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The Center for Multicultural Research is a recent addition to the Psychology Department. It was established in 1996 and currently has two faculty members involved, Jean Phinney and Eric Kohatsu. Dr. Phinney's research program has been on-going for 12 years, with support of the Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program of the National Institutes of Health. About four students per year have received support and research training under this program over the course of the grant. This research program has addressed a variety of issues related to ethnic factors in adolescence, including ethinc identity development and its correlates, intergroup relations, cultural values, and adjustment in immigrant families.
Dr. Phinney's current facilities house an ongoing longitudinal study of identity formation among adolescents from five ethnic groups; Mexican American, African American, European American, Armenian, and Vietnamese. This project is supported by a four-year MBRS grant (1996-2000). Currently eight students are actively involved in the project. In addition, two community consultants (from the Armenian and Vietnamese communities) are employed by the project to provide support for the study, including information about ethnic communities, community contacts, and translations of research surveys. Dr. David Sam, a postdoctoral scholar from Norway, was a visitor to the project from February through August, 1996 and from April through July, 1997.