Sincere congratulations to Cindy Chang, Hanna R. Scwartzbaum, Ruby Rhoden, Christine Laurine, and Sheila Rouzitalab on receiving The New Jersey Psychological Association's (NJPA) 2020 Social Advocacy Open Topic Dissertation Grant!
Cindy's study, Buffers Against the Effect of Discrimination on Mental Health in Sexual Minority Individuals, explores what contributes to greater risk of suicide in sexual minorities and how risk factors are related to one another. She states, "little is known about the distinct experiences of the bisexual subgroup, even though research shows that this group experiences unique risk factors that are different from gay/lesbian individuals."
Sheila Rouzitalab became interested in her study, Iranian American Beliefs About Mental Illness and Psychological Help-Seeking, based on her own observations with the Iranian diaspora in southern California and among her relatives. She states, "I noticed significant attitudinal barriers (e.g., shame, fear of judgment from the community) to seeking mental health treatment. I wanted to take the opportunity to explore these issues with individuals who identify as Iranian/Persian American like myself (as they say, research is "me-search!").