Giving Voice: Collaborating with Racialized Canadian Students to Understand Their Personality Development and Promote Well-Being During Their University Years

Mentor: Dr. Joanne Chung

Assistant Professor

Project Description

Sixty-nine percent of college freshmen at the University of Toronto campuses report that they identify as a visible minority (University of Toronto Mississauga, 2018). The academic and social success of these students hinges on an institution’s ability to support them during this critical transitional period of emerging adulthood. Although researchers and the public recognize the fact that emerging adulthood is a particularly important part of the lifespan, the knowledge required to support racialized students is incomplete because their experiences are not emphasized in the relevant literature. Therefore, it is imperative that theory and research in personality development be modernized to be relevant for racialized people (e.g., Arshad & Chung, 2021). In the current research program, we are planning to follow a cohort of Canadian emerging adults longitudinally throughout the college years to examine how their experiences with social structures – political, educational, and social service entities that place value on categories like race and ethnicity and in turn, differentially impact people’s access to education, jobs, and health care – co-occur with personality development and adjustment over the course of university. In this 8-week SROP project, you will work closely with the graduate student in the lab to prepare and conduct the first part of the data collection. This project will provide you with the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience in collecting and managing a combination of self-reported and behavioural data that are both quantitative and qualitative.

Does this project require the SROP Student to be in-person or remote? Either one

Mentorship Statement

I am a Korean American personality psychologist, and as an underrepresented minority in the academy, I strongly support the mission of SROP. For example, I strive to include people who are underrepresented in the psychological literature in my research team and as the focus of my research because I believe that psychology absolutely needs more diversity. I value learning together and being in community with my students. I tend to work well with people who are open-minded, patient with the scientific process, and okay with being wrong sometimes. I encourage my mentees to bring their lived experiences to their academic endeavors, and take a personalized approach to my mentoring relationships. We will have one-on-one meetings, which will be supplemented with an occasional lab meeting. You will gain familiarity with literature focused on personality development, emotions, and culture. You will also learn about open science practices, and mixed methods!