Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Rhode Island
  • Predoctoral Internship, Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology, Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine

Research Interests

I am interested in the influence of culture on health and wellness. Specifically, my research examines the influence of identity and cultural values on physical and mental health perceptions and behavior. The ultimate goal of my research is to develop and implement interventions to improve the health and wellness of vulnerable and underserved populations in the community and underrepresented students, faculty, and staff in higher education.

I have worked with student researchers through community-university partnernships on all stages of the research process including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods study design, data collection, analysis and disssemination.

Learn more by reading my curriculum vitae.

Courses Taught

  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Latina/o Psychology
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Research Methods (Multicultural & Health Psychology)

Selected Publications

Mena, J. A., Ampadu, G., & Prochaska, J. O. (in press). The influence of engagement and satisfaction on smoking cessation interventions: A qualitative study. Substance Use and Misuse.

Vaccaro, A., & Mena, J. A. (in press)"I've struggled, I've battled": Invisibility microaggressions experienced by women of color at a predominately White institution. NASPA Journal about Women in Higher Education.

Mena, J. A., (2016). "I love my work, but this is not my life": Women of color in the academy. NASPA Journal about Women in Higher Education. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1080/19407882.2016.1195274

Mena, J. A., & Saucier, P. K. (2014). "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood": Nina Simone's Africana Womanism Journal of Black Studies, 45(3), 247-265. doi: 10.1177/0021934714528512

Mena, J. A., & Vaccaro, A. (2014). Role modeling community engagement for college students: Narratives from women faculty and staff of color. In S. V. Iverson & J. H. James, (Eds.), Feminist Community Engagement: Achieving Praxis. Pelgrave.

Mena, J. A., & Vaccaro, A. (2013). "Tell me you love me no matter what": Relationships and self-esteem among LGBQ young adults. Journal of GLBT Family Studies. 9(1), 3-23. doi: 10.1080/1550428X.2013.746052

Mena, J. A. (2011). Latino parent home-based practices that bolster student academic persistence. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 33(4), 490-506. doi: 10.1177/0739986311422897

Vaccaro, A., & Mena, J. A. (2011). It's not burnout, it's more: Queer college activists of color and mental health. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, 15, 339-367. doi: 10.1080/19359705.2011.600656

Florin, P., Celebucki, C., Stevenson, J., Mena, J., Salgado, D., & White, A., Harvey, B., Dougal, M. (2006). Cultivating systematic capacity: The Rhode Island tobacco control enhancement project. American Journal of Community Psychology, 38(3-4), 213-20. doi: 10.1007/s10464-006-9080-1

Selected Presentations

Mena, J. (2016)."The cure for the pain, is in the pain": Historically marginalized college students and mental health treatment barriers and opportunities. Keynote address for the Northeast College Counseling Centers Directors Conference, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME.

Amanda, A., Poindexter, B., Mena, J. A. (2015, October). Measuring decisional balance for health behaviors among Black Americans: Measurement equivalence and classification. Paper presented at the Diversity Challenge meeting of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA.

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