Peter Guarnaccia has contributed to research and conceptual development and has applied applications to many of the important areas in culture and mental health research: cultural analyses of psychiatric epidemiology, integration of cultural syndromes into psychiatric epidemiology and clinical research, family care-giving for a relative with serious mental illness, cultural competence in mental health services research, and processes of culture change among immigrants.
For the past nine years, he has led a global service-learning program on culture and community health in Oaxaca, Mexico. More than 100 students have participated in the program, and several have done honors theses based on their experiences and follow-up research. He is currently developing a program with the University of Cienfuegos in Cuba on medicinal plants and medical anthropology.
Guarnaccia also has published several papers on mental health among Latino individuals in the U.S. as part of the National Latino and Asian American Mental Health Study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and he is the author of a recently published book titled Immigration, Diversity, and Student Journeys to Higher Education, about how immigrant students at Rutgers balanced keeping their family cultures alive and learning U.S. culture to get to college.
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