Moka Yoo-Jeong Biography

Moka Yoo-Jeong

Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Physical Therapy

Virtual Reality


Moka Yoo-Jeong’s program of research focuses on reducing health disparities and promoting healthy aging in marginalized older adults living with multiple chronic conditions, particularly minority individuals aging with HIV.

Project Description

Immersive virtual reality as a training modality for the development of a growth mindset in socioeconomically-disadvantaged children and youth

The objective of this research is to refine and pilot test an accessible, equitable virtual environment (VE) for growth mindset development in children and youth experiencing significant learning gaps secondary to socioeconomic disadvantage and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. A growth mindset is the belief that personal attributes are malleable rather than fixed. Having a growth mindset enhances psychological well-being and academic resilience, buffering the effects of poverty and stress on achievement. Current interventions for growth mindset development primarily rely on teacher-led practices in classroom or intensive small group settings. In contrast, VEs offer low-cost, individualized learning opportunities in which children can experience scaffolded failure without social repercussions, titrated challenge, real-time feedback, and motivating, repetitive practice. Through this funding, we will refine our VE task and test it with children and youth to collect pilot data supporting a subsequent federal grant application.

Publications – Past Five Years

Yoo-Jeong, M., Haardörfer, R., Hepburn, K., Holstad, M., & Waldrop-Valverde, D. (June, 2020). Is social isolation related to emotion dysregulation and retention in care among older persons living with HIV? AIDS and Behavior.

Yoo-Jeong, M., Hepburn, K., Holstad, M., Haardörfer, R., & Waldrop-Valverde, D. (2019). Correlates of loneliness in older persons living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Care. doi:10.1080/09540121.2019.1659919.

Yoo-Jeong, M., Anderson, A., Rahman, F., Baumann, M., McBroom, J., & Waldrop-Valverde, D. (2018). Associations of mood on objective and subjective cognitive complaints in persons living with HIV/AIDS. Journal of HIV and AIDS 4(1), doi:10.16966/2380-5536.146.

Yoo-Jeong, M., Waldrop-Valverde, D., McCoy, K., & Ownby, R. L. (2016). A structural equation model of HIV-related symptoms, depressive symptoms, and medication adherence. Journal of HIV and AIDS, 2(3), doi:10.16966/2380–5536.123.

Zuniga, J., Yoo-Jeong, M., Dai, T., Guo, Y., & Waldrop-Valverde, D. (2015). The role of depression in retention in care for persons living with HIV. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 30(1), 34-38, doi:10.1089/apc.2015.0214.

Vance, D., Humphrey, S., Yoo-Jeong, M., Jones, D., & Nicholson, W. (2015). The role of employment on neurocognitive reserve in adults with HIV. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 26(4), 316-329, doi:10.1016/j.jana.2015.04.003.