Doctoral Candidate Gabriel Corpus Researches Filipino American Trauma

May 2, 2022
Gabriel Corpus
 
Gabriel Corpus, a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology, published "The forgotten Asian Americans: Filipino Americans’ experiences with racial microaggressions and trauma" in the Asian American Journal of Psychology.
 
Corpus and his colleagues used a 45-item scale called the Racial and Ethnic Microaggression Scale. Participants were asked about the frequency of their experiences, including microaggressions and microinvalidations, as well as assumptions of inferiority, criminality, similarity, and exoticization. 
 
“Eighty-four of the 314 participants scored high enough in the PTSD Checklist 5 to be cut off as having a PTSD diagnosis,” Corpus said. “These 84 participants, therefore, experienced symptoms of experiencing a traumatic event, intrusive symptoms, avoidance of traumatic events, and negative impact on cognition and mood.”
 
He went on to say, “A unique part of this was that participants were also asked if the specific traumatic event they experienced involved race or culture, to which 119 (37.9%) responded yes.”  
 
Another unique aspect of Corpus’ study is that “most studies looking at Asian Americans as a group have found that they experience PTSD less frequently than Black or Latinx populations, but Filipinos have been proven to have different experiences of racism compared to Asian Americans as a whole due to years of colonization,” he said.
 
Corpus is a 2016 graduate of Boston College’s Mental Health Counseling MA program. He’s currently in his doctoral candidate year in the PAU Clinical Psychology PHD program and serving at the University of California, Irvine’s Counseling Center.
 
He has been involved in the Asian American Psychological Association Division on Filipinx Americans and he co-founded the Education Committee within AAPA that focuses on AAPI mental health education and training. 
 
Corpus has a strong interest in expanding research on Filipino Americans. “Filipino Americans experience racial microaggressions that other Asian American groups do not experience, such as being mistaken as members of non-Asian groups (such as Latinx or Black) or being seen as ‘not Asian enough’ by other East Asian groups,” he said. “Therefore, Filipinos often have to navigate a wide range of discrimination which prompted this study’s focus on Filipino’s and their experience with discrimination.”
 
In the future, Corpus plans to pursue a career in clinical practice, specifically working with college populations, AAPI populations, and Filipino populations.