Transdisciplinary team science for global health: Case study of the JUS media? Programme

Gail M. Ferguson, Barbara H. Fiese, Michelle R. Nelson, Julie M. Meeks Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The world's most pressing health problems, such as the childhood obesity pandemic, demand creative new solutions. In this article it is argued that psychological theories, concepts, and methods are ripe for integration with those of other disciplines to synthesize innovative transdisciplinary global health solutions. As a model, the process of blending developmental and cross-cultural psychology with health and media sciences to develop a transdisciplinary intervention for youth and families in Jamaica-the J(amaican and) U(nited) S(tates) Media? Programme-is described. Jamaicans on the island are being inundated by the inflow of U.S. media, and those who have internalized U.S. culture and become "Americanized" via a process called remote acculturation are especially vulnerable to negative health habits promoted by U.S. media and advertising. In response, the JUS Media? Programme teaches critical thinking skills about food advertising (especially U.S.-produced) to decrease unhealthy eating among Americanized youth and families in Jamaica. In this article, first, transdisciplinarity is defined and distinguished from other scientific orientations (uni-, multi-, and interdisciplinarity) using the evolution of scholarship within JUS Media? Programme's transdisciplinary team as an example. Next, the application of transdisciplinary team science to global health problems is explained. As an example, the guiding transdisciplinary model for the JUS Media? Programme is described, and the cultural adaptation process used to design the JUS Media? Programme for Jamaican families is detailed. Finally, there is a reflection on best practices for transdisciplinary team leadership and collaboration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-739
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Media literacy
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Remote acculturation
  • Transdisciplinary-interdisciplinary-multidisciplinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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