Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology
Dr. Bámaca is an immigrant scholar who emigrated from Guatemala at the age of 16. Her research is guided by developmental, ecological, and culturally informed frameworks to examine processes and mechanisms by which individual (e.g., age, puberty), cultural (e.g., acculturation), and contextual (families, peers, neighborhoods, discrimination) factors inform behavioral and adjustment outcomes of ethnic-racial minoritized youth , young adults, and their families with an emphasis on Latine/x. Central to her work is investigating adolescent experiences within family ecologies paying attention to the embeddeness of family processes (parenting, parent-child relationship) in cultural and contextual realities. Her most recent work expands beyond the family ecology to have a more complete understanding of Latinx youth’s development in context by including peer and neighborhood contexts. At UC Merced she has been focusing on a new period in development: Latine young adulthood focusing on the multiple spheres college students are simultaneously navigating: college, family, and work demands. Other topics graduate students are focusing on are: intergenerational relationships with a focus on grandparent-grandchild relationships and the role that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have on Family Dynamics and Psychological Wellbeing. Dr. Bámaca will accept Ph.D. students for Fall 2024.