May 2018 Spotlight- Special Edition- Gordon Hall, Ph.D.

To celebrate the the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, we are featuring four scholars whose work has contributed to the advancement of research, policy, and/or practice on Asians, Asian Americans, or Pacific Islanders.

Dr. Gordon Hall ( is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Oregon. He is interested in the sociocultural contexts of clinical science, health issues in immigrant populations, and Asian American psychology.


  1. What drew you to work with Asian/Pacific Islander children and families?

Stanley Sue inspired me to work with Asian Americans. He began to study Asian Americans in the 1970s when such research was regarded as peripheral or political. Stan helped establish the field of Asian American psychology and also cofounded the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) with his brother Derald. The Sue brothers and AAPA have been a source of intellectual and social support throughout my career.

2.What thoughts or advice do you have for junior scholars who are building upon your work?

My advice to junior scholars is:

  • Be a good person
  • Work hard
  • Get famous

Being a good person is central to all that we do in our work and outside it. Working hard means finding big questions and pursuing them. If you are a good person and work hard, fame will follow.


3. Please describe your work’s importance from any one or more of these lenses: a) research contribution; b) our knowledge about Asian or Asian American populations; c) our knowledge about other [understudied?] populations; d) practice or policy relevance.

The importance of my work has been in establishing cultural contexts for psychopathology and interventions. Mainstream research has largely failed to address cultural contexts, which is why there have been persistent mental health disparities for Asian Americans and other populations of color. I have advocated giving a voice to underrepresented groups by specifying and measuring the mechanisms of cultural influences on behavior.

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