Raval earns Early Career award from American Psychological Association

Vaishali Raval

Vaishali V. Raval

written by Trevor Jordan, university news and communications intern

Vaishali V. Raval, Miami University researcher and associate professor of psychology, has been awarded the American Psychological Association's Division 52 Early Career Professional 2014 Award for her international research, teaching and efforts in delivering culturally informed clinical services to youth and families within and outside of the U.S.

Division 52, the international subsection of APA, presents the ECP Award annually to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of international psychology. Awardees are given the opportunity to present at the annual APA convention, publish his/her research in the Division 52 newsletter and become a member of Division 52.

Raval will be presented with the award at the APA Convention in August.

Raval began teaching in 2005 as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of comparative human development at the University of Chicago, and has been at Miami since 2007.

Throughout her career, Raval has based her teaching and research methods on her diverse background and knowledge of developmental psychopathology, clinical science, cultural psychology, psychological anthropology and South Asian studies.

Specifically, her research addresses the lack of literature on parenting styles, normal development and psychopathology in cultural contexts/groups outside of the U.S. Her work focuses primarily on families in India, Indian immigrant families in the U.S. and white middle-class families in the U.S.

“This subfield within psychology has direct relevance for improving mental health and well-being of youth, and yet we know very little about normative development in parts of the world where a majority of the youth reside (in countries like India and China). I find this unsettling and motivating, and my program of research is aimed at addressing this major gap.”

With future research, Raval plans to continue addressing this lack of knowledge, while impacting lives globally.

“I hope to conduct research that has direct relevance for improving the lives of young people around the world. This includes continuing my international research on parenting, emotions, and youth well-being, as well as some recent research in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of Miami faculty that addresses racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes within the United States.”

Raval has received numerous awards for her research, including APA’s Division 7 (developmental psychology) Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2005, the University of Chicago’s Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship for her work from 2004-2006 and the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development’s Young Scholar Travel Award in 2008.

Rava’s research has been published in a variety of professional journals, including the Journal of Early Adolescence, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly.

The American Psychological Association is the largest professional psychology organization in the U.S., devoted to advancing the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society. As described by APA, Division 52 “seeks to develop a psychological science and practice that is contextually informed, culturally inclusive, serves the public interest and promotes global perspectives within and outside of APA.”