Department of Human & Community Development | Illinois


Marcela Raffaelli, Ph.D.

Professor of Human and Community Development

Phone: (217) 244-5017 |Fax: (217) 333-9061

2003 Doris Kelley Christopher Hall, MC-081
904 West Nevada Street
Urbana, IL 61801

My academic training is in Psychology/Human Development. I attended Williams College as an undergraduate, did my graduate work at the University of Chicago, then was a post-doc at Johns Hopkins University and Rutgers University. After that, I spent 12 years as a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I joined the UIUC faculty in January of 2008 as a Professor of Human and Community Development. My interests center on issues of risk and resilience in children and adolescents from culturally diverse and “non-mainstream” populations. Current research and teaching focus on adolescent risk taking, development under conditions of poverty, sexual socialization in Latino families, and promoting positive adaptation of children growing up in immigrant families.

Education and Training

Ph.D., Psychology (Human Development), 1990. Dept. of Psychology (Committee on Human Development), University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

M.A., Human Development, 1987. Committee on Human Development, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

B.A., Psychology, 1982. Williams College, Williamstown, MA

Professional Activities

I am actively involved in several professional organizations, including the Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, and National Hispanic Science Network.

Reseach Interests

My interests center the development of children and adolescents, with a particular focus on youngsters from culturally diverse and “non-mainstream” populations (e.g., Latino/a youth, immigrants, homeless youth).  I am particularly interested in understanding how individual, social, and contextual factors affect development in both positive and negative ways.  Accordingly, my work has focused on a range of developmental outcomes (e.g., risk-taking behavior, mental health, physical outcomes).  Much of my work is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from around the country and in other nations.

Possibilities for Student Involvement

Undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in the kind of work I do are encouraged to sign up for one of my classes, read some of my articles, and/or send me an email to set up a meeting to discuss opportunities for becoming involved in research.  Past undergraduate students have helped with data collection and analysis, co-authored conference presentations and articles, and conducted independent work (e.g., honors theses) under my supervision.  A number of these undergraduates went on to graduate school.  I have also been fortunate to collaborate on research and publications with many graduate students, most of whom are now in academic positions