Clinical Psychology Faculty
Dr. Bohnert is an Associate Professor in Clinical and Developmental Psychology. Her program of research focuses on how various contexts, especially out-of-school activities, might serve a protective role in development, including lower rates of obesity, fewer behavior problems and better social and emotional adjustment. In particular, she is interested in whether organized activity involvement may facilitate better adjustment for at-risk individuals across important developmental transitions. She has also investigated the most relevant determinants of activity participation at the community, family, and individual level. Recently, she has focused on examining associations between urban, low income, minority youth’s activity involvement and obesogenic behaviors, such poor dietary practices and physical inactivity.
My research is rooted in clinical health psychology, positive psychology, and diversity science to increase the understanding of Queer and Transgender People of Color (QTPoC) in order to develop culturally relevant interventions to mitigate health disparities among this population. I investigate the identity development process of Black Same-Gender Loving Men (BSGLM), the role of identity as a syndemic factor for poor health outcomes among BSGLM, strengths and positive psychological factors among QTPoC, and intend to develop interventions to ameliorate poor health outcomes among QTPoC. As such, I use mixed methods research as well as community-engaged research to support the following areas:
- Explicate the identity development process for BSGLM and how identity influences health among QTPoC.
- Describe strategies to promote flourishing and well-being among QTPoC.
- Translate the findings from the aforementioned areas to develop culturally relevant interventions to therapeutically bolster adaptively coping with minority stress and increase engagement in health-promoting behaviors among QTPoC. Also, to develop interpersonal and community-based interventions that engender greater knowledge, skills, compassion, and positive attitudes toward QTPoC within social settings where they frequently encounter stigma.
My research blends observational patterns, meta-analytic/systematic reviews, and intervention development and evaluation, with the goal of improving well-being, especially through critical life experiences and developmental transition periods. Recently, my research team has been reviewing, developing, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, both prevention and treatment, for college students.We have several research studies evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for college students (see descriptions on our IMPACT lab website).
My research interests cover the following areas: pediatric psychology (e.g., adolescents with physical disabilities), family relations during early and late adolescence, developmental psychopathology, the interface between developmental psychology and clinical child psychology, statistical applications in psychology, and research design. My current research is concerned with how families of children with chronic physical conditions manage the transition into adolescence and the implications that this transition has for adolescent health and psychopathology.
Sungha Kang, PhD
My program of research broadly aims to address mental health disparities among children and families systemically oppressed by institutional racism. I am particularly interested in the processes by which children’s externalizing or disruptive behaviors (e.g., aggression, hyperactivity, defiance, delinquency) are identified, diagnosed, and treated in Black and Brown children. In doing so, I consider the interplay of contextual factors (e.g., parenting, families, schools and teachers, community violence) and systems-level factors (e.g., school districts, healthcare systems, juvenile justice systems) that contribute to the outcomes of children with externalizing behaviors. Through community-based participatory research methods, I aim to bolster community- and school-based mental health supports for children ultimately to dismantle the school-to-prison-pipeline that disproportionately affects Black and Brown youth. Through my research, I aspire to reduce disparities and increase access to adequate, culturally-sensitive, and trauma-informed mental healthcare for children and families of color in the United States.
The primary aim of my research is to evaluate programs and policies designed to promote positive outcomes for youth in the child welfare system. Youth in the child welfare system often come to care with a wide range of significant social, emotional, developmental, and educational needs. Policies that are initiated by state and federal agencies to address these needs must be properly evaluated to ensure they are having the intended effect.
Through the ACCTION Lab at Loyola University Chicago I focus on community-based assessment and intervention development for youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT). We are a health equity focused lab that uses liberation focused methods to increase engagement and understanding of treatment needs for youth that have been systemically oppressed (e.g., creating culturally responsive interventions for Black and Latina/e/o by listening to needs of the community and allowing flexibility in the intervention development). We focus on working with Black and Brown youth and their families using a cultural responsiveness and healing-focused lens. This is particularly important for youth with ADHD, who often face discrimination, oppression, and racism related trauma in school, the medical system, and from peers. I also have expertise in longitudinal data analyses and psychometrics. Currently, we are working on Project CRAFT (Culturally Responsive Assessments for Teens), which is focused on creating healing and strengths based psychodiagnostic assessments for teens from systemically oppressed backgrounds (i.e., Black, Latina/e/o adolescents with ADHD). For more information, go to ACCTIONLAB.com!