Former UH Cancer Center intern is awarded at HAIS district science fair

March 3, 2020
Laura Young

UH Cancer Center Summer Internship Program alumnus and student of St. Andrew's Schools, Kelly Masaki, received an award from the American Psychological Association (APA)   at the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools' (HAIS) District Science Fair. Pallav Pokhrel, PhD, MPH, UH Cancer Center associate researcher, was Masaki's mentor for the study, "Relationships Between Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, Impulsivity and E-Cigarette and Cigarette Use Among Adults."

“In Hawaiʻi, 29% of youths report feeling depressed and almost one third of college students in our study used either cigarettes or e-cigarettes, so it is an important area of study,” said Masaki. Findings from Masaki’s study can be used to provide smoking prevention education for groups that need it most.

Masaki’s project received an award for achievement in research in the psychological sciences. Her study found that mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, were associated with increased odds of smoking. Higher impulsivity scores were also found to be associated with higher rates of smoking, and the association between mental health symptoms and smoking were found to be stronger among those with higher impulsivity scores.

Kelly Masaki