Behavioral Medicine Research Team

 

Dr. Tucker’s Behavioral Medicine Research Team focuses on developing empirically-based tools and interventions to promote patient-centered culturally sensitive health care, which broadly refers to patient-identified knowledge, behaviors, skills, and policies that are needed to effectively provide health care to culturally diverse patients. Specifically, patient-centered culturally sensitive health care involves (a) training health care providers and office staff to engage in the behaviors and display the attitudes that make patients feel comfortable with, trusting of, and respected by the health care professionals involved in their treatment; (b) modifying the physical environment of the health care facility so that patients feel welcome there, and (c) training patients in behaviors and skills that increase the likelihood that they will be treated in a culturally sensitive manner by the health care professionals involved in their treatment.

Research conducted by Dr. Tucker and her Behavioral Medicine Research Team shows that patients who receive patient-centered culturally sensitive health care tend to report high levels of heath care satisfaction, are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, and are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors.

The Behavioral Medicine Research Team has undertaken the challenge of promoting patient-centered culturally sensitive heath care as a means of reducing health disparities among low-income adults who use community health clinics for their primary health care.


Graduate Students:

Shuchang Kang

Shuchang is currently a third-year student pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Florida. She received her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida, her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the Teachers College at Columbia University, and her B.S. in Behavioral Science from Lingnan University. She is currently working on her dissertation entitled “The Effects of a Brief Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Implicit Outgroup Favoritism Bias among Chinese International Students in the U.S.”.

Her research interests are:

  • Asian American/Asian immigrants/international student’s psychological well-being
  • Mindfulness-based intervention
  • Health disparities research
  • Treatment adherence

Nwakaego Ada Ukonu

Ada is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Counseling Psychology at UF. She received her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida, her M.A. Psychology in Education, Counseling and Clinical Psychology from the Teachers College at Columbia University, and her B.A. in Psychology & Sociology from State University of New York at Oneonta. She is currently working on her thesis entitled “The influence of depressive symptomatology, perceived stress, and dietary acculturation on cardiovascular health outcomes among a sample of West-African immigrants”.

Her research interests are:

  • Investigating psychosocial factors that contribute to physical and mental health disparities among underserved populations (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged, & immigrant),
  • Using community-based participatory research methods to develop culturally-sensitive health promotion interventions for improving engagement in health-promoting behaviors and general adherence to medical regimens; and
  • Investigating the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors among U.S. African immigrant populations.

Her overall aim is to engage in research that helps inform national and international health policies geared toward reducing physical and mental health disparities and promoting health equity among underserved populations!


Maggie L. Hogan

Maggie is currently enrolled in the Counseling Psychology graduate program at UF. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with Summa Cum Laude and received her B.A. in Psychology. She is currently working on her Master’s Thesis.

Her research interests are:

  • Patient-Centered Culturally Sensitive Healthcare
  • Integration of community health workers in our healthcare system
  • Health Disparities Research

When she’s not doing research or counseling, she loves reading, spending time in nature, listening to music, and being with friends and family!


Victoria Rodriguez

Vicki is currently enrolled in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at the University of Florida.  She received her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida, her MSW from Florida International University, and her B.A. in Women and Gender Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently working on her thesis entitled “Associations of Perceived Stress, Stress Management, and Healthy Eating with Weight in a Sample of Black Churchgoing Women”.

Her research interests are:

  • Women’s health
  • Community mental health
  • Reduction of chronic disease

When she’s not doing research, she loves reading fantasy novels and baking. Also, movies are great!


Congratulations to the following RA’s for receiving these awards!

Undergraduate RA Awards from Fall 2017:

Outstanding Researcher Award: Roland Quintana- Rapatalo

Excellence in Leadership Award: Amy Legros

Excellence in Leadership Award: Kaniya Neymour

 

Undergraduate RA Awards from Summer 2017:

Rsearcher of the Semester: Stephanie Mbionwu

Researcher of the Semester: Roland Quintana- Rapatalo

Researcher of the Semester: Cassie Bell

 

Undergraduate RA Awards from Spring 2017:

Excellence in Research Leadership: Zachary Funk

Excellence in Research Leadership Award: Christopher Wilde

Outstanding Researcher Award: Kaniya Neymour

Researcher of the Semester: Emelina Asto- Flores