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Projects in the Lab

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Cultural Experiences and Development Project

The EMPOWER Youth Lab is developing a project with Latinx and Black school-age children and parents focused on cultural socialization, ethnic-racial identity, and cultural experiences and health and academic outcomes.

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Community-Based Strengths and Health Disparities Project

Dr. Derlan is a member of the transdisciplinary Culture, Race and Health Core at the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed) at VCU. The EMPOWER Youth Lab will be assisting the core with upcoming projects and interventions focused on community-based strengths and health disparities.


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Spit for Science

The Spit for Science Project is a university-wide project at VCU that examines the genetic and environmental factors related to college students’ emotional health and substance use. The EMPOWER Youth Lab is working with collaborators to better understand how cultural factors (e.g., ethnic-racial identity and discrimination) play a role in college students’ outcomes.

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Supporting MAMI

The Supporting MAMI (Mexican-origin Adolescent Mothers and their Infants) Project at Arizona State University focused on developmental, cultural and family relationship factors among 204 Mexican-origin teen mothers, their mother figures and their children across six years. In the two years of the study, Dr. Derlan created a measure to understand caregivers’ cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors with young children, and a series of tasks to examine five-year-old children’s understanding of their culture (i.e., ethnic-racial identification). The EMPOWER Youth Lab is working with collaborators to publish the findings.


Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Jahromi, L. B, & Updegraff, K. A. (in press). Cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors: Examining mothers’ centrality, discrimination experiences, and children’s effortful control as moderators. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. doi:10.1037/cdp0000176

Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2017). Longitudinal relations among Mexican-origin mothers’ cultural characteristics, cultural socialization, and 5-year-old children’s ethnic-racial identification. Developmental Psychology, 53(11), 2078-2091. doi:10.1037/dev0000386

Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Toomey, R. B., Jahromi, L. B, & Updegraff, K. A. (2016). Measuring cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors of Mexican-origin mothers with young children: A longitudinal investigation. Family Relations, 65, 477-489. doi:10.1111/fare.12196

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