TEACHING & RESEARCH INTERESTS
Maria’s goals for teaching center on students having an understanding of developmental theory and methods as well as promoting lifelong learn skills. She is currently teaching Human Development and Introduction to Psychological Research Methods. While a postdoc at UIUC, she had many opportunities to promote students’ academic development by supervising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in scholarly research activities. She has been invited to guest lecture on acculturation, ethnic identity, and Latino culture consistent with her research interests.
Maria’s program of research focuses on understanding factors associated with adolescent well-being. In the last few years her research has evolved from examining ethnic minority families to focusing on Latino adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing behavior. Specifically, her work concentrates on ethnic identity development, acculturation, acculturative stress, and their link to adolescent risk behavior and positive development. She utilizes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods in her research.