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Family, Work, Community, and Culture Research Group

The FWCC Research Group is primarily focused on the study of working families of Latin American descent using quantitative and qualitative research methods. We are interested in women's physical and mental health, parenting behaviors, marital and parent-child relationships, and child and adolescent development. In our research, we examine the interface of work and family systems to identify the factors that lead to stress spillover, and work-family conflict or enhancement/enrichment. The research we are doing brings attention to cultural aspects embedded in the issues we study. Our goal is to inform interventions and policies to support working families of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Current and developing projects include the following:

  • Women's work-family spillover: Occupational, cultural, and socioeconomic, considerations
  • Maternal work, parental investments, and youth community engagement in Latino/a families
  • Daily life experiences and well-being of Latina immigrant workers
  • Stress, coping, and social support among women of African and Latin American descent

Group Director

Dr. Noemi Enchautegui de Jesus

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Graduate students

Ava Safaie graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's in psychology, where she worked in the Industrial/Organizational (IO) lab as a research assistant. She is currently a 2nd year master's student in the general psych program. She is continuing to study IO psychology while working on her thesis, which also incorporates her other research interest: interpersonal relationships. The aim of her thesis is to study the contributions of romantic relationships on performance and risk-taking behavior at work through increased confidence. She plans to apply to PhD programs in IO psychology after graduation.

Patricia Herdoiza is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she is in the MA Psychology Program at American University in General psychology, thesis track. She is interested in studying family dynamics, specifically among the Hispanic/Latino population. In particular, she is interested in how Hispanic/Latina mothers balance work and family life, especially when encountering difficult situations such as leaving children behind in their country with relatives or having little social support. She believes that studying such topics among this population is crucial, as Hispanics/Latinos are now the largest minority in the United States. Her future goals include applying to Ph.D programs in order to become a clinical psychologist working with families, perhaps especially reaching out to the growing Hispanic/Latino population.

Vicki Anagnostopoulos graduated from Princeton University with her bachelor's degree in psychology in 2010. She is currently a graduate student in the Master's program for general psychology here at American University. She is particularly interested in anxiety and stress and coping. However, she would like to combine these interests with family and community psychology by researching how factors relating to work can affect adults' anxiety, stress and coping, and overall well-being.

Alexandra Wurlitzer is a first-year grad student at American University. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her research interests are in the areas of stress, depression, anxiety and coping strategies, including psychotherapy. In her spare time, she likes Logan Circle D.C. living, & design.

Undergraduate Students

Audrey Lubin is a completing her last undergraduate semester at American University. She is a Psychology major and Education minor who hopes to continue her education and practice in School Psychology. Her research interests include partnering child temperament and development with preventative measures in the classroom. She hopes to study ways in which surfacing behaviors and emotions can be combated with early intervention to mitigate their prevalence later on. In this way, she finds it important to look beyond just the classroom, and account for the family and community as well.

Chrissy Sandwen is a junior undergraduate student at American University double majoring in psychology and Spanish studies. Besides her work with Professor Enchautegui de Jesús, she has worked with a variety of organizations including The American Association of Suicidology, Children's National Medical Center, the Rosemount Center, and The DC Rape Crisis Center. Due to her interests in psychology as well as Spanish, she hopes to one day be a community psychologist working with Latinos.

Katelyn DeFrangesco is a senior at American University majoring in Psychology and minoring in International Studies. She is interested in the treatment of anxiety and personality disorders, and the role of multicultural and community factors in the development of mental disorders and their treatment. After graduation, Katelyn plans to attend grad school and pursue her doctorate in Clinical Psychology.