Julie Rodgers, Alex Dekhtyar
This project is an interdisciplinary effort between Psychology and Computer Science. Experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination is a key stressor placing Asian- and Latino-heritage college students at risk for poor mental and physical health. Two major gaps in the literature are a lack of understanding regarding: 1) how discrimination is linked to poor health outcomes (i.e., we must move beyond studies showing a correlational link between discrimination and poor health), and 2) what are protective factors that can attenuate these links? To address these two major limitations, this research project is significant in two ways. First, in the proposed psychophysiology study, we will test a theory-based mediational model to explain how discrimination is related to poorer psychological and physical health among Asian- and Latinoheritage college students at Cal Poly. Second, in another ongoing study, we are testing whether a smartphone-based self-affirmation writing intervention is effective in buffering against the negative health effects of discrimination. These results will provide important information regarding how a ubiquitous mobile technology (the smartphone) may be a developmentallyappropriate method of delivering an intervention aimed at improving the health outcomes of Asian- and Latina-heritage Cal Poly college students. The equipment purchased for this project will be used for: 1) the proposed and future psychophysiological studies, and 2) laboratory activities in the following courses: Psy 340 Biopsychology, Psy 320 Health Psychology, and Psy 329 Research Methods in Psychology.
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