Maria A. Ramos-Olazagasti studies the ways social position (or minority status) and social context influence the well-being of Latino families and youth in the U.S. and elsewhere. The overarching goal of her research is to understand the social mechanisms that lead to the existence and maintenance of socioeconomic and mental health disparities in Latinos. She has conducted high-impact, policy-relevant research about parental employment, racial/ethnic disparities in children’s health and risk behaviors, and the negative consequences of exposure to adverse childhood experiences on Hispanic youth’s outcomes. Her research uses sophisticated data analytic techniques as tools for understanding change, development, and the processes by which risk and protective factors affect Latino families and their children’s wellbeing.
Prior to joining Child Trends, she was an Assistant Professor in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department at Columbia University Medical Center, where she co-directed the Boricua Youth Study. This longitudinal study of Puerto Rican youth living in New York and in Puerto Rico examines how minority status and the socio-cultural context influence Puerto Rican youth’s development.
Dr. Ramos-Olazagasti’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She completed her graduate education in Community and Developmental Psychology at New York University. She also received postdoctoral training in Developmental Psychopathology at the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Child Study Center. She has published in top journals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and child development.