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Research

Psychotherapy Effects with Ethnic Minorities

Our research tests existing assumptions concerning ethnicity/culture and psychotherapy effects, with a particular focus on whether cultural adaptations influence outcomes for ethnic minorities. Using experimental methods and meta-analysis, we test how culturally-responsive and standard interventions work for ethnic minorities with diverse mental health problems. This work has led to three major findings that are somewhat counterintuitive. First, conventional evidence-based treatments (EBTs) are mostly efficacious for ethnic minorities. Second, EBTs generally work equally well for ethnic minority and European American clients. Third, cultural adaptation of treatments has both potential benefits and limitations (i.e., there is some evidence of potential harm) when applied to ethnic minorities.

Huey, S.J., Jr., & Polo, A.J. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for ethnic minority youth. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 262-301. VIEW

Pan, D., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Hernandez, D. (2011). Culturally-adapted versus standard exposure treatment for phobic Asian Americans: Treatment efficacy, moderators, and predictors. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17, 11-22. VIEW

Huey, S.J., Jr., Tilley, J.L., Jones, E.O., Smith, C.A. (2014). The contribution of cultural competence to evidence-based care for ethnically diverse populations. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 10, 305-338. VIEW

Huey, S.J., Jr., & Tilley, J.L. (2018). Effects of mental health interventions with Asian Americans: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 11, 915-930. VIEW

Psychotherapy Effects and Processes with At-Risk and Offending Youth

Another research area addresses treatment effects for juvenile offenders and other high-risk youth (e.g., hospitalized, suicidal youth), and identifying treatment mechanisms of change. For example, in our research on Multisystemic Therapy (MST), we found that fidelity to the MST protocol was associated with reduced delinquency, and that effects were mediated by improved family functioning and peer relations. More recently, our lab used meta-analysis to investigate “adverse effects” when intervening with gang-involved youth and adults, and what factors might lead to such outcomes.

Huey, S.J., Jr., Henggeler, S.W., Brondino, M.J., & Pickrel, S.G. (2000). Mechanisms of change in Multisystemic Therapy: Reducing delinquent behavior through therapist adherence, and improved family and peer functioning. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 451-467. VIEW

Huey, S.J., Jr., Henggeler, S.W., Rowland, M.D., Halliday-Boykins, C., Cunningham, P.B., Edwards, J., & Pickrel, S.G. (2004). Multisystemic Therapy reduces attempted suicide in a high-risk sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 183-190. VIEW

Sayegh, C.S., Hall-Clark, B., McDaniel, D.D., Halliday-Boykins, C.A., Cunningham, P.B., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2019). A preliminary investigation of ethnic differences in resistance in Multisystemic Therapy. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 48 (supp. 1), S13-S23. VIEW

Rubenson, M.P., Galbraith, K., Shin, O., Beam, C., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2020). When helping hurts? Towards a nuanced interpretation of adverse effects in gang-focused interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice. VIEW

Brief Interventions for Psychosocial Problems

In recent years, our work has focused on developing and testing brief interventions for ethnic minorities with diverse psychosocial problems. Some of these studies assess the relative benefits of culturally-tailored vs “generic” intervention strategies. Other studies deal with adapting dissonance-based interventions for older adolescents. In randomized trials, we find that interventions ranging one to four sessions are often effective at increasing program engagement and reducing mental health symptoms (e.g., depressive symptoms, phobias) across different at-risk samples.

Pan, D., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Hernandez, D. (2011). Culturally-adapted versus standard exposure treatment for phobic Asian Americans: Treatment efficacy, moderators, and predictors. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17, 11-22. VIEW

Chithambo, T.P., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2017). Internet-delivered eating disorder prevention: A randomized controlled trial of dissonance-based and cognitive-behavioral treatments. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50(1), 1142-1151. VIEW

Sayegh, C.S., Huey, S.J., Jr., Barnett, E., & Spruit-Metz, D. (2017). Motivational Interviewing to prevent dropout from an education and employment program for young adults: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Adolescence, 58, 1-11. VIEW

Pan, D., & Huey, S.J., Jr., & Heflin, L.H. (2019). Ethnic differences in response to directive vs. non-directive brief intervention for subsyndromal depression. Psychotherapy Research, 29(2), 186-197. VIEW

Factors Contributing to Ethnoracial Disparities in Mental Health

Our lab also investigates factors that help explain ethocultural disparities in psychiatric symptoms and treatment access and care. Of particular note, we investigate how bias-related experiences influence mental health symptoms and adjustment.

Cespedes, Y.M., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2008). Depression in adolescent Latinos: A cultural discrepancy perspective. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 14(2), 168-172. VIEW

Chithambo, T., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2013). Black/White differences in perceived weight and attractiveness among overweight women. Journal of Obesity. 320326. VIEW

Chithambo, T., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Cespedes-Knadle, Y. (2014). Perceived discrimination and Latino youth adjustment: Examining the influence of relinquished control, discrimination attribution, nativity, and acculturation. Journal of Latino Psychology, 2(1), 54-66. VIEW

Vargas, S.M., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Miranda, J. (2020). A critical review of current evidence on multiple types of discrimination and mental health. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(3), 374-390. VIEW