Enhance Health & Resilience in Immigrant Communities
To strengthen health disparities research with ethnic/racial minority, immigrant populations by integrating the perspectives of the social sciences, health sciences, and the arts.
Why It Is Important
Elucidating “hidden” sources of resiliency and strength at both the individual and community level is essential for fundamentally transforming the dominant paradigms of health disparities, and for effective public health approaches that are truly culturally valid and meaningful. Research to date has made little progress in addressing health disparities in racial/ethnic minority and immigrant populations. For example:
- Health disparities research is predominantly quantitative and typically focused on risk factors or deficits rather than on strengths and resiliencies.
- Health research typically samples those who have developed a disorder or illness rather than those at risk but who do not develop or succumb to disease.
- Disparities research often examines racial/ethnic group comparisons which can gloss over rich and informative intra-group variations.
- The research frequently addresses medically diagnostic entities considered one at a time so it is unclear if the risk or protective factors are specific to a disorder or a common determinant for illness in general.
Despite anecdotal evidence that expressive and performance arts that enhance cultural traditions and values can motivate, facilitate, and/or empower individuals so that they pursue or adhere to healthier habits or lifestyles, the mechanisms by which this is achieved biologically and/or psychologically remains unclear. The diverse, large, and growing immigrant groups that characterize the U.S., California, and the Sacramento region are less routinely included in such work and for effective public health approaches that are truly culturally valid and meaningful.
The CBPR approach is to address these limitations and thereby enrich health disparities research. We propose work that is:
- More holistic in nature, reflecting the reality that biological, psychological, spiritual, and other factors interact to affect health
- Centered on how people can effectively “resist” and proactively cope with stressors and environmental pathogens
- Adept at identifying cultural mechanisms and processes that may be linked to better health
- Less dependent on diagnostic categorizations and more on group formations that naturally occur in a community. Elucidating “hidden” sources of resiliency and strength at both the individual and community level is essential for fundamentally transforming the dominant paradigms of health disparities, and for effective public health approaches that are truly culturally valid and meaningful.
Impacts & Highlights
This past year focused primarily on understanding the mechanisms of the Lishi intervention. A physiological study was designed and implemented to determine the feasibility of collecting physiological data associated with the movement-based intervention, and the potential group differences between participants who received Lishi (cultural movement activity), basic stretching and exercises (non-cultural movement activity), or the control activity of coloring (sedentary activity). The primary goal of this study was to determine if the procedures associated with the physiological assessments and its corresponding software can be conducted in a timely and accurate manner when also implementing a movement-based intervention. This goal was met.
Dr. Lynette Hunter collaborated with Lishi International and organized a 3-part workshop that took place at UC Davis, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and with Phoenix Dance Chamber, a traditional, indigenous dance group from China visiting Manoa, HI. The workshop taught Lishi to undergraduate students at UC Davis, high school students in Manoa, and professional dancers.
|Nolan Zane||Professor of Psychology and Asian American Studies|
|Lynette Hunter||Professor of Theater & Dance|
|Jill Joseph||Professor of Nursing|
|Carolina Apesoa-Verano||Assistant Professor of Nursing|
|Paul Hastings||Professor and Chair of Psychology and the Center for the Mind & Brain|
|Cindy Y. Huang||Postdoc of Psychology|
|Lauren Berger||Graduate Student of Psychology|
|Duskin Drum||Graduate Student of Performance Studies|
|Kevin O’Connor||Graduate Student of Performance Studies|
|Ayo Walker||Graduate Student of Performance Studies|
|Regina Gutierrez||Graduate Student of Performance Studies|
|Sida Bai||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Angelica Carranza||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Jacinda Chan||Undergradaute Student of Psychology|
|Suzanne Cheng||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Tim Diep||Undergraduate Student of Psychology and Computer Science|
|Tiffany Do||Undergraduate Student of Asian American Studies and Human Development|
|Nancy Fang||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Adira Fogel||UndergraduateStudent of Psychology|
|Cindy Huang||Undergraduate Student of Psychology and Communication|
|Cynthia Li||Undergraduate Student of Psychology and Human Development|
|Jocelyn Lin||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Dan Nguyen||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Kim Nguyen||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Michelle Shin||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Fiona Sun||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Lay Vang||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
|Andrew Wayment||Postgraduate Volunteer of Psychology|
|Austin Yu||Undergraduate Student of Psychology|
Please click here to view a video demonstration of a Lishi, cultural movement intervention.
For more information on this program, please contact Christine Parks at email@example.com.