Office: Chalon Campus, Humanities, Room 219
Julia Tang - MSW, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology
PhD, Applied Developmental Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
MSW, University of Southern California
BA, Psychology and Asian American Studies, Mount Holyoke College
I received my B.A. in Psychology and Asian American studies at the oldest U.S. women’s college, Mount Holyoke. I then received my MSW, with an emphasis on health, from the University of Southern California, and my Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University.
My community-based experience includes work to develop volunteer programs for individuals with disabilities, cancer research at a local cancer hospital, and interning as a health social worker at a local hospital and an organization that manages mental health benefits for older adults.
Outside of MSMU, I enjoy many hobbies including baking, gardening, gaming, and social dancing.
I consider myself to lucky to be working at my dream job where I get to teach and work with awesome students and faculty on research related to adolescent and young adult health.
I have been teaching at MSMU since 2010, with the first courses I taught being two of my favorite courses (Grief and Bereavement and Introduction to Psychology). Coming from another women’s institution, I strongly value and love working at a primarily women’s university and working with the strong, diverse group of women, that I am lucky to call my students. I have been blessed to have an active research group for the past several years, amazing students in my classes, and the opportunity to grow creatively in my teaching.
For the past year I have been working with the art department to teach a course on play and learning, with students applying their understanding of play and child development, along with community-based research skills, to design and implement museum exhibits at a local children’s museum. Students in this class are empowered to build/create, communicate, critically think, collaborate, and work with an outside client and the community of Pasadena.
MSMU’s commitment to developing responsible citizens of the world (Global Pillar) has also led me to focus on my current project of increasing opportunities for global content and faculty-led study abroad opportunities in our psychology curriculum.
Research Topics of Interest
Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Transition to Adulthood, Person-centered Analysis, Health and well-being, Adolescent and young adult cancer, Health behavior decision-making.
My research draws upon lifespan and life course approaches to understanding health across the lifespan, with particular focus on adolescence, young adulthood, and the transition to adulthood.
Current Research Projects
Fall 2018 Research Lab (not pictured: Lizeth S.)
Many projects with students coming out of my research lab draw upon data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). In addition, I collaborate with faculty at other institutions to explore issues of adolescent to adult development. Recently, I have developed and am in the process of growing community-based research projects, along with collaborations with researchers at other universities to examine developmental and health issues. Some examples of my research involvement are listed below:
MSMU Health Research Lab: Each year, students in this lab draw upon Add Health or other collected data to investigate questions of interest. Past projects have examined issues like depression, adoption, parent-child relationships and general heath, alcohol use, and well-being related to relationship status. Currently students in her lab are working on two projects. The first project includes examining depression among Latina college students. The second project is examining different trajectories of health-risk behaviors (i.e. binge drinking) across the transition to adulthood.
Health Trajectories and Patterns during the Transition to Adulthood: Using data from Add Health, along with person-centered analyses (mixture-based modeling), we are examining patterns of health behaviors (e.g. sleep, physical activity, preventive care) across the transition to adulthood. We are interested in identifying sub-patterns of these behaviors and learning more about people who cluster together in various patterns of health behaviors. We also seek to apply this approach to identify various patterns of both healthy and health-risk behaviors. Past analytic approaches have included the application of Latent class growth analysis and cluster analysis to identify longitudinal patterns of healthy behaviors across the transition to adulthood, as well as patterns of clustered healthy and risky behaviors in adolescence.
Stability, Control ability, and Willingness to Provide Social Support to People with Depression: In collaboration with Dr. Jason Siegel at Claremont Graduate University, this study aims to expand on the results found by Seigel et al (2012) who found that perceiving depression as the result of a lack of willpower is associated with increased sympathy among Spanish-speaking Hispanics but increased negative affect among non-Hispanics.
Beliefs about Society and Community: In collaboration with Lauren Alvis at West Virginia University, we are currently collecting data about college students’ beliefs about society and community.
Collaboration with the Southern California Children’s Museum (SCCM): My lab is partnering with SCCM to help evaluate exhibits and museum needs. We are hoping to begin data collection with the museum in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
These are some examples of courses I have taught at MSMU:
Introduction to Psychology
Play=Learning: Child Development in Community
Grief and Bereavement
Applying Research to Practice
Play=Learning class, Spring 2018
These are my published works and conference presentations if you would like to learn more! Please note that many of my conference presentations are in collaboration with MSMU students and alumna. If you are interested in joining my lab, please contact me at email@example.com.
Wray-Lake, L., Tang, J., & Victorino, C. (2017). Are they political? Examining Asian American college students' civic engagement. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/aap0000061
Giang, M., Tang, J., Buenaventura, A., Habibi, S., Dunlop, D., Samuel, M. & Travis, G. (2014). Integrating iPads into the psychology classroom. A how-to guide with active learning activities. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 13(2). [Published Abstract]
Ashing-Giwa, K., Lim, J., & Tang, J. (2010). Surviving cervical cancer: Does health related quality of life influence survival? Gynecologic Oncology, 118(1), 35-42.
Siegel, J.T., Alvaro, E.M., Crano, W.D., Gonzalez, A., Tang, J.C., Jones, S.P. (2010). Passive positive organ donor registration behavior. A mixed-method assessment of the IIFF Model. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 15(2), 198-209.
Zebrack, B., Bleyer, A., Albritton, K., Medearis, S. & Tang, J. (2006). Assessing the healthcare needs of adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors. Cancer, 107(12), 2915-2923.
(**mentored undergraduate students or alumna)
Hernandez, K.**, Fowler, H.**, Oasay, K.**, Desai, K.**, Tam, K.**, Garcia, Y. & Tang, J. (2017). Racial/ethnic differences in alcohol use: The transition from adolescence to adulthood. Poster presented at Western Psychological Association Conference in Sacramento, California.
Tang, J., Giang, M., & Garica, Y. (2017). Just like me: A cluster analysis of adolescent healthy, risky, and access to resources. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Child Development biennial conference in Austin, Texas.
Alvares, C.**, Trigerous, N.** & Tang, J. (2016). Trials of adoption: Depression, delinquency, and isolation. Poster presented at Western Psychology Association Conference in Long Beach, California.
Hernandez, K.**, & Tang, J. (2016). Adolescent health: Does gender matter? Poster presented at Western Psychological Association Conference in Long Beach, California.
Rivera, C.C.**, Tang, J., Morales, F.**, & Martinez, B.** (2016). Strive to thrive! A study of adolescent coping, gratitude, and social support. Poster presented at Western Psychological Conference in Long Beach, California.
Rivera, J**, Tam, K.**, & Tang, J. (2016). Marriage on my mind. Poster presented at Western Psychological Conference in Long Beach, California and Mount Saint Mary's University Academic Symposium in Los Angeles, California.
Tang, J. (2016). Divergent patterns of preventive care during the transition to adulthood. Poster presented at Society for Research on Adolescence Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
Giang, M., Tang, J., Habibi, S., Samuel. M., Gist, P., Travis, G., Dunlop, D., Bishop, R. & Buenaventura, A., (2015). How eight faculty engaged in team-based learning and you can too! Oral presentation at the Vancouver International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tang, J. (2015). I did it my way: A person-oriented approach to preventive care. Poster presented at Western Psychological Association Conference in Summerlin, Nevada.
Giang, M., Tang, J., Buenaventura, A., Habibi, S., Dunlop, D., Samuel. M., & Travis, G. (2013). Integrating iPads into the psychology classroom: A how-to guide with active learning activities. Oral presentation at the Vancouver International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tang, J. & Wray-Lake, L. (2013). Developmental trajectories of health-promoting behaviors between adolescence and young adulthood: A growth curve analysis. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Child Development Conference in Seattle, Washington.
Tang, J. & Siegel, J.T. (2012). Cognitive Dissonance and Living Organ Donation: An experimental investigation. Paper presentation at Western Psychological Assocation Conference in Burlingame, California.
Wray-Lake, L., Tang, J. & Lin, L. (2012). Do community-level risks and assets relate to youth civic engagement? A study of social capital. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Warren, M.T., Tang, J. & Wray-Lake, L. (2012). Trajectories of positive youth development, substance use, and delinquency in a national representative sample of U.S. adolescents. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tang, J. & Wray-Lake, L. (2011). Examining the developmental patterns of healthy and health-risk behaviors: Based on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence and European Association for Research on Adolescence Summer School, Tuscon, Arizona.
Tang, J. & Siegel, J.T. (2010). Risk Taking as Response to Mental Constriction. Poster presented at Western Psychological Association Conference in Cancun, Mexico.
Tang, J. (2006). Assessing the Needs of Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Patients and Survivors. Poster presented at the Council of Social Work Education Conference in Chicago, IL.