Whether I am studying a community reclaiming its collective identity or with older adults trying to protect their assets, the goal of my research is to understand how to design and implement change initiatives that increase quality of life for those who are vulnerable.

Over the years, this interest has materialized in three different areas of research.

Over the years, this interest has materialized in three different areas of research.

Close up of woman pointing to sticky notes on a whiteboard.

As a PhD candidate in Behavioural Psychology at the London School of Economics, I’m examining how stigmatization is sustained despite individual and collective identity work. I am also exploring the dynamic relationship between collective action – such as protests and boycotts – and public policy. I am pursuing these research questions through a three-year case study of a marginalized neighborhood in Sevilla, Spain  where neighbors and associations mobilized to demand equality. This project is funded by a ”la Caixa” Foundation Fellowship for young talent, the most important private institution program in Spain.

The work that grew into my PhD dissertation initially began as a study of individual and collective coping strategies to long-term unemployment. I was motivated to pursue this line of research after spending a year evaluating the effectiveness of occupational health interventions on psychological and organizational outcomes. Using a meta-analytic study of randomized controlled trials in organizational settings, I showcased how different intervention types seemed to be more effective for certain outcomes. This research project was part of my MSc dissertation at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and was  published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Before I looked at the effects of interventions in community and organizational settings, I spent a year studying how to prevent elder financial exploitation. Financial abuse and exploitation are an increasingly common crime, less likely to be reported due to the vulnerable and often isolated state of their victims. This study was funded by the United States Department of Justice, and was published in the Journal of Gerontology.