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Vaishali V. Raval, PhD, directs the Culture, Affect, RElationships (CARE) Lab, located in the Department of Psychology at Miami University, Ohio.

Student Lab Members

We asked Anjali Jain, MA, a CARE Lab and ABCT Graduate Student member:

  1. What is your area of research interest?
  2. How has ABCT been helpful to you?
  3. If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?

  1. My research centers around examining if, when, and how evidence-based interventions such as dialectical behavior therapy should be implemented and adapted in international contexts. From this research, I hope to be able to develop empirically supported frameworks for more rigorously accounting for cultural processes in intervention design and leverage these frameworks to develop brief, scalable interventions for underserved minorities.
  2. ABCT has been helpful in providing a space to present my own research, meet other researchers and practitioners who share common research and service interests, and foster collaborations.
  3. I would recommend that students get involved in presenting their research at ABCT's annual convention and attend Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings to meet others who share specific interests, and begin to develop professional networks.

Other graduate students in the CARE Lab:

Pankhuri Aggarwal, MA

Mckenna Freeman, BA

Kathy Lin, MA

Undergraduate student members of the CARE Lab:

Andrew Martinez, Caitlin Kissell, Jacob David, Kevin McGovern, Mackenzie Trevethan, Mallory Overberg, Nitya Sunil, and Sadie Hartzell

Postbaccalaureate CARE Lab member:

Yaru Ru, MA

Dr. Vaishali Raval is professor of psychology and affiliate of global and intercultural studies at Miami University. She obtained her PhD in clinical/developmental psychology from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, having completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Children's Hospital in Denver. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. To address the burden of mental illness that is highest in low- and middle-income countries with larger populations and fewer mental health resources, Dr. Raval's program of research focuses on culturally informed global mental health, specifically, factors contributing to, and clinical presentations of, depression.

Within the broader field of global mental health, the Culture, Affect, RElationships (CARE) Lab contributes to developing culturally grounded understanding of psychopathology, focusing on phenomenological experience of psychiatric symptomatology, explanatory models, and local preferences for help-seeking. It also examines parenting-related and individual factors (e.g., parental socialization of emotion, and emotion regulation, respectively) contributing to adolescent psychopathology. Much of this research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from India, with some work in China, Singapore, and South Korea. An emerging line of the lab's work focuses on ethnic-racial socialization and experiences of discrimination for youth from racially and ethnically diverse families in the United States.

How long have you been a member of ABCT?

I became a member of ABCT about three years ago, as my program of research shifted from developmental to clinical science with a focus on global mental health. In this short period, ABCT has become one of my go-to "intellectual communities" that I expect to continue to be a part of for years to come.

How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?

For the past few years, I have been attending ABCT annual convention every year. There has been an increasing synergy between clinical and diversity science with the recognition that the experiences of diverse communities are not well represented in clinical science, and this synergy is increasingly reflected in ABCT conventions with more symposia and posters focusing on research and practice-related issues with diverse populations. With this increasing focus on diversity and related initiatives, I anticipate continuing to attend ABCT conventions.

How do you stay current with developments in the field, both research and practice?

I regularly attend conferences in clinical and developmental science, as well as in cultural psychiatry and cross-cultural psychology, that help me stay in touch with cutting-edge research across these fields. My service on editorial boards and ad-hoc reviewing for a variety of peer-reviewed journals that cut across clinical, developmental, family, and diversity science has been equally critical in my learning about new and promising research. I am also fortunate to have wonderful colleagues at Miami University, who are leading researchers in their fields, and students, whose intellectual curiosity provides ample opportunities to have discussions about current and emerging trends.

How has ABCT helped you professionally?

I have been fortunate to be a part of SIGs that have become my "professional home" during the ABCT conventions. These include the Child and Adolescent Depression SIG and the Asian American Issues in Behavior Therapy and Research SIG. These forums have provided opportunities to network and collaborate with others interested in similar research and professional interests, and have led to submission of a panel discussion and symposium for the 2020 convention.

Does your lab have any traditions? Does your lab do anything together for fun?

Our lab celebrates the beginning of the academic year with a pizza lunch, and the end of the academic year with an off-campus gathering to recognize graduating undergraduate seniors and departing graduate students moving on to internship. We have talented artists and art admirers in our lab, and we have enjoyed lab outings at a glass studio working on fused glass projects and at a paint studio (check out our creations in the featured lab photo). We look forward to exploring more fun outings in future!

What advice do you have for prospective trainees?

We need more individuals in clinical psychology who represent diverse intersecting identities based on gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, social class, and other dimensions so we can develop a science that is comprehensive and studies human behavior in all of its diversity. Having diverse psychologists in the academic sphere would allow more well-informed research pertaining to diverse populations, and diverse mental health professionals would help us deliver more culturally informed and contextually relevant services. I encourage prospective students to take advantage of the opportunities that they have at their academic institution to get involved with research, mentoring, advocacy, and service learning. Get involved with national and international professional organizations (i.e., ABCT) and begin to create a professional network, and be on the lookout for initiatives such as diversifying psychology visit days at universities across the country (including here at Miami University) to recruit students from underrepresented groups for graduate education. I encourage students to use what they learn in psychology to help make sense of the world around them and also allow themselves to question the applicability of the research they read about to diverse populations based on their own life experiences, and use these experiences to inform research. For those interested in applying to the CARE lab, I look forward to hearing from you!

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