Faculty & Staff

Gabriela Livas Stein


Eberhart 275


Clinical Psychology
Ethnic differences in the development and treatment of depressive symptoms, and the development of culturally-based intervention programs


Latino youth demonstrate greater risk for depression, anxiety, and academic underachievement compared to non-Latino whites.  Despite this increased risk, many Latino children and families demonstrate resilience that has not been the focus of past research (Umaña-Taylor, 2009). The CAMINOS Lab attempts to identify individual, familial, and cultural processes that place youth at risk for maladaptive psychological and educational outcomes. Complementarily, it also seeks to understand the individual, familial, and cultural processes that serve to promote positive development and mitigate risk. The lab’s research questions are grounded in cultural models of child development (e.g., Integrative Model; García Coll et al., 1996), theoretical work on Latino families (e.g., Calzada, Fernandez, & Cortes, 2010, Cauce & Domenech-Rodrigez, 2002; Schwartz, Unger, Zamboanga, & Szapocznik, 2010), and tenets of developmental psychopathology (Sroufe & Rutter, 1984). The integration of these perspectives can deepen our understanding of risk and resilience processes in Latino families to inform how best to deliver community-based prevention and intervention programs that address the mental health and cultural needs of Latinos.

Research Projects

Caminos al Futuro (Pathways to the Future) – a school-based research project examining the role of future life aspirations in the development of depressive symptoms in high school students. Data collection completed.

ACHIEVE – a school-based research project testing the cognitive vulnerability model of depression in Latino youth. Data collection completed.

The Right Question Project – a multi-site randomized control trial to improve Latino patients’ involvement and activation in mental health treatment. Data collection completed.

Padres Efectivos – a study examining the comparative effectiveness of an activation intervention for Latino families raising children with mental health needs. Data collection completed.

La Familia en Carolina – a research study examining how cultural experiences, family relationships, and school impact psychological adjustment for Latino/a middle school students. Currently active.

Lab Members

Gaby's lab

Gabriela Stein, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology within the Department of Psychology at UNCG. She also holds a faculty position with the Center for Developmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Stein received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a specialization in child and family psychology from UNC Chapel Hill. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship at University of California, San Diego/VA Consortium followed by a postdoctoral fellowship position at Duke University. Broadly, her research uses developmental psychopathology and cultural-ecological frameworks to investigate the impact of culturally relevant factors on the development of psychopathology for ethnic minority samples. Dr. Stein’s program of research revolves around three themes: (1) understanding the role of familial cultural values in Latino families and their impact on the development of Latino youth, (2) identifying individual risk and protective processes for Latino and other ethnic minority youth when facing cultural stressors (e.g., discrimination, acculturative stress), and (3) improving mental health treatment access for Latino families in community mental health. Additionally, Dr. Stein is co-investigator of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration graduate training grant for culturally competent care for underserved populations, and a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant addressing disparities in Latino families.

Email: glstein@uncg.edu

Laura Gonzalez, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Counseling and Education Development within the School of Education at UNCG. She holds a PhD in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University. She collaborates closely with the CAMINOS lab through her work with projects such as El Futuro and La Familia en Carolina. Her personal website can be accessed here.

Email: lmgonza2@uncg.edu

Alex Thibeault, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in his seventh year of the clinical psychology doctoral program. He is currently on pre-doctoral internship at Southwest Consortium New Mexico VA. He graduated from the University of San Diego with a major in Psychology and minors in Business Administration and Media Studies, and was subsequently an English Language Arts teacher and Teach For America corps member in Oakland, California.  He earned a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Teaching from Alliant International University in San Francisco, and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology at UNCG. Alex’s research examines refugee and immigrant adjustment and adaptation in the United States, specifically the acculturation experience during initial transition and the role of ethnic identity in this process. He is actively involved in community partnerships and collaborative projects.

Email: mathibea@uncg.edu

Ali Cupito, M.A., is a sixth-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She earned her B.A. in Psychology The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at UNCG. Her research focuses primarily on the role of familial cultural values (e.g. familism) in Latino adolescent development and functioning.  More specifically, she is investigating how Latino families respond to stressors such as discrimination and poverty.  She examines how family processes, in turn, influence adolescent’s psychological and school functioning.  In collaboration with Dr. Vrshek-Schallhorn, she is also working on a study exploring how discrimination and stress “gets under the skin” in ethnic minority college students, and how this influences biological processes such as the cortisol response.

Email: amcupito@uncg.edu

Juan Prandoni, M.A., is a fifth-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. He earned his B.A. in Psychology and French at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his M.A. in Clinical Psychology at UNCG. His research focuses on how Latino immigrant youth and their families navigate the process of acculturation as they come to adapt to life in the U.S. Within this area of interest, he is particularly interested in generational and cultural gaps between parents and their children and how these affect psychosocial outcomes in youth. He is also interested in the development of measures of acculturation that more reliably capture the multidimensional nature of the acculturative experience. Currently, his research is focused on understanding how different factors (e.g., cultural values, generational gaps, language, etc.) within therapy with immigrant Latino parents can help/hinder the development of therapeutic alliance as well as affect direct outcomes for their children’s therapy.

Email: jiprando@uncg.edu

Ande Kulish, B.A., is a third-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and then completed a two-year postbaccalaureate research assistantship at the National Center for PTSD through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Boston, Massachusetts. Ande’s research interests include cultural value endorsement differences between Latino adolescents and their mothers in predicting acculturation-based family conflict, and parent-adolescent communication quality in Latino families in predicting parent-adolescent relationship satisfaction.

Email: alkulish@uncg.edu

Yesenia Mejia, B.A., is a second-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Her research experiences include working with Spanish-speaking Latinos to develop culturally-competent group therapy, conducting research to improve treatment and assessment of children with Autism, traveling to Mexico to conduct a community mental health education program, and most recently, working on a psychosis literacy communication campaign at the Culture and Mental Health Lab at the University of Southern California. Broadly, her research interests include examining how cultural factors may influence psychopathology and developing culturally-competent assessments and treatment interventions for underserved populations. Through her research, she strives to increase public awareness of mental health topics, reduce mental health disparities, and improve quality of life within underserved and minority populations.

Email: ycmejia@uncg.edu

 Selected Publications

Cupito, A. M., Stein, G. L., Gonzalez, L. M., & Supple, A. J. (2016). Familism and Latino Adolescent Depressive Symptoms: The Role of Maternal Warmth and Support and School Support. Cultural diversity & ethnic minority psychology.

Stein, G. L., Gonzalez, L. M., Cupito, A. M., Kiang, L., & Supple, A. J. (2015). The protective role of familism in the lives of Latino adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 36(10), 1255-1273.

Cupito, A. M., Stein, G. L., & Gonzalez, L. M. (2015). Familial Cultural Values, Depressive Symptoms, School Belonging and Grades in Latino Adolescents: Does Gender Matter?. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(6), 1638-1649.

Stein, G. L., Guzman, L. E. (2015). Prevention and Intervention Research With Latino Families: A Translational Approach. Family Process, 54(2), 280-292. doi: 10.1111/famp.12143

Kiang, L., Witkow, M. R., Gonzalez, L. M., Stein, G. L., & Andrews, K. (2015). Changes in Academic Aspirations and Expectations Among Asian American Adolescents. Asian American Journal Of Psychology. doi:10.1037/aap0000025

Cupito, A. M., Stein, G. L., & Gonzalez, L. M. (2015). Familial cultural values, depressive symptoms, school belonging and grades in Latino adolescents: Does gender matter?. Journal Of Child And Family Studies24(6), 1638-1649. doi:10.1007/s10826-014-9967-7

Stein, G. L., Cupito, A. M., Mendez, J. L., Prandoni, J., Huq, N., & Westerberg, D. (2014). Familism through a developmental lens. Journal Of Latina/O Psychology2(4), 224-250. doi:10.1037/lat0000025

Stein, G. L., Kiang, L., Supple, A. J., & Gonzalez, L. M. (2014). Ethnic identity as a protective factor in the lives of Asian American adolescents. Asian American Journal Of Psychology5(3), 206-213. doi:10.1037/a0034811

Gonzalez, L. M., Stein, G. L., Kiang, L., & Cupito, A. M. (2014). The impact of discrimination and support on developmental competencies in Latino adolescents. Journal Of Latina/O Psychology2(2), 79-91. doi:10.1037/lat0000014

Kiang, L., Andrews, K., Stein, G. L., Supple, A. J., & Gonzalez, L. M. (2013). Socioeconomic stress and academic adjustment among Asian American adolescents: The protective role of family obligation. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence42(6), 837-847. doi:10.1007/s10964-013-9916-6

Gonzalez, L. M., Stein, G. L., & Huq, N. (2013). The influence of cultural identity and perceived barriers on college-going beliefs and aspirations of Latino youth in emerging immigrant communities. Hispanic Journal Of Behavioral Sciences35(1), 103-120. doi:10.1177/0739986312463002

Stein, G. L., Gonzalez, L. M., & Huq, N. (2012). Cultural stressors and the hopelessness model of depressive symptoms in Latino adolescents. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence41(10), 1339-1349. doi:10.1007/s10964-012-9765-8

Kiang, L., Supple, A. J., Stein, G. L., & Gonzalez, L. M. (2012). Gendered academic adjustment among Asian American adolescents in an emerging immigrant community. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence41(3), 283-294. doi:10.1007/s10964-011-9697-8

Stein, G. L., Coll, C. G., & Huq, N. (2012). Fostering resilience in Mexican American youth through cultural and family assets. Regarding educación: Mexican-American schooling, immigration, and bi-national improvement, 234

Resources for Parents

1) Resources and timelines to help your children plan for college

2) Helping students plan, apply, and pay for college

3) Why go to college? What it’s all about and why it matters

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