Faculty Sponsor: 
Chavira, Denise
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Dr. Denise Chavira
Description of Research Project: 
The CALMA (Culture and Anxiety Lab for Mental Health Advances) is a research lab that focuses on increasing knowledge that will improve the mental health of children with anxiety disorders. We are particularly interested in conducting research with underserved groups such as low-income, Latino, and rural communities. In general, the lab is currently studying factors that facilitate and inhibit appropriate utilization of mental health services, as well as ways to improve both the detection and treatment of mental health problems in community settings, such as pediatric primary care. The integration of mental health interventions into medical settings represents a viable means of improving access and the quality of care for children with a variety of emotional disorders. Additionally, the use of novel modes of treatment delivery such as telephone based, parent-mediated, interventions, provides another means to extend mental health treatment to underserved groups such as children in rural and low-income neighborhoods. Given the multiple contextual factors that influence the etiology of child anxiety, our research team is also examining how family environment and cultural factors such as acculturative stress, immigration, and conceptualizations of psychological problems influence anxiety and depression in US and foreign born Latino families. These efforts will further inform educational efforts and potential adaptations of existing evidence-based practices to better meet the needs of underserved youth.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Research Assistants are expected to commit to at least 2 consecutive academic quarters, provide a minimum of 6 hours a week of lab work, and attend weekly lab meetings. Research Assistant duties include: readings to better understand child anxiety disorders, listening to a set of diagnostic interviews and therapy sessions, data entry and database management, transcription of qualitative interviews conducted with parents of anxious children, recruitment of families, and translation of research materials (if fluent in Spanish). All research assistants will also be expected to read lab related articles and lead a discussion at lab meeting, conduct literature reviews as needed, maintain general organization and filing for research lab, and other tasks needed by the project.