I am a clinical and cultural psychologist whose research broadly examines stress, coping, health and well-being in the context of relationships and families. In particular, I study how stress is linked with social-emotional processes, with an emphasis on social support (i.e., the use of relationships for assistance and comfort) and emotion regulation (e.g., expressivity-restraint). My work involves the intensive observation of social interactions and expressive behavior, both in naturalistic environments and in experimental laboratory settings. I take a multi-method approach to measuring health, including the assessment of relationship well-being (e.g., marital satisfaction, friendship closeness), psychological health (e.g., mood, depressive and anxiety symptoms), and biological stress responses (e.g., the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and its hormonal end-product cortisol). Ultimately, my research seeks to understand how stressors ‘get under the skin’ to shape social interaction, emotion experience, and health, and whether and how various kinds of social support influence those linkages.
My work primarily uses a culture and gender framework to examine these social-emotion-health linkages. Specifically, I study how culture differentially shapes social and emotion processes implicated in stress and coping across individualistic and collectivistic groups, with a focus on Asian American mental health. I research cultural values, such as interdependence and group harmony values that contribute to ethnic differences in the use of social support, as well as emotion regulation processes that are relevant to social functioning and well-being. In addition, I examine gender differences in social support provision, and the links between couple social behavior (social engagement, emotion expression) and health in the family. While those represent the core of my research program, my research scope has also broadened to other topics in clinical-cultural psychology; for example, my students and I have investigated the role of vocational rehabilitation services on mental illness stigma, and explored ethnic differences in the links between body image and eating disorders among Euro-, Asian-, and Latina American students. Another collaboration focuses on social class-based cultural norms in first generation college students’ coping and help-seeking behaviors. A previous line of research examined coping and relationship changes in the context of vision loss.
My work has been published in scientific journals such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Family Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Asian American Journal of Psychology, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. In 2016, I was honored with the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contribution to Science from the Asian American Psychological Association. In 2017, I was honored with the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions in Research from the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program.
I have been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Haverford College since 2012, and I am a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania (PS017847). I currently have a small clinical practice at Bryn Mawr Psychological Associates. I received my BA in Psychology and Anthropology from Barnard College, and my MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. I completed my predoctoral clinical internship at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, and my postdoctoral clinical residency at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania.
In my spare time, I enjoy tea and a good book, trying new foods, and spending time with my husband and my three beautiful children.