Travis Research Institute
Culture, Children, and Families
Dr. Fung's lab studies culture and family processes, adolescent mental health, and mindfulness and spirituality.
Psychology Building 122
Fuller Theological Seminary
180 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Strive is "STudents RIsing aboVE". In this NIH-funded study, we will identify students in marginalized communities who are academically resilient in the face of early adversity and offer a tailored mindfulness intervention. Black, Latinx and Asian American adolescents in under-resourced school contexts, often achieve admirable academic success despite limited social capital and early life stress. However, youths’ resilience in one domain (i.e., academic) can come at a cost in other domains (i.e., physical and mental health) that are under-identified and under-treated. This is known as the "cost of resilience." The study will test the extent to which the STRIVE mindfulness intervention can impact self-regulation mechanisms to promote student physical and mental health, while preserving academic resilience.
Asian American Identity Project
The racialization of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in and exacerbated deep-seated anti-Asian sentiments, with a 147% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021-2022. In this mixed qualitative-quantitative study, we investigate Anti-Asian sentiments and experiences among young adults, including racial discrimination, microaggression, perceived threat and fear, and media exposure. Drawing from theories of social change and resilience, we examine ethnic/racial socialization, prosociality, and civic engagement as protective factors against well-being and identity development.
Mindfulness, Well-Being and Virtue Development
Mindfulness as a psychological construct and a form of clinical intervention has been widely researched among adults. In this line of research, we examine the effects of infusing meditation with spirituality as well as the effects of mindfulness training in promoting academic and social emotional functioning among ethnic minority youths.
The Spiritual Mindfulness Study
Despite deep roots in Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, mindfulness meditation has been researched almost exclusively in the U.S. within Western psychological frameworks. What are the differences between Western psychological, Christian, and Buddhist conceptualizations and practices of meditation? Can the benefits of mindfulness meditation be enhanced when it is reintegrated with its spiritual traditions? How may cultural values impact the effects of meditation?
School-based Depression Screening and Prevention Intervention
Ethnic minority youths are at greater risk of unmet mental health needs compared to their Non-Hispanic White counterparts. Can universal depression screening reduce observed racial/ethnic disparities in mental health service referral and utilization? Can school-based mindfulness intervention promote academic and social emotional functioning among ethnic minority youths?
Family Processes in Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Families
This line of research examines broadly how cultural, social, and economic context shape parenting practices, parent-child interactions, and child adjustments. I am particularly interested in parental psychological control (e.g., shame socialization, guilt induction, upward social comparison), and specifically how cultural beliefs about parental control shape parenting practices which in turn impact child adjustment.
Stress and Wellbeing in Migrant Children and Families in China
There are currently an estimated 230 million migrant workers and 20 million migrant children in Chinese cities. Migrant families do not enjoy the rights and privileges in the city and, in many ways, live as second-class citizens (e.g., migrant children are not allowed to go to mainstream public schools and have to attend migrant schools). What are the unique stressors that migrant children face and how do they cope with their stress? How do child (e.g., temperament), parental (e.g., parental support) and contextual (e.g., social discrimination) characteristics influence children’s perceptions of self, academic achievement and peer relationships?
Psychology and Ministry
How can an understanding of psychological processes better inform ministry decisions? In this line of research, we explore ministry stress among Chinese American church leaders in the U.S. We also investigate what it means to provide culturally-sensitive assessment and intervention for formerly trafficked women in India, and identify alternatives to state orphanages for social orphans in Kyrgyzstan.
Business as Mission (BAM): Freedom Business among Trafficked Women
What is the effect of freedom businesses on human development and mental health outcomes of women employed? This is a case study of Freeset, a free trade business located in Kolkata that offers alternative employment to women who were forced into prostitution by trafficking or poverty. What are the significant themes in the women’s lives, including their decision-making processes with regard to the economic choice of work? How do you run a business that is fully business and fully mission while taking care of the person’s psychological needs?
The Chinese-American Pastor Study (CAPS)
What are some unique challenges that Chinese American church leaders face in their ministry, and what is the extent to which ministry stress affects psychological wellbeing and family relations? What are some protective factors that promote wellbeing, positive family processes, and marital relationships?
Grace is a first-year PsyD student. She is interested in developing and delivering culturally-responsive, justice-oriented interventions that address the mental health needs of Asian American individuals and communities.
Martin Lee is a 2nd year PhD student. He is interested in the mental health and well-being of Christian clergy, missionary and their family, and the interplay between religion/spirituality and psychology. His current research focuses on the ministry-family balance, flourishing, and protective factors of mental health among Taiwanese pastors. He loves to cook and go picnic with his family in his free time.
Ashley is a 2nd year PsyD student. Her research and clinical interests include increasing the accessibility of mental health services and providing care to ethnic minority communities and immigrant families. She is currently a practicum student at Fuller Psychological and Family Services. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games with friends and going to the beach.
Seohyun is a 3rd year PhD student. She is currently working on her master’s thesis on how growth mindset can be a protective factor to the negative behavioral and emotional effects of perceived discrimination on migrant youth. She is currently doing her second practicum at APU working with college students. In her free time, she likes to go outdoors to rock climb or camp with her dog, Bori.
Rebecca Wynsma is a 4th year PhD student. Rebecca’s research interests include emotion regulation, mindfulness and acceptance, parenting strategies, culturally-informed interventions, and their impact on youth’s mental health. She is passionate about the ways research and clinical work can inform one another. Her current research focuses on the relation between mindful parenting and internalizing or externalizing problems in ethnic minority youth, via its connection to adolescent mindfulness, self-compassion, and perceived parental acceptance. In her free time, she enjoys having interesting conversations with friends and relaxing with her morning coffee.
Leanne Bishara is a Clinical Psychology PhD candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Psychology. Leanne's research interests are in parenting, positive youth development and emotion regulation. As a clinician and researcher, Leanne is committed to bettering the lives of youth and advocating for positive parent-child relationships. She offers resources and tips about positive youth development to families via https://thethrivecenter.org/blog/
Hannah Ewert is a 5th year PsyD student. Her research focuses on the impact of early relationships on child and adolescent mental health. As a clinician specializing in the care of children and adolescents, Hannah is interested in helping children flourish, and works to integrate research and clinical practice in order to help children and their families thrive. In her free time, she likes to play with her cat and listen to podcasts.
Rena is a 5th year PhD student. She is interested in the relation between contextual factors and psychological outcomes in youth and families and therapeutic interventions informed by culture/community psychology. Her current research focuses on familial factors that contribute to self-compassion among ethnic minority youth in the U.S. In her free time, she likes cooking mindfully.
Fung, J., Lin, E.*, Joo, S.*, Wong, M. (2021). Factors associated with burnout, marital conflict, and life satisfaction among Chinese American church leaders. Journal of Psychology and Theology
Fung, J., Chen, G.*, Kim, J., Lo, T. (2021). The relations between self-compassion, self-coldness and psychological functioning: A comparison between North American and Hong Kong college students. Mindfulness, 1-12.
Fung, J., Kim, J.*, Jin, J.*, Chen, G.*, Bear, L., & Lau, A. (2018). A randomized trial evaluating school-based mindfulness intervention for ethnic minority youth: Exploring mediators and moderators of intervention effects. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47(1), 1-19.
Fung, J., Kim, J.*, Jin, J.*, Wu, Q., Fang, C., & Lau, A. (2017). Perceived social change, parental control, and family relations: A comparison of Chinese families in Hong Kong, mainland China, and United States. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1671.
Fung, J., Guo, S.*, Jin, J.*, Bear, L., & Lau, A. (2016). A pilot group randomized trial evaluating school-based mindfulness intervention for ethnic minority youth. Mindfulness, 1-10.
Fung, J. & Lau, A. (2012). Tough love or hostile domination? Psychological control and relational induction in cultural context. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(6), 966-975.
Fung, J. & Lau, A. (2010). Factors associated with parent-child (dis)agreement on child behavior problems and parent behavior in Chinese immigrant families. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39(3), 314-327.
Fung, J. & Lau, A. (2009). Punitive discipline and child problem behaviors in Chinese-American immigrant families: The moderating effects of indigenous child-rearing ideologies. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 33(6), 1-11.