Why do we do the things we do? How do we perceive, influence, and relate to one another? In what ways does culture shape how we view the self? How do social and cultural factors influence coping and mental health? Reflecting Professor Chang's long-standing interest in psychology, these questions represent some of the topics addressed in her teaching and research, including her collaborations with students at Trinity.
Professor Chang, Assistant Professor of Psychology, graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Ph.D. in social psychology. She received her B.A. with honors from Swarthmore College, with a major in psychology and minor in Asian studies. Professor Chang studies cultural influences on the self and psychological functioning (e.g., help seeking). Her research has focused on protective and risk factors associated with academic achievement among ethnic minority youth and ethnic/racial disparities in mental health, involving studies of White, Latino, and Asian American populations. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2009-2012), her recent research project examined the relationship between social networks and mental health among Latinos and Asian Americans. A paper based on this work was recently published and featured in a special issue on immigration (see American Psychological Association press release, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2013/07/immigrants-policies.aspx
). In January 2014, she was invited by RWJF to contribute a blog post (see http://www.rwjf.org/en/blogs/human-capital-blog/2014/01/overcoming_healthdi.html
). In honor of National Minority Health Month (April 2014), she wrote about the role of educational systems (see http://www.rwjf.org/en/blogs/human-capital-blog/2014/04/how_to_advance_minor.html). Her broader research interests lie in the areas of sociocultural, ethnic minority, and clinical-community psychology.
Professor Chang views learning as collaborative and interactive, encouraging her students to take an active part in their learning. Her goal is to enable students to think critically about issues in psychology, to become motivated to learn more about the known and unknown, and to learn from each other. She believes some of the best learning experiences come from not only faculty-student interactions but also self-discovery.