The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Marielena Barbieri

Methodology Consultant



Methodology Scholarship

School or College: 

College of Natural Sciences


Dr. Evelyn Mercado


Marielena Barbieri is a graduate student in the social psychology program in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Under the mentorship of her advisor, Dr. Evelyn Mercado, her researchbroadly focuses on examining how environmental stressors impact Latinx adolescent’s development and health outcomes using a biopsychosocial lensand identifying sources of resiliency (i.e., cultural assets, familial relationships) that may serve to be protective.Her current research focuses onidentifying how different forms of discrimination (e.g., personal, vicarious) affect Latinx adolescent’sbiological functioning and psychopathology, while taking into account the cultural and phenotypic variations across Latinx subgroups.

Research Proposal Title: 

The Impact of Vicarious and Interpersonal Discrimination on Latinx Youth’s Biobehavioral Health


Due to the increase in anti-immigration policies that have promoted a sharp rise in xenophobia in recent years, experiences of discrimination have become a pervasive and salient stressor for Latinx youth, which puts them at greater risk for the development of psychopathology. In particular, interpersonal discriminatory experiences have been found to negatively impact youth of colors’ biological functioning and their mental health. Yet research to date has examined how different experiences of discrimination (i.e., personal vs. vicarious) impact Latinx youths’ mental health, specifically through biological dysregulation. Furthermore, past and present literature tend to treat Latinx identities as homogenous and fails to consider the complex phenotypic variations across Latinx subgroups resulting from a long history of admixture between Africans, Indigenous and Europeans. Ultimately, this research has the potential to further our understanding of factors that contribute to the rates of discrimination that Latinx youths experience in their day-to-day lives, and the negative impact it has on their biological functioning and psychological wellbeing.


GSGW Academic Year: 

Student Award Academic Year: