Director of the EMPOWER Youth Lab and
Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology in the
VCU Department of Psychology
Broadly, my research examines how risk factors (e.g., discrimination) and resilience factors (e.g., cultural socialization) inform ethnic-racial minority youths’ positive psychological, academic, and health outcomes. The majority of my work focuses on Latino and African American youth. Guided by cultural ecological models, I consider the role of family, school, and other key contexts. My research is focused in two main areas: (a) assessing what young children understand and feel about their culture (i.e., ethnic-racial identification), and how this plays a role in development, and (b) examining the interplay between individual and contextual factors as they inform adolescents’ ethnic-racial identity and adjustment.