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Minority mental health patients face many health inequities and inequalities that may stem from implicit bias and a lack of cultural awareness from their healthcare providers. I analyzed the current literature evaluating implicit bias among healthcare providers and culturally specific life traumas that Latinos and African Americans face that can impact their mental health. Additionally, I researched a current mental health assessments tool, the Child and Adolescent Trauma Survey (CATS), and evaluated it for the use on Latino and African American patients. Face-to-face interviews with two healthcare providers were also used to analyze the CATS for its’ applicability to Latino and African American patients. Results showed that these assessments were not sufficient in capturing culturally specific life traumas of minority patients. Based on the literature review and analysis of the interviews with healthcare providers, a novel assessment tool, the Culturally Traumatic Events Questionnaire (CTEQ), was created to address the gaps that currently make up other mental health assessment tools used on minority patients.
Social categories such as race and gender are associated by people with certain characteristics (e.g. males are angry), which unconsciously affects how people evaluate and react to a person of specific social categories. This phenomenon, referred to as implicit bias, has been the interest of many social psychologists. However, the implicit bias research has been focusing on only one social category at a time, despite humans being entities of multiple social categories. The research also neglects the behavioral contexts in which implicit biases are triggered and rely on a broad definition for the locus of the bias regulation mechanism. These limitations raise questions on whether the current bias reduction strategies are effective. The current dissertation sought to address these limitations by introducing an ecologically valid and multidimensional method. In Chapters 1 and 2, the mouse-tracking task was integrated into the implicit association task to examine how implicit biases were moderated in different behavioral contexts. The results demonstrated that the manifestation of implicit biases depended on the behavioral context as well as the distinctive identity created by the combinations of different social categories. Chapter 3 laid groundwork for testing working memory as the processing capacity for the bias regulation mechanism. The result suggested that the hand-motion tracking indices of working memory load could be used to infer the capacity of an individual to suppress the influence of implicit bias. In Chapter 4, the mouse-tracking paradigm was integrated into the Stroop task with implicit associations serving as the Stroop targets. The implicit associations produced various effects including the conflict adaptation effect, like the Stroop targets, which suggested that implicit associations and Stroop stimuli are handled by overlapping cognitive mechanisms. Throughout these efforts, the current dissertation, first, demonstrated that a more ecologically valid and multidimensional approach is required to understand biased behaviors in detail. Furthermore, the current dissertation suggested the cognitive control mechanism as a finer definition for the locus of the bias regulation mechanism, which could be leveraged to offer solutions that are more adaptive and effective in the environment where collaboration and harmony are more important than ever.
I conducted a qualitative, comparative study on the nursing education systems in the United Kingdom and the United States, focusing on two universities—Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona and Leeds Beckett University in Leeds, England. The goals of my thesis included comparing the educational, economic, and cultural aspects of the countries and how those aspects impact nursing students on both sides of the pond. The educational and economic aspects were compared by utilizing existing literature and open data sources such as the university websites and publications from comparative education journals, while the cultural differences were evaluated by conducting short, one-on-one interviews with students enrolled in the Adult Health courses at both universities. The findings from the interviews were transcribed and coded, and findings from the sites were compared. While there is an extensive amount of research published regarding comparative education, there has not been much published comparing these developed countries. While there is a significant difference in the structure and cost of the nursing programs, there are more similarities than differences in culture between nursing students interviewed in the US and those interviewed in the UK.