CHIRP Lab: Culture, Health, and Implementation Research in Prevention Lab (Gonzales)

Culture and Prevention Research Lab (Gonzales)
Keywords: culture; context; prevention; family; development; children & youth; mental health; achievement; health disparities
Lab Area
Clinical Psychology
Lab Director
Nancy Gonzales, PhD.
Actively Recruiting Undergraduate Researchers

We study the dynamic role of culture in children’s development; academic and psychological health; resilience; and health disparities across the lifespan from birth to young adulthood. Our research supports the development, evaluation, and implementation of culturally informed interventions. We define culture through multiple intersectional dimensions and at multiple levels including: ethnicity and national heritage; gender; social class; cultural values; family processes; community context; and the unique experiences that are shaped by these interacting forces. 

Our CHALLENGE is to:
•    Integrate meaningful aspects of culture in research on child, adolescent, and young adult development.
•    Inform policies and programs that reduce social, academic, and health disparities.
•    Develop, evaluate, and disseminate programs and practices that work.



The Bridges to High School Program is a family-based program for middle school students and their parents. It was designed to increase school engagement and achievement, strengthen family-school linkages, and prevent adolescents’ emotional, behavioral and substance abuse problems. Bridges has shown to improve school engagement and reduce emotional problems, substance use and abuse, and school dropout in high school. 

Future Directions: We are working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and partnering with schools to redesign the program so it can be delivered in a brief, technology-assisted format. Our goal is to make Bridges more cost-effective and easier to sustain in the community. We are now in the process of analyzing data and writing up results from our recent randomized efficacy-effectiveness trial.
Scientific Team: Nancy Gonzales, Sandy Losoya, Larry Dumka, Nancy Eisenberg, Linda Luecken, Anne Mauricio, Emily Winslow, Jenn Tein, Sarah Hidalgo

Partners: Tempe School District, Cartwright School District, Phoenix Elementary School District #1, and ICAN Positive Program for Youth


The major goal of the New Mothers Project is to examine cultural, contextual, and biological factors that impact mother-child coregulatory processes and the emergence of postpartum depression among low-income, first-time, Mexican American mothers.

Future Directions: In a follow-up recently funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, we will extend data collection to age 6 and examine how parent-child co-regulatory processes influence the emergence of child self-regulation and competencies across the transition to elementary school.  In this project, we are particularly interested in understanding how cultural factors shape parenting goals and developmental tasks related to children’s emerging self-regulation.

Scientific Team: Linda Luecken, Nancy Gonzales, Keith Crnic, Kathy Lemery, and David MacKinnon

Partners: Maricopa Integrated Health System, Maricopa Medical Center


The Family Project (Proyecto La Familia) is a longitudinal study of mental health disorder and resilience trajectories in  sample of 750 Mexican American children and their families. La Familia examines the interplay of cultural and contextual factors and processes that contribute to risk for or protection from mental health problems. The overall goal of this project is to increase our understanding of the mental health disparities of this population as well as identify explanations for the fact that U.S. born Mexican Americans have more mental health problems than Mexican immigrants. Children and their parents were interviewed initially when children were in 5th grade with three follow up interviews occurring when the children were in grades 7, 10 and 12.  

Future Directions: In a pending longitudinal follow-up, we will conduct comprehensive assessments of the youths' cultural contexts, adaptive functioning, family and peer relationships, developmental tasks and challenges, and drug and alcohol use across the transition to young adulthood (ages 20-23).  We will also genotype the participants to examine multiple types of gene X environment interactions to predict profiles of alcohol and drug use, including gene X culture effects hypothesized to account for the immigrant paradox and Latino health disparities.

Scientific Team: Nancy Gonzales, Kathy Lemery, Leticia Gellhard, George Knight, Jenn Tein, Rebecca White, Graciela Gonzalez 

Partners: 44 Schools across Maricopa County, Arizona

LA VIDA DIARIA de Familias en Los Ángeles

In collaboration with Andrew Fuligni and Tom Weisner at UCLA, La Vida is a multi-method, longitudinal study examines the daily experiences of both parents and adolescents from Mexican backgrounds in Los Angeles. The focus is to examine the implications of parents' experiences for the family assistance, activities, psychological well being, and substance use of their adolescents.

Scientific Team: Andrew Fuligni, Nancy Gonzales, Tom Weisner  

Partners: Los Angeles County Public High Schools

Lab Director and Principal Investigator:

Nancy Gonzales, Ph.D.

Nancy is Executive Vice President and Provost and Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. Receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington, she is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and recipient of many professional honors, including a Distinguished Career Award from the American Psychological Association, the Roberta Grodberg Simmons Prize from the Society for Research on Adolescence, and the Advances in Cultural and Diversity in Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research. She was named as an Arizona Latina Trailblazer by the Raul Castro Institute and one of the most influential women in Arizona in 2020 by AZ Big Media. Nancy’s joys in life are her family, the success of her amazing students, and dancing whenever she can (unfortunately not often enough)!

Assistant Research Professor

Joanna J. Kim, Ph.D.

Joanna is an Assistant Research Professor at the REACH Institute. Her research examines contributors of mental health disparities among ethnic minority and immigrant families and adolescents and the ways that prevention and implementation science can help combat these disparities. She is interested in integrating innovative research methodology (e.g., multi-informant data, daily diaries, observational coding) in her research. Outside of research, Joanna enjoys spending time with her dog, Ellie.

Doctoral Students

Mary Kuckertz, M.A.

Mary is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program interested in using implementation science to improve access to and overall intervention experience with evidence-based mental health services. She is particularly interested in understanding parent and adolescent intervention engagement for those from underserved racial/ethnic populations. While she is not working, Mary enjoys cooking/baking new recipes and following her favorite corgis on social media.

Vanesa Perez, M.A.

Vanesa is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program. Her research interests are on self-regulatory processes in adolescence. She is particularly interested in examining these processes in marginalized populations and conducting culturally competent research from the measurement level to the implementation level. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Arizona's landscapes, cooking family recipes, and more recently, photography.

Hardian Thamrin, M.A.

Hardian (Hardi) is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program. His research interests are on developing, adapting, and implementing feasible and scalable interventions for hard-to-reach, underserved communities, with an emphasis in ethnoracial minority and LGBTQ+ youth. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the piano, singing, and binge-watching reality competition shows (baking shows, cooking shows, singing shows, glass-blowing shows—you name it).


Sarah Hidalgo, M.S. - Data Manager

Sarah has been a data manager for the CHIRP Lab since 2015. She earned her Master’s degree in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University and is primarily interested in prevention science and its implementation. When she is not working, Sarah drinks espresso, watches light-hearted shows, and spends time with her twin daughters and husband.

Leticia Reyes, M.S. - Project Manager

Leticia is currently the project manager for Bridges. She manages the day-to-day tasks of data collection, continued IRB documentation and other administrative tasks. In her spare time, she enjoys walks with her dogs.

Lab Alums - Where are they Now?

  • Aerika Brittian, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside
  • Daisy Camacho-Thompson, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Rick Cruz, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University
  • Julianna Deardorff, Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences, Program Head of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Program, Director of the MCHB Center of Excellence, University of California, Berkeley
  • Diana Formoso, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and School Psychology, Nova Southeastern University
  • Miguelina Germán, Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Director of Pediatric Behavioral Health Services, Montefiore Medical Group
  • Emily Jenchura, CBT Therapist, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy of Los Angeles
  • Michaeline Jensen, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Su Yeong Kim, Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
  • Freda Liu, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington; Staff Psychologist, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • Anne Mauricio, Associate Research Professor, University of Oregon
  • Darya McClain
  • Zorash Montano, Pediatric Psychologist in the Inpatient Psychology Services, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor, Departments of Child Health and Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine- Phoenix
  • Ryan Stoll, Founder, Chief Impact Officer, and Director of Design and Innovation, Humanity by Design
  • Russell Toomey, Professor, Department of Family Studies & Human Development, University of Arizona
  • Jessie Wong, Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University
  • Nikola Zaharakis, Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Applied Behavior Health Policy, Arizona State University

Selected Publications:

Kim, J. J., & Gonzales, N. A. (2021). Who’s influencing who? Adolescent symptomatology and caregiver mindful parenting. Journal of Research on Adolescence, Advance online publication.

Thamrin, H., Winslow, E. B., Camacho-Thompson, D. E., Smola, X. A., Cruz, A. M., Perez, V. M., Hidalgo, S. G., Tein, J.-Y., & Gonzales, N. A. (2021). Predictors of caregiver participation in an engagement strategy to increase initiation into a family-based preventive intervention. Prevention Science, Advance online publication.

Camacho-Thompson, D. E., Gonzales, N. A., & Tein, J.-Y. (2019). Parental academic involvement across adolescence contextualized by gender and parenting practices. School Psychology. 34(4), 386–397. Educational Publishing Foundation.

Luecken, L. J., Crnic, K. A., Gonzales, N. A., Winstone, L. K., & Somers, J. A. (2019). Mother-infant dyadic dysregulation and postpartum depressive symptoms in low-income Mexican-origin women. Biological Psychology, 147, 107614.

Gonzales, N. A., Jensen, M., Tein, J.-Y., Wong, J. J., Dumka, L. E., & Mauricio, A. M. (2018). Effect of middle school interventions on alcohol misuse and abuse in Mexican American high school adolescents five-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 75(5), 429–437.

Gonzales, N. A., Johnson, M., Shirtcliff, E. A., Tein, J.-Y., Eskenazi, B., & Deardorff, J. (2018). The role of bicultural adaptation, familism, and family conflict in Mexican American adolescents’ cortisol reactivity. Development and Psychopathology, 30(5), 1571–1587.

Gonzales, N. A. (2017). Expanding the cultural adaptation framework for population-level impact. Prevention Science, 18, 689–693.

Jensen, M., Chassin, L., & Gonzales, N. A. (2017). Neighborhood moderation of sensation seeking effects on adolescent substance use initiation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46, 1953–1967.

Jensen, M. R., Wong, J. J., Gonzales, N. A., Dumka, L. E., Millsap, R., & Coxe, S. (2014). Long-term effects of a universal family intervention: Mediation through parent-adolescent conflict. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 43(3), 415–427.

Gonzales, N. A., Dumka, L. E., Millsap, R. E., Gottschall, A., McClain, D. B., Wong, J. J., Germán, M., Mauricio, A. M., Wheeler, L., Carpentier, F. D., & Kim, S. Y. (2012). Randomized trial of a broad preventive intervention for Mexican American adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(1), 1–16.