Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Research Projects

PhD in Counseling Psychology

Elizabeth Vera, PhD

Subjective Well-Being in Urban Adolescents of Color
This project is focused on identifying culturally relevant predictors of subjective well-being in urban youth. Individual predictors (e.g., ethnic identity), interpersonal predictors (e.g., family support), and community predictors (e.g., urban stressors) have been examined as predictors of well-being thus far. This research is school-based and involves the development and implementation of psychoeducational programs in inner city schools to counteract factors which negatively affect urban youth’s subjective well-being.

Understanding Socio-emotional well-being in EL Students
This study examines what factors lead to school persistence and intention to graduate high school in a sample of 9th & 10th grade students in a predominantly Mexican-American, low SES high school located in a Chicago suburb. The research has involved surveying these students on their perceptions of factors including: family and peer influence, school relevancy, neighborhood characteristics, school/family dissonance, parental involvement in school, etc. The ultimate goal of this project is to identify the most potent factors that contribute to school persistence and subsequently design and deliver persistence enhancement programs at this particular high school.

For more information, please contact Dr. Vera at evera@luc.edu.

Eunju Yoon, PhD

I am interested in two lines of research: one, acculturation/enculturation and Asian immigrants’ mental health, and, two, spirituality/religiousness and meaning in life. Specifically, I have done a series of studies to build a theoretical model of acculturation/enculturation and well-being, which I plan to continue.  In relation, I have studied social connectedness to mainstream versus ethnic communities, intersection of culture and gender, and ethnic identity. Spirituality/religiosity and meaning in life is a new line of research that I have recently started and am planning to expand.  I do mostly quantitative research but I also value qualitative research. The privilege of conducting research with motivated and creative students is the most rewarding experience as a faculty member.

Some of most recent projects include: A meta-analysis on the relation of acculturation/enculturation and mental health; Development and validation of Patriarchal Beliefs Scale; Religiousness, spirituality, and eudaimonic and hedonic well-being.

My curriculum vita is available on my faculty page and my e-mail is eyoon@luc.edu.

Rufus R. Gonzales, PhD

Racial Microaggressions in Clinical Supervision
I am currently looking at the experiences of graduate students in the helping professions who have experienced racial microaggressions during clinical supervision. This is a mixed methods study that looks at the relationship between the frequency and severity of racial microaggressions on the supervisory relationships as well as coping strategies of the trainee. I am also exploring how the current political climate has influenced the experience of racial microaggressions during supervision as well as trainee perceptions about what leads to racial microaggressions.‚Äč For more information, please contact Dr. Gonzales at rgonza1@luc.edu.

Hui Xu, PhD

My current primary research program is focused on ambiguity attitudes in career decision-making (CDM) and career decision-making difficulties. I am interested in exploring and expanding two research lines: the role of ambiguity attitudes in CDM and career development, and antecedents of ambiguity attitudes in CDM. My research team has examined associated variables such as career decision self-efficacy, career adaptability, career indecision, calling, and adherence to RIASEC. As much research in the field has been focused on information in CDM, I hope to continue my research on ambiguity attitudes to better understand CDM from the lens of inevitable informational ambiguity in this process. Additionally, I hope to have more multicultural/cross-cultural exploration on the topic of ambiguity attitudes in CDM.

I am also interested in psychotherapy science, including therapeutic relationships, psychotherapy efficacy, etc.  While it is generally difficult to conduct psychotherapy research, I do hope to expand my previous projects on working alliance and cultural congruence when I find necessary resources. It is not new that psychotherapy works, but it remains far from conclusive what exactly contributes to psychotherapy efficacy through which mechanism. I particularly believe we should move beyond working alliance to answer importance questions, such as how to establish working alliance and why therapist-client agreement is important.

In addition to these projects, I can say I am generally interested in the scientific inquiry of counseling psychology. So, I am happy to work with students and collaborators on their research topics based on shared interests. For more information, please contact Dr. Xu at hxu2@luc.edu.