Spotlight: Graduate Student
Jacqueline (Jaki) Yi
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Jacqueline (Jaki) Yi. I am a Ph.D. candidate studying Clinical-Community Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have a Bachelor’s in Science in Applied Psychology from New York University. In my program of research, I use various inquiry methods (e.g., meta-analysis, structural equation modeling, grounded theory qualitative methods, mixed methods) to challenge systemic inequality, foster activism, and improve the wellbeing of individuals and broader society. My first line of research focuses on Asian American students and aims to address gaps in the literature on their racial attitudes and engagement in social change. My second line of research more broadly examines diversity and social justice attitudes and interventions in higher education. I also engage in research that helps to improve my campus context, such as evaluating diversity trainings and student affairs programming. In the future, I hope to use my research skills to continue to contribute to the academic literature and my local contexts by exploring the mental health implications of racial ideologies and developing and evaluating diversity-related interventions.
How did you get into systematic review and/or meta-analysis research?
Through coursework in both my undergraduate and graduate studies, I learned literature searching and writing skills that were invaluable for my future research pursuits. An assignment for one of my first-year graduate courses was a systematic review of the literature, where we learned to comprehensively search online databases and identify all relevant published and unpublished research on a topic of our choice. Students were encouraged to use these projects to conduct meta-analyses in the future. In conversation and collaboration with my research mentors, I worked on identifying a question that represents a gap in the literature and began my meta-analysis journey.
What work do you do now that is related to systematic review and/or meta-analysis?
My collaborators (Helen A. Neville, Nathan R. Todd, and Yara Mekawi) and I recently published a meta-analysis titled, Ignoring Race and Denying Racism: A Meta-Analysis of the Associations Between Colorblind Racial Ideology, Anti-Blackness, and Other Variables Antithetical to Racial Justice. Our team analyzed 375 effects drawn from 83 studies on racism with more than 25,000 individuals. We found that people who deny the existence of structural racism are more likely to exhibit anti-Black prejudice and less likely to be racially empathetic and open to diversity. However, there were no similar findings for those who claim that they ignore racial group differences, which was instead associated with greater openness for diversity. Our meta-analytic results emphasize that denying structural racism and ignoring race are two different types of colorblind racial ideology, and researchers and educators need to delineate between them because they appear to have different outcomes. Our research was published online in the Journal of Counseling Psychology and was highlighted in a press release by the American Psychological Association. And if you have any questions about our project, please contact CBRImetaanalysis@gmail.com.
What do you love about systematic review and/or meta-analysis?
I love that meta-analyses can help to clarify previous understandings of phenomena in the field. For example, the literature base on colorblind racial ideology is huge, and there are disparate findings that make it difficult to draw conclusions about its associations with anti-Blackness and systemic racism. Meta-analysis is a powerful research tool for systematically exploring such tensions in the literature and providing insights for future scholarship and practice.
What advice do you have for graduate students and early career researchers about working in systematic review and meta-analysis research?
If you are interested in conducting a meta analysis, go for it! Indeed, it is a large undertaking and requires a lot of time, persistence, and attention to detail. Yet, it was one of the most rewarding research endeavors of my graduate career, and I owe it to my incredible team of collaborators. My main advice for those interested in pursuing a meta-analytic project would be to build supportive relationships with other scholars and work as a team.