Culture, Affect, RElationships (CARE) Lab

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We are a group committed to understanding family influences on youth well-being across the developmental spectrum (middle childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood) within their local cultural contexts. Current research falls under two major lines of work:

Parenting, Emotion, and Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

In one line of research, we have focused on uncovering “what is it about culture that matters” in understanding the relation between parenting and child psychopathology. Parents across cultures have differing goals concerning the qualities they would like to develop in their children to prepare them to be successful members of their communities. In a few studies, we have investigated the ways in which such culturally based socialization goals influence parents’ emotion socialization behaviors, which in turn, contribute to children’s emotion management preferences, and lead to diverse child outcomes (Raval, Raval, & Deo, 2014; Raval, Li, Deo, & Hu, 2017). Although much of this work has examined parental socialization of negative emotion, in collaboration with Dr. Aaron Luebbe at Miami and Dr. Anuradha Sathiyaseelan at Christ University in India, we are beginning to examine parents' and adolescents' views about positive affect (PA), parental socialization of PA, adolescent PA regulation, and risk for adolescent depression. In order to better understand whether and why seemingly similar parent behaviors across cultures may be associated with very different child outcomes, we have examined factors such as perceived normativeness (how typical do children perceive their parent’s behavior to be relative to other parents in the community; Raj, Raval, Kennedy, & Jansari, 2018), and children’s subjective experience (what children emotionally experience in response to parent behavior (Jackson, Raval, et al., 2016; Teo, Raval, & Jansari, 2017). These findings contribute to culturally informed theories of parenting and parental socialization of child emotion, and have implications for developing culturally sensitive intervention approaches.

Mental Health in a Global Context

In a second, emerging line of research, we focus on culturally grounded understanding of psychopathology and training in cultural competence. In collaboration with colleagues from St. John’s Medical College in India, we aimed to understand the phenomenology and explanatory models of adolescent depression in India based on open-ended interviews with a variety of respondents (adolescent diagnosed with major depressive disorder, their parents, clinicians, as well as adolescents and teachers in the community). In another study involving a collaboration with Dr. April Smith at Miami and Dr. Tony Sam George at Christ University in India, we are investigating the role of interpersonal factors in elevating risk for suicide among Indian emerging adults. In the USIEF-funded study that involves multiple faculty members from Miami and Christ University in India, we explored the perceptions of graduate students, faculty, and practicing psychologists regarding graduate level clinical or counseling psychology training in cultural competence and evidence-based practice, including strengths and further needs (USIEF Indo-US project). Findings from these studies will add to the limited literature on mental health in the second most populous country in the world, with important implications for the provision of mental health services and graduate level training.


Race, Ethnicity, and Mental Health in the USA

In a third line of research primarily driven by graduate students and colleagues, we hope to learn about factors that facilitate and hinder mental health of diverse racial and ethnic groups in the USA. In particular, we are studying ethnic-racial socialization (i.e., what parents implicitly and explicitly teach their children about race and ethnicity), racial discrimination, and their implications for mental health. We are currently examining how experiences of xenophobia and discrimination among Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting their mental health (supported by Foundation for Psychology in Ohio).