Psychology student awarded research grant to study stress in Latinx teens

Photo: Jordan Cursi

Jordan Cursi | Photo provided by Jordan Cursi

February 11, 2022

Psychology student Jordan Cursi was awarded a $5,000 grant by Providence health care for her proposal to conduct a clinical research study this year. The goal of Cursi’s study, titled “Stress Levels of the Adolescent Population,” is to see if Latinx teens have higher levels of stress and different coping methods than non-Latinx teens. She will also study familismo, or familism.

According to Cursi, “familismo is a cultural value which uses family members as sources of support and prioritizes the family’s well-being over the individual’s. It is exhibited in other cultures but is highly endorsed among Latinx families.”

Providence created a program called Work2BWell when community members in the Pacific Northwest requested resources after noticing a rise in teen suicides in the area. The program turned to teens and young adults to answer the question of how they would like to transform mental health. It now offers mental health resources nation-wide as well as a $50,000 grant per year. Each student can receive up to $5,000.

Cursi plans to evaluate the efficacy of Work2BeWell’s stress management tips worksheet among a diverse population. Her study will take one year to complete, and she will be working with psychology professor Dina Wirick as her faculty mentor and faculty lead on the project.

Wirick will provide support at every step of the project and is proud of Cursi for being one of the few students in the nation to win this grant.

“As a bilingual psychologist, I am acutely aware of the need to include diverse participants in research studies,” Wirick said. “I am thrilled to work with her this year!”

According to Wirick, CSUMB is the perfect place for Cursi to do her research since 45% of CSUMB students identify as Latinx. She will take advantage of the resources CSUMB has to offer student researchers, such as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center and the Psychology Participant Pool.

At the end of her project, Cursi will present her findings at the Western Psychological Association Conference and will submit her work to be published in The Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology of UCLA.