Youth Development, Context, and Prevention (Cruz Lab)

youth development; socioecology; prevention and intervention; youth and families
Lab Area
Clinical Psychology
Lab Director
Rick A. Cruz, Ph.D
Actively Recruiting Undergraduate Researchers
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Actively Recruiting Graduate Students

Our group utilizes community- and clinic-based research to understand positive and problematic youth development. We focus on understanding diverse youth development within multiple levels of context, ranging from individual factors, family factors, to broader socioecological factors such as culture and socioeconomic status. Our work is designed to improve prevention and intervention efforts for diverse youth and families. We are also engaged in traditional clinical research focused on assessment, prevention and treatment with diverse youth and families

Rick A. Cruz, PhD

Rick Cruz

Dr. Cruz is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at ASU. Previously, he was an Associate Professor with tenure at Utah State University. Dr. Cruz is a Clinical Child Psychologist by training, and his research focuses on the development, prevention, and treatment of mental health and substance use problems among diverse youths and families. His work has a special focus on the intersections of sociocultural, familial and individual factors that contribute to variability in mental health and substance use among Latinx children, adolescents, and young adults. He also has interests in measurement-based care to promote effective and efficient behavioral health services. His research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.

Byron Garcia, M.S.

María Wilson, B.A.

Cruz, R. A., Navarro, C., Carrera, K., Lara, J., Mechammil, M., & Robins, R. W. (2021). Mexican-Origin Youths' Trajectories of Internalizing Symptoms from Childhood into Adolescence and Associations with Acculturation Processes. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 50(1), 118-130.

Cruz, R. A., Mechammil, M., & Robins, R. W. (2019). Familism, sibling relationship qualities, and sibling sex constellation as predictors of alcohol use among Mexican-origin adolescents. Journal of Family Psychology, 33(7), 868-875.

Cruz, R. A., King, K. M., Mechammil, M., Bámaca-Colbert, M., & Robins, R. W. (2018). Mexican-origin youth substance use trajectories: Associations with cultural and family factors. Developmental Psychology, 54(1), 111–126.