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Fall 2010 Colloquium Series

September 15

Speaker: Laura Bogart, Harvard (RIMI sponsored)

Title:“HIV Conspiracy Beliefs as Barriers to HIV Prevention and Treatment”


September 29

Speaker: Chi-Ah Chun, CSULB

Title: “Examining psychological adjustment of Asian immigrants using the stress paradigm”

Recent advances in the stress and coping literature include the recognition of the potential role of one’s culture in how one experiences and copes with stress. Cultural influences are most dramatically observed in studies that compare the stress and coping processes in North Americans and East Asians. Their contrasting cultural orientations, often dichotomized as individualism versus collectivism, provide an easy framework that can be used to shed light on how culture might be at work. But what happens when the two cultures collide? First, it creates a great deal of stress. The stressful challenges and mental health burden that immigrants and refugees experience with resettlement have been well documented. Second, it complicates how one experiences and copes with stress. Research on immigrant mental health is beginning to reveal the unique challenges in studying the stress and coping process in bicultural individuals that forces researchers to extend the existing cross-cultural paradigm. I will present findings of two recent studies that examined predictors of adjustment in two very different Asian immigrant groups from Southern California using the stress paradigm.



October 13

Speaker: Angela-MinhTu Nguyen, University of California, Riverside

Title:“Approaches in the Study of Biculturalism.”

Due to increasing globalization and diversity, there are larger numbers of people who are identified with more than one culture. With three studies and three different research methodologies, I investigated the ways in which multiple cultures interacting within a person may relate to their adjustment and social cognition. First, using on-line longitudinal data from study-abroad students, I compared the expatriate adjustment of multicultural vs. monocultural individuals. Second, I conducted a meta-analysis to answer the million-dollar question of whether biculturalism is linked to better adjustment. Finally, I demonstrated a new way of indirectly assessing cultural blending via observer ratings. Together, these studies contribute to a better understanding of how multicultural individuals adapt to changing cultural environments, with implications related to the development of global leaders, multicultural policies, and future research on multiculturalism.



October 27

Speaker: Richard Jessor, University of Colorado at Boulder (RIMI Sponsored)

Title:“Protective Factors in Adolescent Risk Behavior, Health Behavior, & Development: Theory and Findings from the Peoples’ Republic of China and the U.S.”



November 10

Speaker: Carlos Bolaños-Guzman, Florida State University

Title:“Altering Adult Emotional Behavior: Neurobiological Consequences of Early-life Experiences.”

The stability of an individual’s early life is an important factor known to affect life-long health. I will present recently published and unpublished data assessing the long-term neurobiological/functional consequences of early life experiences in rats and mice. More specifically, I will present how exposure to drugs such as fluoxetine (i.e., Prozac) and physical and emotional stress during periods prior to adulthood influence behavior and changes biochemical integrity of brain reward circuits later in life.



December 1

Speaker: Elizabeth Klonoff, San Diego State University

Title: ““Can I have a pack of Marlboros? Observations on 15 Years of Youth Access to Tobacco Research”

This talk traces the history of research in the area of minors’ access to tobacco, with an emphasis on how a line of research grows and develops. There are three goals: 1) to underscore the importance of the “hmmm” factor in doing this kind of research, particularly if one wants to do things experimentally; 2) to demonstrate how, when doing this kind of research, the “real world” often interferes; and 3) to expose everyone to a little bit about minors’ access research.