Travis Research Institute
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?
The Raising My Child Study: The Tiger Mother Premise
This one-year longitudinal study examines the prospective associations between maternal psychological control and child emotional and academic outcomes in the Chinese diaspora (Hong Kong, Beijing, and Los Angeles). Based on theories of social change, how may levels of Chinese parents use of psychological control differ across the three societal contexts? To what extent may differences in application and consequences of parental control be explained by the different social economic conditions?
Developmental Correlates of Parental Control
How do cultural factors relate to parenting, mother/father-child relationships, marital relationships, and child wellbeing in Asian American families? In this multi-informant (mother, father, child), multi-method (observation of family conflict task, cognitive assessment, survey questionnaires) study, we examine cultural and familial factors associated with child adjustment.
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.
The Kyrgyzstan Social Orphans Project
Approximately 11,000 children currently live in state institutions in Kyrgyzstan. Most of them are “social orphans,” where one or both parents are still living but unable to care for them. As youths are being required to graduate from state orphanages at 9th grade, what are some common challenges and stressors they face as they transition into independent living? What are alternative intervention models (e.g., prevention care, foster families, transitional homes, reunification programs)? What is the role of churches in taking care of orphans?
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?
Christine Ta, M.A.
Christine is in her fourth year of a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Fuller. She is involved in research that is aimed at better understanding family dynamics, children development, and the unique needs of Asian American families.
Joel Jin, M.A.
Joel is pursuing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fuller. He’s interested in understanding culture and social-emotional development, parent-child dyads of Asian and Asian American families, the efficacy of mindfulness practices, and perfectionism.
Mercy is a second-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Fuller. Mercy’s current research interests fall within the domain of culture and psychological adjustment for Asian American individuals.
Grace is pursuing her Ph.D. Student in Clinical Psychology at Fuller, Grace's research interests focus on Asian and Asian American mental health. Specifically, she is interested in culture and its effects on Asian family systems and parenting.
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.
Lee, P., Fung, W. & Fung, J. (2016). Doing incarnational business as mission: A case study in India. Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 52(2),118-127.
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.
Lau, A.S., Fung, J., Ho, L, Liu, L, & Gudino, O. (2011). Parent training with high risk immigrant Chinese families: A pilot trial yielding practice based evidence. Behavior Therapy, 42, 413-426.
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.