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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Florida International Cross-divisional Research Team Awarded 2015 JECDSW Best Paper

FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work professors Dr. Gladys E. Ibañez, Dr. Mario de la Rosa and Dr. Li Tan; Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse researchers Dr. Frank Dillon and Dr. Mariana Sanchez; and Dr. Maria Elena Villar, chair of the department of advertising and public relations at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at FIU have had their paper, Changes in Family Cohesion and Acculturative Stress among Recent Latino Immigrants selected as the 2015 Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work Best Paper.

[Photo: From left to right: Drs. Maria Elena Villar, Li Tan, Gladys E. Ibanez, Mario De La Rosa and Frank Dillon]

The paper aimed to find how stress related to acculturation may impact family functioning across time. The researchers’ findings suggest family cohesion decreased over time — however, it decreased less for those reporting more acculturative stress. The implication is that for those Latino immigrants who struggle to adapt to their new host culture, family remains a source of support more so than for those who do not struggle as much.

The 2015 JECDSW Best Paper Selection Committee selected top three papers from Volume 24 and the entire Editorial Board reviewed and voted on these three top papers. As a result, Changes in Family Cohesion and Acculturative Stress among Recent Latino Immigrants received the highest ratings. Here is one of the remarks from the reviewers:

“With the growing Latino immigrant population, it is essential to have greater understanding of issues of acculturative stress over time. The longitudinal research design with a large sample is one of the many strengths of this research. The use of standardized post-immigration measures, examination of pre and post immigration family cohesion, large sample, assessment of findings in relation to other studies, all are strengths.”

JECDSW is one of the few social work journals that focus primarily on multicultural issues as they relate to social work policy, research, theory and practice. The quality and rigor of the articles is imperative to achieve the mission of the journal.