CONTACT INFORMATION / CURRICULUM VITAE
Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye
Eileen P. Anderson-Fye (Ed.D., Harvard University; M.Ed., Harvard University; A.B., Brown University) Dr. Anderson-Fye is a psychological and medical anthropologist whose research centers around the well-being of adolescents in contexts of socio-cultural change. More specifically, she studies how adolescents - already going through normative developmental changes (i.e. neurological, social, psychological, physical/sexual, etc.) - make sense of changing contexts around them in ways that both help and hinder their well-being, and particularly mental health. She especially examines their subjective sense of well-being and mental health, and how adolescents themselves make sense of their lived environments and the opportunities (or lack thereof) within them. Given that mental health concerns are rapidly becoming the most burdensome issue in global mental health (WHO 2008), and that the burden is disproportionately held by adolescents, these issues regarding adolescent mental health in cultural context are of key importance today. The intention of her work is to identify and explain processes by which adolescents at particular developmental points and in particular contexts engage in pathways to well-being or distress with the ultimate aim of interventions in practice and policy to increase adolescent well-being and reduce distress.
Dr. Anderson-Fye has pursued this research through two major projects - one with adolescent girls in Belize and a second comparative study examining college student experience of psychiatric medication and mental health services. Her work in Belize is a longitudinal, mixed-methods, ethnographic examination of high school girls’ mental health in a context of rapid socio-cultural change. In particular she has examined the young women’s ethnopsychology, body image, gender-based maltreatment, and educational outcomes in light of globalization. Dr. Anderson-Fye continues to pursue this work and maintain the panel study. She is also researching college students’ experiences of psychotropic medication and mental health services in the U.S. and Canada through a mixed-methods longitudinal comparative study. The large minority of college students now taking psychotropic medications often undergo a normative sociocultural change - the change from home to a peer-based residential environment. This change is significant in students’ mental health management and ultimate well-being, yet little has been known about students’ experiences and practices. This work aims to illuminate students’ subjective experiences of an increasingly common medication practice as it affects their sense of self and examine their choices around adherence and help-seeking.
Dr. Anderson-Fye teaches courses in psychological and medical anthropology and is program faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Child Studies at CWRU.
Dr. Anderson-Fye completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Culture, Brain, and Development where she earned the Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research. She continues to hold a position in the Center for Culture and Health in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA as Assistant Research Anthropologist. Dr. Anderson-Fye’s work has included funding by the Spencer Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Foundation for Psychocultural Research, NIH, NSF Advance, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and a CWRU Presidential Research Initiative Grant (with Jerry Floersch, Ph.D. and Jes Sellers, Ph.D.).
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