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Dr. Kam is one of the leading scholars in the areas of immigration, health, and interpersonal communication, utilizing a stress, resilience, and thriving framework. Dr. Kam applies quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate how stressors—stemming from racial/ethnic identification, immigration, and acculturation—relate to immigrant and non-immigrant Latina/o/x adolescents’ academic, mental, and physical well-being. She primarily studies language brokering, undocumented immigration status, and perceived ethnic/racial discrimination. When examining these potential stressors, she also identifies psychological, individual action-oriented, and interpersonal communication processes that can buffer against the negative effects of stressors (i.e., resilience) and/or promote thriving by directly enhancing academic, mental, and physical well-being.
In 2016, the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Interpersonal Communication Division—one of the largest divisions of NCA— recognized Dr. Kam for her outstanding scholarly achievements by presenting her with their Early Career Award. This award was given to Dr. Kam for playing “an important role in shaping interpersonal communication research,” as well as for her “productivity and the strength of the published work, including its theoretical or conceptual foundation, originality, methodological rigor, and impact.”
In her career to date, Dr. Kam has published 50 scholarly items, which includes journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries. Moreover, she has published articles in flagship journals from the field of Communication (e.g., Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Health Communication, Human Communication Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Communication Yearbook). Furthermore, Dr. Kam has developed a strong reputation outside her field by publishing in flagship and top journals focusing on culture, human development, psychology, prevention, and relationships (e.g., Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Prevention Science).