Maria A. Ramos-Olazagasti studies the ways in which social position (or minority status) and social context influence the wellbeing 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 health disparities in Latinos. She has conducted high-impact, policy-relevant research in the areas of 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. She is currently the Project Director of the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, a cooperative agreement from the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation that serves as a hub of research to improve the lives of Hispanic children in the U.S.
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, a longitudinal study of Puerto Rican youth living in New York and in Puerto Rico that 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 is currently the Principal Investigator of a study that examines the role of teenage motherhood, neighborhood context, and culture in the intergenerational transmission of risk for adverse outcomes among Puerto Rican families. 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.