People gathered around a table in a conference roomThe Team on Acculturation, Risk, and the Development of Identity and Self (TARDIS) at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is directed by Dr. Alan Meca (Pronouns: el, he, him). TARDIS was originally founded in 2017 at Old Dominion University (ODU) and has focused on understanding identity development across a number of domains, including, but not limited to:

  • Personal identity
  • Ethnic/racial identity
  • U.S. identity
  • Academic identity
  • Military identity
  • Parental identity

Since Dr. Alan Meca, the Director of TARDIS, relocated to UTSA in 2021, the TARDIS lab has expanded in its focus and begun to examine a number of new identity domains and intersectionality across minoritized identity:

  • Gender identity
  • LGB identity
  • Trauma identity
  • Physical exercise identity
  • Psychopathology identity
  • Athletic identity

In addition to understanding identity development across domains, the TARDIS lab has focused on examining links between identity and

  • psychosocial functioning (e.g., well-being, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, etc.),
  • health risk behaviors (e.g., alcohol use, risk-sex taking behavior, etc.),
  • and educational achievement.

In establishing this research agenda, Dr. Meca has developed an extensive network of colleagues from other institutions, including colleagues at ODU, that are central to the work and the mission of TARDIS. Additionally, Dr. Meca has begun establishing a strong interdisciplinary network of colleagues at UTSA focused on utilizing identity theory towards addressing critical health disparities among minoritized groups. This network serves as an important foundation for the research being conducted at TARDIS, as most of the research is typically multi-site and collaborative.

For more information on active research projects, see Current Research.

  • TARDIS is currently seeking undergraduate research assistants at UTSA.
  • Dr. Meca and the TARDIS lab will be accepting applications to M.S. and Ph.D. Program for Fall 2022.

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