I am a developmental psychologist with a primary appointment in the Counseling Psychology program and secondary affiliation in the Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavioral Genetics program. I am also affiliated with the Asian American Studies program, the Mixed Methods Interdisciplinary Graduate Group, the Prevention Science doctoral minor, and the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society.
I am broadly interested in how adolescents and young adults from diverse ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds weave together their multiple identities to lead healthy, productive, and purposeful lives. Methodologically, I characterize my work as a mixed-methods program of research, meaning that I use qualitative methods, quantitative methods, or various syntheses of the two depending on the research question. My current research is focused on ethnic identity development along three inter-related lines:
1) Developmental trajectories, precursors, and sequelae of ethnic identity processes. This line of research focuses on developmental patterns and correlates of ethnic identity, including variations by social location, geographical region, institutional context, or relationships with friends and families.
2) Narratives of ethnicity-related experiences. My work on narratives (i.e., stories) has mostly focused on documenting how they function as dynamic representations of ethnic identity development grounded in individuals’ lived experiences. My interest in narrative, however, extends to how narrative serves as a metaphor for not only individual psychologies, but also the psychologies of social groups and societies. Current work to this end examines how culturally-available master narratives inform the process of retelling past experiences and the process of telling stories in conversation with others.
3) How ethnic identity is associated with, and inextricably linked to, development in other important identity domains such as social class, gender, education and occupation, spirituality, and political ideology. My primary interest in this area is how theory and research on ethnic identity might be useful to understand the educational experiences of under-represented ethnic minority students (high school through graduate school), particularly those interested in majors/careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).