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Students Present on Undergraduate Mental Health at Western Psychological Association Convention

May 26, 2022  | 1 min read

From April 27 to May 1, 2022, students Merica Sin and Joshua Park and professor of psychology Khanh Bui attended the Western Psychological Association Convention in Portland, Oregon. While at the conference, Sin and Park presented their research on loneliness in the words of international undergraduate students and the mental health of undergraduate students before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively.

Sin’s research aims to understand the loneliness experienced by international undergraduate students with the ultimate goal of using the conclusions to alleviate loneliness among this population. Sin found that “international students experience loneliness in unique ways through cultural differences, homesickness––especially during the holidays, missing family, etc.”

“It was nice being surrounded by people who are involved in research,” Sin comments. “Everyone was engaged and came to each poster session with an open mind. However, the coolest part of the conference was meeting Philip Zimbardo [the Stanford professor who conducted a prison simulation in the basement of the psychology building at Stanford]. We attended his last professional talk ever.”

Park’s research was a comparative study on the mental health of undergraduate students in America before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. He looked at five mental health indicators––loneliness, wellbeing/flourishing, resilience, suicidality, and psychological distress. While the research was preliminary, the current data appears to indicate a state of declined mental health during the pandemic.

“I appreciated being able to share my poster with a wide variety of audiences,” Park shares. “I was so excited and proud to share my little contribution with the psychology community, especially since the topic is so relevant to our world right now.”

To learn more about undergraduate research at Pepperdine, visit the student research opportunities page