My general area of research focuses on health promotion and risk reduction in Latina/o and African American families. I am particularly interested in identifying family and cultural protective factors for racial/ethnic minority adolescents’ health attitudes, intentions and behaviors. I am also involved in the development and evaluation of family-based prevention programs aimed at reducing health disparities. I use a variety of methodologies including observational work, qualitative interviews and focus groups, and surveys.
This is a busy time in our lab as we are currently collecting data on three grant-funded projects. First, in collaboration with Joshua Langberg, Ph.D., we will evaluate whether integrating tobacco prevention messages into an evidence-based intervention for youth with ADHD and their parents helps reduce youth smoking intentions and behaviors. Second, we are collaborating with a colleague in the School of Social Work (Shelby McDonald, Ph.D.) on a community-engaged research project to promote mental health in the growing Latina/o community in the greater Richmond area. Third, I am a collaborator on a project in South Africa examining young adults’ health and relationship attitudes. Finally, I am collaborating with Bruce Rybarczyk, Ph.D., in the integration of behavioral health services into a primary care clinic that serves Latina/o adults and children, many of whom are Spanish-speaking.
Undergraduate and graduate students are actively involved in research projects and publications.