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December 7, 2022

His bloodassistant professor at Arizona State University Department of Psychology, knows the importance of scientific research in the fight against addiction, mental health problems and substance abuse. Conducts research on alcohol abuse in marginalized populations, with recent findings highlighted link between racial discrimination and alcohol consumptionthe protective role of personality and alcohol consumption problemsand the importance of parents transitioning to college during the pandemic.

Su, a developmental psychologist with training in human development and statistical/molecular genetics, recently gave a presentation on behalf of the Wellbeing, Advocacy, Voices, Education and Support (WAVES) initiative of the organization Chinese Americans United. He spoke in Chinese about alcohol use, mental health and support for Chinese American teenagers.

Jinni Su, an assistant professor in ASU’s Department of Psychology, knows the importance of scientific research in the fight against addiction, mental health issues and substance abuse. Photo courtesy of the ASU Department of Psychology
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“I study the problems related to alcohol consumption and the mental health of teenagers and young people. I try to understand the risk and protective factors that influence mental health and alcohol-related problems,” Su said. “One of my focuses is trying to understand these processes within racial and ethnic minority populations, because they face their own unique challenges and are relatively underrepresented in research.”

Drinking as a coping mechanism for problems such as increased pandemic stress, inflation or to deal with discrimination can lead to long-term challenges. More than 3,500 people died of alcohol-related causes in Arizona in 2022and 60% of these cases stemmed from problems related to chronic excessive alcohol use, such as alcohol use disorder.

“My dream is, of course, for my work to make an impact and be a leader of change to inform practices, prevention programs and education that can really help serve people,” Su said.

More than 305,851 Asian American/Pacific Islanders live in Maricopa County, and the population has experienced a growth rate of 138% since 2000. Many of them speak English as a second language and therefore speak of Chinese research makes a difference in connecting with the community and preventing problems such as adolescent alcohol abuse.

According to UCA WAVES, many Chinese American adolescents suffer from mental health problems in silence due to the stigma associated with seeking treatment and may turn to alternative methods to cope with the challenges of bilingualism or discrimination.

“It’s very special for me to have the opportunity to connect with people who are working on the front lines of the WAVES program, a program that interacts with and serves members of my community,” Su said, and add: “I hope that you can become more and more involved and can contribute to the promotion of the mental health of Chinese American teenagers.”

Video by Jinni Su – WAVES

Video courtesy of the ASU Department of Psychology

Related: ASU launches first online master’s degree in addiction psychology with in-person internship

Source: Addiction translation, mental health research for the Chinese American population