Current Research


Aim 1. To understand stakeholders’ (community college or CC students) perspectives on facilitators and barriers to mental health screening and initial uptake of mental health services in order to develop interventions to enhance engagement of CC students into STAND at ELAC. During Year 1, nine focus groups, each with 5-6 participants, will be used to explore factors that affect willingness to enroll in STAND such as perceptions of STAND effectiveness, perceived burden associated with STAND, and the impact of perceived and personal stigma in seeking mental health services. 

Aim 2. To develop a low-intensity, informational engagement intervention to increase awareness of anxiety and depression among CC students and thereby improve screening rates of STAND at ELAC. Findings from Aim 1 will be used to guide the development of community informed video testimonials (a social contact intervention) about participation in STAND in order to increase rates of those who sign up to be screened. 

Aim 3. To develop and test the effectiveness of a culturally embedded informational intervention to activate initial service uptake into STAND among ELAC students. During Year 3, we will examine whether a digital fotonovela intervention with aspects of motivational enhancement therapy facilitates initial service uptake (completion of a STAND orientation visit).

Aim 4. To develop and examine the effectiveness of a collaborative engagement intervention that utilizes peer coaches to enhance service uptake into STAND among ELAC students. During Year 4, we will examine whether a peer led engagement intervention by telephone enhances initial service uptake in STAND. 

The Youth Mindful Awareness Program (YMAP):
Aim: The goal of YMAP is to examine the efficacy of an app-based, promotorx-assisted mindfulness intervention to prevent internalizing disorders in youth with high trait negative affectivity (tNA) – as measured by ecological momentary assessment (EMA). In collaboration with researchers at UCLA, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt, we intend to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and tolerability of this innovative approach to serving adolescents and their families.

UCLA Pregnancy Project:

Aim: The CALMA Lab at UCLA is looking for Latina adults who are currently pregnant to participate in an interview about opinions and preferences for managing stress and anxiety during pregnancy.  As a participant, you will learn about strategies designed to help manage worry, and then discuss your opinions about the strategies with an interviewer. This research study involves a 1.5 hour visit at your home, or at UCLA. You will receive $50 for your participation in this study.

Kind Minds Project:

Aim: The primary aim of this pilot randomized controlled trial is to examine the effectiveness of an app-based mindfulness based intervention which emphasizes practices of kindness for underserved adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders, using two formats: one which teaches mindfulness to the teen only and the other which includes both the teen and the parent.

Attention Training for Underserved Youth with Anxiety Study

Aim: The overarching goal of this study is to refine and test a developmentally sensitive Attention Bias Modification (ABM) intervention for low-income and rural Latino youth with using a community based service delivery model that relies on community healthcare workers (i.e., promotoras).  We will also explore whether cognitive control may serve as a potential biomarker for pediatric anxiety as well as a moderator of treatment response in this group of underserved youth.

Mente Fuerte: Improving Knowledge about Depression in Young Adults

Aim: To Improve Mental Health Literacy for Depression through Entertainment Education.  The CALMA Lab at UCLA is looking for Latino/a adults who want to learn more about mental wellbeing to participate in a research study. As a participant, you will receive a short book about depression and ways to help improve mental wellbeing. You will fill out some questionnaires about yourself before and after reading the book (in person) and 3 months later (in person or online).

The Mindfulness For Us or Mind Us Project.

The Mindfulness for Us, or Mind-Us, project aims to leverage widespread smartphone ownership among people of color (PoC) to deliver mindfulness meditation to individuals who experience elevated levels of race-related stress. Using a self-guided, app-based approach, this digital intervention may be especially well suited to reach PoC who would not seek or receive services otherwise.