Thursday, May 11, 2017

URSP Student Min Ji Kim Studies Stigmatization Against Mental Illnesses Between Koreans and Korean Americans

My name is Min Ji Kim and I am a Junior majoring in Global Affairs and Psychology. I am experimenting on the difference of stigmatization of mental illnesses between Koreans and Korean Americans with Professor Byunghwan Son. I got invested in my study because as a Korean-American, I had many personal encounters where my peers were struggling with mental illnesses without being able to tell their parents, or got shot down when they did tell their parents. Furthermore, I was concerned when I found that Korea was the second highest in suicide in OECD states. For that reason, I wanted to get statistics on how stigmatized the Koreans and Korean Americans are. My hope is that I will be able to follow up this experiment with other experiments targeted to reduce the stigmatization of mental illnesses so that individuals will be able to pursue the help that they need.

I am interested in pursuing a career in research and plan on continuing to graduate school in Psychology. The URSP is a great program for me because it gives me research experience that I need, as well as allowing me to pursue a question that I want an answer. This opportunity is a great way for me to practice research methods and gives me hands on experience that would be hard for me to get elsewhere. On a weekly basis, I evaluate my research methods as well as working on my final paper. Once the experiment gets approved by the IRB, I will be collecting data and performing data analysis to get my results. Personally, it has been a lot of translating and coming up with questionnaires for the experiment as well as writing up all the necessary documents.

The one thing that I have discovered in this term is that research involves a lot of preparation and being able to push through even when things get difficult. I think I will be able to better prepare myself for future experiments as well as building perseverance that is necessary in any experiment.