VillalobosMyriam Villalobos Solís

Phone:(646) 312-3779  
Location: VC 4-292


Overall, my research focuses on the impact of culture on Latino youth’s healthy development. The long-term goal of my research is to use our understanding of how culture and individual’s decision-making interact to impact youth’s healthy development and to inform and develop preventive family-level interventions.

I use a strengths-based perspective and rely on theories and methodologies that allow me to highlight the rarely studied viewpoints of Latino youth and empirically examine the relevance of Latino culture for youth’s development. For example, I am currently studying the role of Latino cultural values in the sexual decision-making of Latina youth from the Bronx. Specifically, I am conducting qualitative interviews to identify the factors that are important to Latina youth’s contraceptive choice, and perceived structural and cultural barriers and facilitators to healthy sexual decision-making.

Another area I examine is the relevance of Latino cultural values for adolescents, and its influence on risk behaviors and communication with parents. Using a social domain theory perspective, my work shows that adolescent endorsement of Latino values is associated with greater communication with mothers regarding their risky activities, but not regarding activities with friends. My work on Latino values in daily-life situations shows that Puerto Rican teens overall believe they should prioritize their Latino values, but would instead engage in competing dating, friendship, and personal activities (Villalobos Solís, Smetana, & Tasopoulos-Chan, 2017). To better understand the role of Latino values on youth’s risk behavior, I am currently examining how adolescents’ judgments and emotions regarding Latino values in daily decisions are associated with their engagement in risk behaviors.

Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Villalobos Solís regarding opportunities to work on research projects that examine various Latino youth issues.


Villalobos Solís, M., Smetana, J.G., & Tasopoulos-Chan, M. (2017). Evaluations of conflicts between Latino values and autonomy desires among Puerto Rican adolescents. Child Development, 88, 1581-1597 doi:10.1111/cdev.12687.

Villalobos Solís, M., Smetana, J. G., & Comer, J. (2015). Associations among solicitation, relationship quality, and adolescents’ daily disclosure and secrecy with mothers and best friends. Journal of Adolescence, 43, 193-205. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.05.016 

Villalobos, M. & Smetana, J. G. (2012). Puerto Rican adolescents’ disclosure and lying to parents about peer and risky activities: Associations with teens’ perceptions of Latino values. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 875-885. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.12.006 

Smetana, J.G., Villalobos, M., Tasopolous-Chan, M., Gettman, D., Campione-Barr, N. (2010). Early and middle adolescents’ disclosure to parents about activities in different domains. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 693-713. doi: doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.06.010 

Smetana, J.G., Villalobos, M., Rogge, R.D., Taspoulos-Chan, M. (2010) Keeping secrets from parents: Daily variations among poor, urban adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 33, 321-331. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.04.003


The City University of New York