear Lake to investigate the psychometric Properties of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) in a geographically representative sample of African Adults.

The Impact of Race on Mental Health

Race and ethnicity are associated with a number unfavorable mental health outcomes, such as increased hospitalization and longer periods of illness. One mechanism by which this may occur is believed to be due to racism, discrimination, and prejudice. The CMHD is working to elucidate these relationships through the study of mixed race dyads in the counseling relationship, understanding the impact of stereotypes, and contrasting the effects of a multicultural versus colorblind ideological approach. We are also interested in understanding resilience factors resulting from racial socialization.