Research

Faculty Research

Camino

The Language and Culture Lab

Carrie Castañeda-Sound, PhD

Overview and Mission

The Language and Culture lab conducts four tracks of research in the broad areas of language and culture within the field of psychology. The lab is inspired by Chicana Feminism and Martín-Baró's work on Liberation Psychology in its approach to understanding and empowering diverse communities within a cultural context. The first track of research examines the supervision and training of psychotherapists to provide bilingual (Spanish/English) mental health services and community outreach. A focus is on the interaction of linguistic, clinical, and cultural competency. The second track of research examines the process and outcomes of culturally congruent practice within bilingual and Spanish-speaking communities. Areas of emphasis are the use of language in therapy and psycho-educational outreach. The third track of research explores individual and family processes as they relate to language use within a community setting. Areas of attention are the gendered experiences of immigration, and acculturation processes of immigrant children as they relate to language and ethnic identity development. Finally, the fourth track of research examines the factors that lead to persistence of Latino college students in undergraduate and graduate education. Specific contributing factors under investigation are ethnic identity, immigration experiences, and institutional best practices.

Research Presentations

Castañeda-Sound, C.L. (Chair), Harrell, S.P., Adams, T., Castañeda-Sound, C.L., & Navarro, E.L. (August 2013). A Call to Action-Strength-based and Spiritual Approaches in Diverse Urban Communities. Clinical Practice in the Borderlands: Religious and Spiritual Applications with Latinas. Symposium presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

Hurtado, A. (Chair). Castañeda-Sound, C.L., Ward, E.C., Jernigan, M., Tadrous, S., Blackburn, M., Lowe, S.M., & Willis, D.J. (August 2013). Advocacy and Empowerment for Diverse Women and Children. Waking us from our Slumber: The Interaction of Immigration, Education, and Latina Feminist Theory. Symposium presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

Castañeda-Sound, C. (2013). A Chicana Feminist Approach to Psychotherapy with Latinas: Una Mezcla de Realidades. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association for Women in Psychology. Salt Lake City, UT.

Soleiman, R., Castañeda-Sound, C., Adams, T., Mazcka, K., Orue, G., Chiu, K., & Preciado, S. (2013). Training Experiences of Bilingual Therapists. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Association for Women in Psychology. Salt Lake City, UT.

Khoshnoud, P., Nili, P., & Castañeda-Sound, C.L. (2013). Experiences of Language Brokering Among Iranian Women. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Association for Women in Psychology. Salt Lake City, UT.

Castañeda-Sound, C.L., Soleiman, R. Khoshnoud, P., Nili, P., Ochoa, A. (October 2012). Un Espacio de Aprendizaje: Development of a Qualitative Research Lab. Roundtable presented at the biennial convention of the National Latina/o Psychological Association, New Brunswick, NJ.

Current Projects (Qualitative)

  • Linguistic and Multicultural Training Experiences of Bilingual Graduate Students
  • Experiences of Language Brokering Among Mexican Heritage Men and Women.


Current Projects (Mixed Method)

  • Program Evaluation- LaTeena Power
  • Program Evaluation- Aliento: The Center for Latina/o Communities


For more information, please send an email to LanguageCultureLab@pepperdine.edu or visit the Web site


Iluminar, Community Action and Research Lab: Illuminating lives through multicultural research and discovery

Miguel E. Gallardo, Psy.D.

Overview and Objectives

Iluminar is the Spanish word that means to illuminate. It is our hope that the research projects and issues we choose to engage in with communities, provide more insights and "give light to" areas within psychology that need to be better understood in order to provide more just and equitable outcomes for underserved and unserved multicultural communities. Iluminar is grounded in a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) theoretical framework of understanding. CBPR is conducted as an equal partnership between traditionally trained "experts" and members of a community. Iluminar utilizes a community action research approach to collaboratively develop more methods for creating knowledge. In our CBPR projects, the community participates fully in all aspects of the research process. Our projects start with the community. Community is often self-defined, but general categories of community include geographic community, community of individuals with a common problem or issue, or a community of individuals with a common interest or goal. Equitable partnerships require sharing power, resources, credit, results, and knowledge, as well as a reciprocal appreciation of each partner's knowledge and skills at each stage of the project. The stages include defining a problem or challenge, selecting appropriate research design, conducting research, interpreting results, and determining how the results should be used for action. Community action research integrates projects into a larger community of practitioners, consultants, researchers, and community members. Iluminar is focused on producing practical knowledge that is useful to people in tangible and practical ways that they can utilize in their everyday lives.

Research Presentations

Gallardo, M.E., Gomez, D., Kaivan, N. (2012, October). El terapeuta es como un sastre: Culturally responsive therapy with Mexican/Mexican Americans. Presented at the 5th Biennial Conference of the National Latina/o Psychological Association, New Brunswick, NJ.

Gallardo, M.E., Gomez, D., & Zamora, L. (2012, September). Culturally responsive therapy with Mexican/Mexican Americans: Bridging national and international perspectives. Presented at the 18th Annual Latino Behavioral Health Institute Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Our current projects include the following:

Latina/o Therapists' Experiences on Working with Mexican/Mexican American Communities: A Qualitative Investigation

This study is focused on two main objectives. The first objective is to understand the therapeutic work of Mexican and Latina/o therapists who are currently providing services to Mexican/Mexican American community members. Secondly, we hope that this understanding will elucidate some common therapeutic themes that may provide insight for various mental health professionals delivering services to the Mexican/Mexican American community. Forty-one therapists were interviewed to understand the psychotherapeutic process when working with Mexican/Mexican American communities.

Research Assistants:

Alexandra Martinez, M.A., MFT Intern (GSEP, recent graduate)
Anna Kiiveri, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)
Douglas Gomez, M.A. (GSEP, recent graduate)
Jon Laski, B.A. (MFT Student, Chapman University)
Laura Zamora, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)
Nahal Kaivan, M.A. (GSEP recent graduate & Ph.D. student, Washington State University)
Raquel Goodwin, M.A., MFT Intern (GSEP, recent graduate)
Sahar Motakef, B.A. (GSEP MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)
Sergio Sandoval, B.A. (GSEP MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)

 

Hip-Hop Therapy

Beats Rhymes and Life (BRL) is non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA focused on improving mental health and social outcomes among disenfranchised youth by using hip hop as a gateway for positive change and development. This method provides youth the opportunity to express themselves in amore accessible way and allows them to be apart of their healing process. Our goal is to implement a similar project in the Santa Ana/Orange County community. The goal of the program is to create a space for young people use hip hop as a means for understanding the world they live in, process and develop along with creating and expressing their authentic selves. 

 Research Assistants:

 Dawn-Marie Luna, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)

Anita Saavedra, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, WLA Campus)

Susan Arias-Klenk, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)

 

LaTEENa Empowerment

In partnership with Casa de la Familia (please visit: http://www.casadelafamilia.org/ for more information), we are currently working on conducting a mixed-methodology research study. This study is intended to assess the effectiveness of a Latina adolescent empowerment program aimed to enhance the self-esteem of Latina adolescents, as well as increase education retention rates and academic achievement. We are evaluating the effectiveness of the program, while examining the effects of the program on building self-efficacy and empowerment of Latina adolescents.

Research Assistants:

Elizabeth Romero, M.A. (GSEP, Psy.D. Doctoral Student, WLA Campus)

Anita Saavedra, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, WLA Campus)

Gloria Mondragon, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)

Susan Arias-Klenk, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)

Dawn-Marie Luna, B.A. (GSEP, MFT Trainee, Irvine Campus)

 

Multiethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies (MECCA)

The Multiethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies is a network of seven community-based social service and healthcare providers including: Abrazar, ACCESS California Services, California Latino Psychological Association, Korean Community Services, OMID Multicultural Institute for Development, Orange County Children's Therapeutic Center, and the Vietnamese Community of Orange County. Iluminar and Aliento: The Center for Latina/o Communities have partnered with MECCA to conduct both program evaluations of two community-based programs through community-based participatory research. For more information about MECCA, please visit: http://ocmecca.org/

 

Socialization Program: Program Evaluation

The Socialization Program provides isolated adults, age 26 and older, with the opportunity to reintegrate into the community by incorporating healthy activities into their daily lifestyle and improving their quality of life. Participants are assigned to activities that are custom-tailored to best suit their specific needs and interests.

Program Goals:

  • To increase social functioning by reintegrating participants into meaningful community activities to reduce the severity of depressive symptoms.
  • To empower Orange County adults to sustain active and healthy lives.

 

Religious Leaders Behavioral Health Training Services Program (RLBHTS): Program Evaluation

 The Religious Leaders Behavioral Health Training Services Program strives to develop a culturally competent curriculum that increases the sensitivity of Religious Leaders to recognize signs & symptoms of behavioral health impairments and/or crisis situations. This program’s goal is to increase the responsivity of Religious Leaders to address and respond appropriately to these behavioral health impairments and/or crisis situations within their communities.

Program Goals:

  • Reducing the stigma of mental illness and reaching for help.
  • Recognizing the signs and risk factors associated with moderate to severe conditions.
  • Recognizing the signs and risk factors associated with crisis management.
  • Learning how to respond in each situation to ensure safety and make the appropriate referrals.

 

Multi-Ethnic Arts and Family Festival Stigma Reduction Arts Events

Ethnic-specific art instructors and mental health advocates will lead month-long expressive art workshops at each MECCA agency, in an effort to uniquely target each ethnic community. Consumers and family members will be trained in art expression by an art instructor at each agency. After one month of instruction, the agency will select a day to exhibit the work of the participants and showcase drawings and art pieces done by consumers and family members. Each ethnic-specific art event will be opened to the public to educate the community and challenge the general public's perception of mental illness through the use of art, in order to decrease stigma towards consumers and people from other ethnic/cultural backgrounds.

The arts are a creative and powerful way to reduce mental health stigma. For example, bringing artwork or artistic performances to wider audiences gives the general public the opportunity to view mental health issues from the consumer's perspective, and further enables the public to learn about illnesses and treatments. Community education and dialogue often counteracts stereotypes perpetuated by the media and entertainment industries by reducing discrimination and negative attitudes associated with mental illness.

Program Goals:

  • To creatively address these issues through the use of artistic exhibits by bringing people together.
  • To assess how the expression of art will positively impact consumers of mental health services.
  • To better understand how the use of art can potentially decrease the stigma attached to mental illness.


Research Assistants:

Sheva Assar, B.A. (GSEP PsyD Doctoral Student, WLA Campus)

Anita Saavedra, B.A. (GSEP MFT Trainee, WLA Campus)

 

For more information, please visit here.