Behind the Researcher: Amani Kappi

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Amani Kappi is a PhD candidate at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing (UK CON) with an expected graduation date of December 2021. Her research focus is to promote parental awareness about childhood behavioral and mental health illnesses such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression. While pursuing her master’s degree, Amani worked in the pediatric neurodevelopmental unit where she saw numerous parents who required assistance with their children who were receiving late-diagnoses with ADHD, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Because the ADHD was not diagnosed early, these children often had comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. Amani was passionate about preventing these comorbidities by educating parents about behavioral and mental illness symptoms, how to spot them, and how to seek proper care for their children.

In addition to pursuing her PhD, Amani also works as a graduate research assistant for the Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team which is housed in the UK CON. Amani loves working with BH WELL and other interdisciplinary teams that bring multiple perspectives to the table. One reason she chose to pursue her PhD at the UK CON is because students can work on their research projects with faculty members from various departments and even beyond the field of nursing. For example, she works with a faculty member in the psychology department who specializes in research pertaining to children with ADHD and Autism. 

“My interdisciplinary research experience has helped me to be a better parent, friend, and educator, as well as advance the science communications pertaining to parental awareness of child behavioral needs,” Amani shares.

At APNA, Amani will present her research titled, “Parental Barriers to Seek Mental Healthcare for Children at risk for ADHD in Saudi Arabia.” Her virtual podium presentation will air Friday, October 15th, 2021 at 1:10 PM EST. She plans to use feedback from fellow APNA researchers and other scholars in various departments to revise her research. 

Upon completion of her PhD, Amani will return to Saudi Arabia as a nurse researcher at the Saudi ADHD Society with the aim to develop interventions that improve parent intention to seek mental healthcare for children living with MI. Amani also expects to improve parental awareness by sharing evidence-based research through social media platforms and other communication methods.