Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
LAURA ROMO is an associate professor at The Gervitz School of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Romo's research emphasis is on child and adolescent development and cultural perspectives and comparative education.
Because parent-adolescent communication about sexuality has been shown to be a protective factor against risky sexual activity, Romo seeks to identify maternal communication strategies that facilitate discussion with Latino adolescents about these topics. This goal is driven by the critical need to design culturally sensitive health prevention programs for this population, given high rates of adolescent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. To conduct this work, Romo was granted a five-year award in 2006 from the William T. Grant Foundation, enabling her to adapt a mother-daughter pregnancy and STD prevention program offered at a local community-based organization for Latinos. In addition to enhancing communication about sexual health topics, she is examining the nature of Latino parent-adolescent communication about education, with the hopes of designing workshops that promote mother-daughter communication about educational goals.
Her recent publications include: Latino parent-adolescent communication about sexuality: An interdisciplinary literature review. (Rutgers University Press), “El Sexo no es Malo”: Maternal Values Accompanying Contraceptive Use Advice to Young Latina Adolescent Daughters [title change] (Sexuality Research and Social Policy), Enhancing the Resilience of Young Single Mothers of Color: A Review of Programs and Services (Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk), Maternal and Teacher Interaction and Student Engagement in Math and Reading Among Mexican American Girls From a Rural Community (Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences).
She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UCLA in 2000
and was awarded a postdoc opportunity the following year through the UC
Presidents' Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.