Texas Tech University

Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo

Associate Professor - Human Development and Family Studies

Phone: (806) 834-6080
Office: HS 301H

Research Focus

My research focus is interdisciplinary, rooted in Human Development, Cross-Cultural Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, and Public Health. My scholarship focuses on the importance of individual characteristics and contextual factors in the etiology of risk-taking behaviors and deviance in youth, with a particular focus on ethnic minority and “at-risk” populations. My scholarship is also based on a cross-cultural comparative approach that aims to generate knowledge on minority and immigrant youth and their families and the particular characteristics of these understudies groups. I use a mixed-method approach to research through my background in Ethnography, Case Studies, and Participatory Action Research (PAR) approaches that seeks to build evidence-based practice for the development, extension, and improvement of prevention/intervention efforts. During the past 9 years, I have worked closely with several local community and state-wide partners to support the well-being and positive developmental outcomes in youth. All my graduate students and undergraduate research assistants gain "hands on" experience by participating in community outreach programs, volunteering activities, and positive development programs for youth. My research, teaching, and service have been shaped by diverse life experiences and by the people who have made those experiences possible. I have lived in different countries and cultures and thus, I seek to discover what lies beneath our multidimensional lives, to improve and advance the lives of underserved populations, and to serve academia, the community, and society at large.

Areas of Expertise

  • Youth Development
  • Risk-Taking & Deviance / Externalizing-Internalizing Behaviors
  • “At-Risk” Youth / Ethnic/Racial Minorities and Immigrant Youth
  • Cross-Cultural Comparative Research
  • Mixed Methods and Participatory Action Research 

Selected Recent Publications

Trejos-Castillo, E., Davis, G., & Hipps, T. (in-press). Economic Well-Being and Independent Living in Foster Youth: Paving the Road to Effective Transitioning out of Care. Journal of Child Welfare.

Tami, S.H., Reed, D.B., Trejos-Castillo, E., Boylan, M., & Wang, S. (In-Press). Reliability of survey tools for assessing parenting styles and family contributors to the development of obesity in Arab children ages 6 – 12 years old. Ethnicity & Disease.

Trejos-Castillo, E., Bedore, S., Davis, G., & Hipps, T.  (2015). Bienestar Emocional de Jóvenes en Programas de Acogimiento Familiar: Un Estudio Exploratorio (Emotional Well-being of Youth in Foster Care: An Exploratory Study). Revista CES Psicología, 8(1), 98-118.

Samtani, S., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2015). Motherhood and Sex Work: A Negotiation of Identities. In Jaremko Bromwich, R. & M.M De Jong (Eds.), Mothers, Mothering, and Sex Work, Demeter Press, Ontario, Canada.

Bonner, F.A., Marbley, A.F., Banda, R.M., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2015). The impact of HIV/AIDS on the Millennial College Student Generation. In Understanding HIV and STI Prevention for College Students. Wilton, L., Palmer, R.T., & Maramba, D.C. (Eds.). Routledge/ Taylor & Francis, New York: New York.

Corson, K., Colwell, M.J., Bell, N., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2014). Wrapped up in Covers: Preschoolers' Secrets and Secret Hiding Places. Early Child Development and Care, 1-18.

Trejos-Castillo, E. (Ed.) (2013). Youth: Practices, Perspectives and Challenges. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY



Graduate Minor in Cross-Cultural Studies

Positive Youth Development Lab



Human Development and Family Studies