Wing Yi Chan

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010
Assistant Professor
Member, Community Psychology Program
Affiliate, Partnership for Urban Health Research
1110 Urban Life

As a community psychologist, my work investigates the impact of different settings (e.g., schools, neighborhoods) on the healthy development of minority youth, particularly racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees. In addition to setting-level factors, my research addresses how cultural, historical, social, and political factors affect the well-being of minority youth. More recently, my research focuses on understanding the antecedents and consequences of civic engagement for minority youth. I am currently conducting research that examines how young people decide to engage in civic and political activities and how they acquire different skills that can lead to positive developmental outcomes through this process of affecting change. My work investigates (1) how Asian American youth develop an interest in and commitment to civic engagement, (2) the impact of civic engagement on promoting successful transition to adulthood among Asian American youth, and (3) the effect of school-based service-learning on promoting academic engagement and preventing problem behaviors among immigrant and first-generation college students. The goal with this program of research is to explore how minority youth interact with their settings to affect positive change in their lives and in their communities.

I apply various quantitative (e.g., hierarchical linear modeling, structural equation modeling) techniques to understand youth development as a system. I also believe in the importance of including young people as active participants in research. Thus, I have utilized and will continue to use qualitative analyses to contextualize research findings and ensure that the voice of young people is represented in this literature. Finally, I intend to apply knowledge learned from my research to design youth programs that prepare minority youth to become active participants in their communities to address injustice that confront their communities.

*I will be recruiting 1 -2 graduate students to work in my lab starting in Fall 2012.

Representative Publications

Chan, W. Y. (in press).  An exploration of Asian American college students’ civic engagement. Asian American Journal of Psychology.

Henry, D. B. & Chan, W. Y. (2010). Cross-sectional and longitudinal effects of sixth-grade setting-level norms for nonviolent problem solving on aggression and associated attitudes.  Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 1007-1022.

Birman, D., Persky, I., & Chan, W. Y. (2010). Multiple identities of Jewish immigrant adolescents from former Soviet Union: An exploration of salience and impact of ethnic identity. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 34, 193-205.

Chan, W. Y. (2009). Supporting Asian American civic engagement: Theory and practice.  Foundation Review, 1, 65-72.

Chan, W. Y. & Birman, D. (2009). Cross- and same-race friendships of Vietnamese immigrant adolescents: A focus on acculturation and school diversity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 33, 312-324.

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