Sukanya Ray, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychology

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  • PhD, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
  • MPhil, Utkal University
  • MA, Utkal University
  • BA, Utkal University

Specialty Areas

Immigrant/Ethnic Minority Communities and Health Disparity/Risk Factors; Body Image Issues/Eating Problems Across Ethnic Groups; Asian Mental Health Risks/Health Disparity issues; Trauma, Resiliency & Empowerment

My current research projects aim to investigate health risk issues among adolescents and adults across cultures and ethnic communities in the following areas. The first project intends to address self /cultural identity, acculturative stresses, socio-emotional adjustment patterns and mental health risks among Asian immigrants and other ethnic minority immigrant communities. Specifically, this project evaluates variations in self-orientations, values, health disparity and healthcare issues across diverse ethnic groups. The second project attempts to examine the psychological, relational dynamics (family and peers) and socio-cultural correlates of body image dissatisfaction, depressive mood and eating problems. I am interested to examine the role of psychological, familial, peer and cultural contexts in shaping maladaptive eating patterns among adolescents/adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The third project intends to evaluate the complex dynamics of loss/trauma (psychological and community), resiliency, adaptation and empowerment patterns among diverse ethnic groups. This research project seeks to also address mental health risks, healthcare needs and wellbeing factors among diverse ethnic communities through multi method and community based approaches. Finally, the cyberpsychology project attempts to examine both the individual and cultural variations among Internet users’ online behavior (communication, social network) and offline (emotion, relationship, health issues) characteristics.

Selected Publications

  • Harkins, DA., Ray, S., Sharicz, C., Doppler-Bourassa, E., Austin, M., Ronayne, M., Mehta, C.M., Nyugen, J., and Pimentel-Eye, J.H. (2013). Beyond the campus: Building a sustainable university-community partnership. NC: Information Age Publishing Inc.
  • Jackson, M., Ray, S., & Bybell, D. (2013). International students in the United States: Correlates of sociocultural adjustment and psychological well-being. Journal of International Students.
  • Mizock, L, Harkins, DA., Ray, S, & Morant, R. (2011) Researcher race in narrative interviews on traumatic racism. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 20(1), 39-56.
  • Bernardes, C., Ray, S., & Harkins, D. (2009). An exploratory study of resilience and coping strategies among Portuguese-speaking immigrant women survivors of domestic violence. American Journal of Psychological Research. 1 (5), 81-96.
  • Creedon, M.T., Ray, S., & Harkins, D. (2009). Role of peer teasing in body image disturbance and eating problems among women. American Journal of Psychological Research. 1(5), 111-130.

Book Chapters

  • Harkins, D., Ray, S. (2017). Exploring values, power and social identity in serving. Alongside
    Community: Learning in service
    . Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Kaitz, J., & Ray, S. (2019) Barriers in Addressing Body Image and Eating Issues in Primary Care: An Overview of Women's Narratives. Women & Health. DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2019.1635562

  • Kaitz, J., Ray, S., Harkins, D. & Driscoll, B. (2018). Relational Predictors of Eating Issues in Female College Students. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. DOI:10.1080/87568225.2018.1504638.

  • Harkins, DA., Kozak, KJ, & Ray, S. (2018). Service-Learning: A Case study in student outcomes. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.

Conference Presentations

  • Ray, S., Dumas, C., Kamely, M., Mellen, S., Cole, C., Liu, Y., Chen, R., Ma, Z. (2019, September). Interdisciplinary Faculty Collaboration in Experiential Learning Projects and Impact Areas. Presentation at the New England Psychological Association Annual Conference, Manchester, NH.
  • Steinhilber, K., Ray, S., Liu, Y., & Cole, C (2019, August) Do Families Raise Empowered Women? Poster presentation at APA Annual Convention, Chicago, MA.
  • Driscoll, B., Ray, S., Cole, C., Liu, Y. & Camargo, T. (2018, November). Understanding the Multifaceted Challenges in Addressing Body Image Issues Among Women: A Contextual Perspective. Presentation at New England Psychological Association Conference, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.

  • Ray, S. (2018, September). Stigma, Discrimination and Access to Mental Health Services: An Overview of Research and Clinical Implications. Presented at Inaugural Conference on Integrative and Holistic Approaches to Mental Health Care for Asians, WJ College, Newton, MA.

  • Driscoll, B., Ray, S., Cole, C., Liu, Y., Camargo, T. (2018, November). Understanding the Multifaceted Challenges in Addressing Body Image Issues Among Women: A Contextual Perspective. Presented at New England Psychological Association  Conference Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.

  • Ramanayake, N., Ray, S., Sienkewicz, M., Ozit, S. (2018, August). Why should we study Asian women’s body image issues? Poster abstract presentation at Annual American Psychological Association Conference, San Francisco, CA.

  • Ray, S., Arntz, D., Liu, Y., Lee, J., Cole, C. (2018, June). Understanding Health Care needs and Barriers among Immigrant Asians: An Overview of Research Perspectives and Implications for Practice. Presented at AAPI Feminist Psychology Inaugural

  • Ramanayake, N., Ray, S., Bonilla, C. & Toth, I (2017, August). Do Asians prefer complementary and alternative medicine? A meta-analysis. Poster presentation at Annual American Psychological Association Conference, Washington DC.

  • Kaitz, J.E., Ray, S., Cole, C. (2017, August). Barriers in Addressing Body Image Issues in Primary Care: An Overview of Women's Narratives. Poster presented at American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35), Washington, D.C.

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Courses Taught

  • PSYCH 219 - The Psychology of Trauma
  • PSYCH 243 - Organizational Psychology
  • PSYCH 247 - Asian Perspectives on Health and Work
  • PSYCH 408 - Senior Capstone: History and Systems of Psychology
  • PSYCH 712 - Multicultural Psychology