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Travis Research Institute

Imperfect Culture
Imperfect Culture
The Imperfect Culture


Psychology Building 327
Fuller Theological Seminary
180 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101-1714




The Imperfect Culture (TIC) Lab focuses on three main areas of research – perfectionism, cross-cultural adjustment, and scale development. Culture intersects across these three topic areas. And our lab embraces the compassion to accept and celebrate imperfection.



The Imperfect Culture lab’s research team and collaborators have worked on several studies on perfectionism. Projects include examining perfectionism across cultures (e.g., China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United States, Russia, India, African American, and Latinx) and expanding the construct to family perfectionism, religious perfectionism, and perceived perfectionism from God. For more information on perfectionism measures, please visit Almost Perfect Scales.

Cross Cultural Adjustment

The lab has completed several longitudinal studies on the adjustment of Chinese international students. Dr. Wang’s team has also created measures to examine cross-cultural loss and international friendliness of college campuses. Currently, the team is studying third-culture kids (TCKs) and hopes to examine missionaries in the near future. For more information on international student research and resources, please visit

Scale Development & Psychometrics

The lab has been involved in the development and psychometric evaluations of multiple psychological measures. Most notable are the Family Almost Perfect Scale (FAPS), Cross-Cultural Loss Scale (CCLS), International Friendly Campus Scale (IFCS), Religious Perfectionism Scale (RPS), Perceived Perfectionism from God Scale (PPGS), Religious Discrimination Scale (RDS), Attitudes Towards Religion Scale (ATRS), and Communion with God Scale (CGS).


Wang lab group


Kenneth Wang

Kenneth T. Wang

Professor of Psychology



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Allison Adams

Allison is a fifth-year PsyD student. Her research and clinical interests include working with college students, specifically college-athletes, in a University Counseling Center and utilizing art therapy in order to promote identity formation. Allison is currently working on her dissertation, which creates a group therapy manual focusing on college-athletes and their identity formation.

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Anna Shanazari

Anna is a fifth-year PhD student. For her master’s thesis, she conducted research on experiences of pastors’ kids and is looking forward to continuing her research and studies over the coming years. Her additional interests in clinical work, research, and teaching involve the integration of faith and psychology and cultural diversity.

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Denette Boyd-King

Denette is a current intern at UC Davis Medical Center. Denette’s past research has focused on the intersectionality of spirituality, virtue development, and psychological well-being within charitable athletic contexts. She is currently expanding her research to include the effects of adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism within elite athletic contexts.

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Eltice (Ching Ying) Lin

Eltice is in her third year of the PhD program. She received her master’s degree in counseling ministries from Trinity International University in Chicago and worked as a counselor in faith-based settings in Taiwan for many years. Eltice is interested in learning more about perfectionism and culturally appropriate approaches to psychotherapy.

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Esther Tan

Esther is in her fourth year of the Psychological Science PhD program. Her research experience involves projects relating to third-culture/cross-culture kids and adults; vocational and career development; international students; perfectionism ideas from the perspectives of believers of Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians; and qualitative analysis about thriving and spirituality.

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Helen Jun

Helen is a third-year PhD student. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she immigrated with her family to Silicon Valley at the age of six. Due to her bicultural experiences, her research interests include immigrant families, psychopathology, and cultural adjustment.

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Joanna Huang

Joanna is a third-year student in the PsyD program. Because of her experiences working with Chinese patients and as a Taiwanese immigrant herself, she is interested in learning more about Asian American mental health, identity development, and perfectionism.

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Katherine Jo

Katherine is a fourth-year student in the PsyD program. Her passion for culture, diversity, and equity greatly informs her desire to bring mental health awareness and suicide prevention to the underserved populations (children and the elderly) in Japan and South Korea.

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Kimberly (Griswold) Tejada

Kimberly is a current intern st SHARP Healthcare. Her research interests include character development, virtue strengths (e.g., gratitude), emotion regulation, conflict navigation, and affective perspective-taking. Both her master’s and dissertation projects focus on the emotion regulation skill of post-conflict affective perspective-taking. View Kimberly’s master’s project.

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Mabel Lo

Mabel is a sixth-year student in the PsyD program. Her passion is in helping people to live fruitful and meaningful lives, and restore broken relationships with oneself, with other people, and with God (for people with faith traditions). Her dissertation topic is a quantitative study on perfectionism and religious orientation of Christians in Mainland China.

Melanie Ngan

Melanie Ngan

Melanie is a second-year PsyD student. Finding peace between conflicting cultural narratives to form a cohesive identity was critical to her identity formation, so her research interests include cross-cultural transition and adjustment, particularly in Asian immigrants and missionaries.


Wang, K. T., Xie, Z. Y., Parsely, A. C., & Johnson, A. M. (in press). Religious Perfectionism Scale among believers of multiple faiths in China: Development and psychometric analysis. Journal of Religion & Health. doi: 10.1007/s10943-019-00784-z

Wang, K. T., Xie, Z. Y., Johnson, A. M., Cao, Y. M., Zhang, L., Parsley, A. C. (in press). Attitudes Toward Religion Scale: Development and initial psychometric evaluation among Chinese college students. Journal of Beliefs & Values. doi: 10.1080/13617672.2018.1488482

Knabb, J. J., & Wang, K. T. (in press). The Communion with God Scale: Shifting from an etic to emic perspective to assess fellowshipping with the triune God. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Shi, R., Wang, K. T., Xie, Z. Y., Sun, J. C, & Liu, C. (in press). The mediating role of friendship quality in the relationship between anger coping styles and mental health in Chinese adolescents. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Ko, S., Wei, M., Park, H-J., Wang, K. T. (in press). Appearance comparison, appearance self-schema, perfectionism, and body esteem among Korean college students. The Counseling Psychologist.

Wang, J., Li, T., & Wang, K. T. (in press). Patience as a mediator between the dark triad and meaning in life. Applied Research in Quality of Life. doi: 10.1007/s11482-018-9627-y

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Contact Us

Jim Cummings, MDiv, MA
Research Administrator

Office Hours

8 am–5 pm


Room 326
180 N. Oakland Ave

Pasadena, CA 91182