Darren Bernal


Dr. Darren Bernal, assistant professor, teaches counseling, group psychology, multicultural psychology, community psychology, abnormal psychology, and cultural psychology.

Bernal’s research focuses on socioeconomic status, social connectedness, mindfulness and well-being.

Specifically, he is interested in how immigrants’ perception of social standing affects their psychological well-being. Studies have shown that objective socioeconomic status measurements, such as income, occupation and education level, are strong predictors of well-being, mental health and life expectancy. Bernal’s research will continue to explore the effect subjective socioeconomic status (i.e., a person’s place on the social ladder) has on their psychological health.

Another active line of research is the area of mindfulness and athletic performance. Bernal is evaluating whether mindfulness training can improve athletes’ performance.  

Before coming to UWF in 2014, he was an award-winning student teacher at the University of Miami.

He received a master’s in general psychology from Catholic University of America, and doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Miami.