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Lorenzo-Blanco, Elma

Elma I Lorenzo-blanco

Associate Professor, Research Lab Director (Academic)
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, Population Research Center


Phone: 512-471-3141

Office Location
SEA 2.322C

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

***I am accepting graduate students for Fall 2024. Applications are due December 1st. 


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology & Women's Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2013).

APA Pre-doctorol Clinical Internship, University of Michigan Internship Consortium, Ann Arbor (2012-2013).

M.S., Clinical Psychology & Women's Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2009).

B.A., Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles (2005).

***I am accepting graduate students for Fall 2024. Applications are due December 1st. 

Research Interests

Lorenzo-Blanco’s research investigates how issues related to culture, ethnicity, gender, family, and media come together to influence the health and well-being of Latina/o youth and families in the U.S. and Latin American countries. Her research is interdisciplinarly in nature and falls within four interrelated research areas: 1) socio-cultural experiences, mental health, and health risk behaviors among Latina/o adolescents and adults 2) gender variation in socio-cultural experiences, mental health, and health risk behaviors among Latina/o adolescents and adults, 3) socio-cultural experiences of Latina/o parents, family processes, adolescent mental health and health risk behaviors, and 4) Latina/o mental health service access and help-seeking. One of Lorenzo-Blanco's longterm goals is to translate her research into social-justice oriented preventive interventions. She is PI on a NIH funded grant and is currently developing a family-based preventive intervention for Latina/o high school students and parents around coping with prejudice, discrimination, and racism. She is also Co-PI on an IES funded project entitled Latino Education After Public School (LEAPS) to create an intervention for Latina/o 8th graders, their parents and caregivers, and high school educators (counselors, teachers, administrators) to promote college aspirations and preparedness for students as they enter high school. Lorenzo-Blanco is also PI of the Latinx freshmen survey at UT, a longitudinal study on the experiences of Latinx students transitioning to college.

More from Dr. Lorenzo-Blanco:

Growing up as a Hispanic immigrant child in Germany, I have experienced many of the challenges immigrant youth and families experience in the United States. As an immigrant parent in the United States, I understand some of the challenges parents can face when trying to help their children succeed in school, while navigating an educational and cultural system that was foreign to them. I am also the first and only person in my family to attend college and to seek post-graduate education. As such, I am aware of the isolation and challenges underrepresented students can face. I also recognize many of my privileges. These personal experiences, and the various forms of support I have received throughout my life motivate my commitment to the research, teaching, and service that I do.

Selected Publications

Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Meca, A., Unger, J. B., Szapocznik, J., Cano, M. Á., Des Rosiers, S. E., & Schwartz, S. J. (2019). Cultural stress, emotional well-being, and health risk behaviors among recent immigrant Latinx families: the moderating role of perceived neighborhood characteristics. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48, 114-131.

Lorenzo-Blanco, E.I., Arillo-Santillán, E., Unger, J.B., & Thrasher, J.F. (2019). Remote acculturation and cigarette smoking susceptibility among youth in Mexico. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 50, 63-79.

Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Meca, A., Piña-Watson, B, Zamboanga, B., Szapocznik, J., Cano, M.A., Cordova, D., Unger, J.B., Romero, A., Des Rosiers, S.E., Soto, D.W., Villamar, J.A., Pattarroyo, M., Lizzi, K.M., & Schwartz, S. J. (2019). Longitudinal trajectories of family functioning among recent immigrant adolescents and parents: Links with adolescent and parent cultural stress, emotional well‐being, and behavioral health. Child Development, 90, 506-523.**Article received the 2020 Reuben Hill Award from the National Council for Family Relations.  

Lorenzo-Blanco, E.I., Abad-Vivero, E., Barrientos-Gutierrez, I., Arillo-Santillán, E., *Pérez Hérnandez, R., Unger, J.B., & Thrasher, J.F. (forthcoming). Movie language orientation, gender, movie smoking exposure, and smoking susceptibility among youth in Mexico (Nicotine and Tobacco Research). 

Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Meca, A., Unger, J.B., Romero, A., Szapocznik, J., Piña-Watson, B.M., Cano, M.A., Zamboanga, B., Baezconde-Garbanati, L., Des Rosiers, S.E., Soto, D.W., Villamar, J.A., Lizzi, K.M., Pattarroyo, M. & Schwartz, S. J. (2016). Longitudinal effects of Latino parent cultural stress, depressive symptoms, and family functioning on youth emotional well-being and health risk behaviors. Family Process.

Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Schwartz, S.J., Unger, J.B., Zamboanga, B., Des Rosiers, S.E., Villamar, J., Soto, D., Patarroyo, M., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2016). Alcohol use among recent immigrant Latino/a youth: Acculturation, gender, and the Theory of Reasoned Action. Ethnicity and Health, 21, 609-27

Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I. & Cortina, L. M. (2012). Latino/a depression and smoking: An analysis through the lenses of culture, gender, and ethnicity. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51, 332-346.

Lorenzo-Blanco, E.I., Bares, C., & Delva, J. (2012). Correlates of Chilean adolescents’ negative attitudes towards cigarettes: The role of gender, peer, parental, and environmental influences. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 14, 142-152.

**Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Unger, J.B., Ritt-Olson, A., Soto, D., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2011).  Acculturation, gender, depression, and cigarette smoking among U.S. Hispanic youth: The  mediating role of perceived discrimination. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 1519-1533.  **Article received 2011 Oliva Espin & AWP Award for Research on Gender and Immigration. 






2020            Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)

2016-2017   National Research Mentoring Network STAR Fellow.

2016-2018   Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse Fellow.

2012            Sweetland Center Dissertation Writing Institute Summer Fellowship.

2011            Oliva Espin Award on Social Justice Concerns in Feminist Psychology.

2010            Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar. 


HDF 395 - Contextual Influences on Individual and Family Development

HDF 378K.11 - Diversity in Human Development

HDF 340 - Ethical/Philosophical/Professional Development Issues

We are conducting a study to survey first-year UT Austin Latinx/Hispanic students. This study's primary aim is to better understand the college experience of incoming Latinx/Hispanic freshmen students at UT Austin as a means to gather data that can inform programs to support Latinx/Hispanic students at UT.

We are focusing on recruiting Freshmen students to take the survey using online recruitment strategies; this includes planning recruitment for the semester, contacting campus groups, and presenting about the project in virtual classes or lectures. Students will also work with UT Qualtrics on data cleaning, data checking, sending compensation to participants, and adapting the survey based on incoming responses. Other responsibilities surrounding the survey may include assisting with literature reviews/searches, contacting participants, and coding qualitative data.

We will also conduct focus groups with Latinx high school students and parents to gather feedback on a family based intervention we are currently developing that focus on coping with prejudice, discrimination, and racism.

We are also currently coding and analysing data from focus groups on Latinx high school students and their parents experiences with cultural stressors. 

Research assistants will receive training to build their skills in preparation for graduate school. JUNTOS Lab weekly meetings include an informational component where students can develop their presentation skills, learn about current related research, and grow with professional development training. Students will have opportunities to get involved in all stages of the research process.

We are also launching a new mentoring project, connecting UT students with high school students in local high schools.

If interested in participating in this research as a research assistant via course credit or on a volunteer basis, please email elma@utexas.edu. Thanks!