International research effort funded by UC MEXUS centered at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School aims to foster student well-being and social-emotional learning

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The UC Mexus research group at UCSB

Researchers Mike Furlong, Erin Dowdy and Karen Nylund-Gibson from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School are collaborating with researchers from Mexico and Oregon on a project called, “Cross-Validation of the Social Emotional Health Survey-Higher Education for Mexican and United States College Students: A Research Partnership to Foster Student Well-Being (Validación Cruzada del Cuestionario de Salud Socio Emocional-Educación Superior para Estudiantes de Universidades Mexicanas y de Estados Unidos: Colaboración en Investigación para Fortalecer el Bienestar de los Estudiantes).” The project is funded by The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) and El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), and the UCSB team is working with Leticia Chacón Gutiérrez, Ingrid Barradas Bribiesca, Leobardo Armando Ceja Bravo, and Juan Manuel Cisneros Abascal from the Universidad De La Salle Bajío and the Universidad de Guanajuato and Doug Smith and Cody Christopherson from Southern Oregon University.

This 18-month investigation is grounded in research that highlights the importance of the links among individuals’ capacity to cope with life challenges, fostering social emotional learning, and flourishing well-being. During the past nine months, the project has surveyed more than 6,000 U.S. and Mexican college students. From May 4-7, this UC MEXUS group, along with UCSB doctoral students Agustina Bertone and Melissa Gordon, met at UCSB to complete data analyses, draft manuscripts, and discuss strategies to sustain and expand the research partnership.

“This research project emerged from a shared interest in how institutions of higher education can create learning environments that foster students’ flourishing wellbeing, an effort that is enriched by the multi-cultural perspectives provided by our research team,” says co-PI Mike Furlong, Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean of Research at the Gevirtz School. Based on this early work, this UC Mexus collaborative has already expanded to include colleagues in Australia, China, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), established in 1980, is an academic research institute dedicated to encouraging, securing, and contributing to binational and Latino research and collaborative academic programs and exchanges. Its main focus is to contribute substantially to improving binational scholarly understanding and providing positive contributions to society in both Mexico and the United States, particularly in the graduate and professional areas.

[Mike Furlong is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805-893-5789.]