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Sita G. Patel, PhD


Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology

Contact Information:

Other Positions:

Director: Culture, Community & Global Mental Health Research Group




PhD, Clinical Psychology (Culture and Community Emphasis), University of California at Berkeley
MA, Clinical Psychology, University of California at Berkeley
BA, American Culture (Psychology and Sociology Emphasis, Hispanic Studies Minor), Vassar College


Dr. Sita G. Patel is a clinical and community psychologist with research interests in global mental health, and culture and context as they relate to immigrant mental health.  Her work uses mixed-methods approaches to study acculturation stress, psychological, social, and academic adjustment, and access to treatment for mental illness among immigrant and minority populations.  Her current projects include an APA Div. 27-funded longitudinal school-based study of risk and resiliency among newcomer adolescent immigrants; a community partnership focusing on refugee mental health and access to treatment for trauma; and a USAID-funded study of trauma healing as a component of peace building in the Central African Republic.  Dr. Patel was awarded a U.C. Berkeley Dissertation Award in 2006, an American Psychological Foundation Graduate Research Award in 2008, and an NIH Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment grant in 2009.

Dr. Patel completed the predoctoral internship at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital), with specialties in cultural competency using evidence-based therapy, and intensive treatment for personality disorders.  Her postdoctoral training, at the University of California, San Francisco (Community Academic Research Training Alliance), focused on community-based participatory partnership research.  Prior to joining the Palo Alto University faculty, Dr. Patel was an Adjunct Instructor at New York University, University of San Francisco, and U.C. Berkeley, teaching courses on Educational, Abnormal, and Cultural Psychology.  Dr. Patel currently teaches doctoral-level courses on cultural competency, mental health disparities, global mental health, child trauma, child and adolescent development, and personality disorders/ Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Dr. Patel is a licensed clinical psychologist and currently sits on the editorial board for the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, and on the Board of Directors for Partnerships for Trauma Recovery, a Berkeley-based non-profit agency providing mental health and advocacy services for refugee victims of global human rights abuses.


Areas of Interest:

Research interests: Global, Cultural and Community psychology; immigration and acculturation among adolescents and families; community partnership and school-based intervention; refugee mental health; reducing health disparities and increasing access to mental health care for language minorities.  Courses taught: developmental psychology; personality disorders/ dialectical behavior therapy; cultural competency; evidence-based therapy.

Selected Publications:

Muller, H., Brewer, T., Patel, S.G. & Desai, D. (in press). Attachment disruptions and coping styles among newcomer immigrant adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research.

Tormala, T. & Patel, S.G., Soukoup, E., Clarke, A. (2018).  Teaching cultural competency andcultural humility: A developmental approach to using the cultural formulation as a teaching tool.  Training and Education in Professional Psychology.

Del Cid, M., Brewer, T., Patel, S.G., Palacios, M. (2018). The Pathways to Success Project: Development, challenges, and lessons learned through community-based participatory research with newcomer immigrant youth. Sage Research Methods Cases.

Mutiso, V.N., Musyimi, C. W., Ndetei, D.M., Unanue, I., Desai, D., Patel, S.G., Musau, A.M., Henderson,D.C., Nandoya, E.S., Bunders, J., (2017).  Mental health treatment in Kenya: Task sharing and opportunities among informal health workers. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 11(45). doi: 10.1186/s13033-017-0152-4

Patel, S.G., Staudenmeyer, A., Firmender, W.F. & Wickham, R, Fields, L. & Miller, A. (2017). War-exposed newcomer adolescents facing daily life stressors in the United States.  International Journal of  Intercultural Relations. 60, 120-131. doi: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.03.002

Patel, S.G., Eltareb, F., Macciomei, E. & Clarke, A.V., Wickham, R. (2016).  A mixed-methods examination of family stressors among newcomer adolescent immigrants.  School Psychology Quarterly, 31(2) 163-180. doi: 10.1037/spq0000140

Patel, S.G., Barrera, A., Strambler, M.J., Macciomei, E., Muñoz, R.F. (2016). The Latino achievement gap among recent immigrants.  Journal of Latinos and Education, 15(2) 121-131. doi: 10.1080/15348431.2015.1099529

Patel, S.G., Tabb, K., Strambler, M.J, & Eltareb, F. (2014).  Newcomer adolescent immigrants and discrimination: The Role of Cognitive Appraisal. Journal of Adolescent Research. 30(1) 7-30. doi: 10.1177/0743558414546717

Patel, S.G., Firmender, W., Snowden, L. (2013). Qualitative evaluation of mental health services for clients with limited English proficiency. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 7:27. doi:10.1186/1752-4458-7-27

Patel, S.G. & Kull, M. (2010).  Assessing psychological symptoms in recent immigrant adolescents.  Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 13, 616-619. doi 10.1007/s10903-010-9382-0


Websites and Other Relevant Links:

Culture, Community, and Global Mental Health Research Lab -