Martha Bernal's Contribution To Psychology

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The psychologist I focused on was Dr. Martha Bernal who was the first Latina to ever receive a Ph.D. in Psychology in the United States of America. Her most significant contribution was to the uprising advance of ethnic minority psychology which is still used to this day in the psychology world. I am writing her biography to give an understanding of her impact in psychology.
Martha Bernal was born in San Antonio, Texas on April 13th, 1931. Both of her parents migrated from Mexico to the United States. She was then raised in El Paso, Texas. As a child, she began kindergarten where she spoke the only language she knew, which was Spanish. She soon discovered that her language only brought her trouble from her teachers and administrators. Being
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She always showed an interest in issues of minority health and multicultural psychological treatment. In 1979, she took some time off and used this opportunity to explore this new area. She recalled that one of the most shocking things she learned while searching into this new field of research, was how unconsciously racist she had become in her own work. Psychology had somehow programmed her with ideas about race and the clinical treatment of minorities. This insight led her to change gears and focus on cultural and ethnic psychology. She began applying to academic positions but received notice that some positions did not hire women. Instead, not allowing that to take from her, she obtained a U.S. Public Health and Service Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles where she engaged in a number of research topics including human psychophysiology, childhood psychopathology, and conduct disorders which is a range of antisocial types of behavior displayed in childhood or…show more content…
Martha Bernal demonstrated outstanding initiative and dedication to promoting the presence of ethnic minority psychologists in the profession. She provided guidance and inspiration to a large number of psychologists of color, men and women. Along with Dr. George P. Knight, they became pioneers of the study of ethnic identity. She helped establish the Board of Ethnic Minority Affairs of the American Psychological Association, started the National Hispanic Psychology Association, served on what is now known as the National Latino Psychological Association, as well as on APA’s Commission on Ethnic Minority, Recruitment, Retention and Training. Bernal was also a member of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual
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