Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training for the Department of Marriage and Family
Reaching Out to Underserved Children and Families
“Socially marginalized children and families have long been poorly served in our mental health care system,” says Lisseth Rojas-Flores, assistant professor and director of clinical training for the School of Psychology's Department of Marriage and Family. “I hope to instill in my students a commitment to learn from, and to competently serve, underserved populations.”
Rojas-Flores’s particular contribution to this cause includes her research on U.S. ethnic minority families and, especially, the effects of community violence and war-related trauma on families in the U.S. and beyond. “I am humbled by their resilience and ability to transcend evil,” she shares, “and I am challenged to support the efforts of parents to deal with the threat of ongoing community violence and to protect their children from the negative effects of trauma.”
Rojas-Flores is currently directing several projects to this end. One study focuses on the impact of community violence exposure on parenting practices and values of Salvadoran parents living in the United States and El Salvador, while another, which she co-directs with the Headington Lab, focuses specifically on levels of community violence and post-traumatic stress symptoms as experienced by Salvadoran teachers. Rojas-Flores—who is originally from Colombia, herself bilingual and bicultural—is also, along with two of her students, exploring factors that contribute to the quality of parent-child relationships among Asian immigrant parents residing in the U.S.
For Rojas-Flores, the Fuller community provides a fulfilling context in which to impart her passions for equity, diversity, and family mental health. “It’s very rewarding to be doing clinical training, teaching, and research in an environment that promotes the integration of theory and practice, spirituality and faith, service and social justice,” she says.