Pauline Ho receives GHI grant for project, ‘Perceived Racial Discrimination and Mental Health’

UW-Madison’s Pauline Ho recently received the UW-Madison Global Health Institute’s (GHI) Graduate Student Award Grant.

Ho is a PhD student within the human development area of the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology.

Pauline Ho
Pauline Ho

The award will fund her project, “Perceived Racial Discrimination and Mental Health: The Role of Meaning-making and Residential History.” This work was selected for funding in the amount of $3,000.

The GHI’s Graduate Student Research Award program supports UW-Madison graduate students pursuing a PhD in any relevant discipline who are exploring potential PhD topics that will enhance global health activities on campus — and beyond

According to the abstract of Ho’s project, “the mental health of college students is a critical public health concern. Numerous studies have shown that experiences with discrimination are negatively associated with mental health and these associations may vary by race/ethnicity. However, previous research examining the buffering effect of racial-ethnic identity has yielded ambiguous findings.”

The abstract continues: “This study uses a novel measure to examine whether and how racial-ethnic identity moderates the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health among college students of color attending a predominantly White institution. Drawing upon a narrative model of identity, this study will reveal the specific features of racial-ethnic identity that affect the impact of perceived discrimination on mental health. Moreover, this study examines whether the moderating effect of racial-ethnic identity varies by residential history before coming to college, which is an understudied contextual factor.”

The abstract concludes: “This study will advance the mission and vision of GHI by providing a more comprehensive understanding of how racial-ethnic identity and perceived discrimination interact to impact mental health. The results of this study will have potential implications on health interventions to promote healthy well-being.”