Texas Tech University

Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for International Affairs | C.R. Hutcheson Professor
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: elizabeth.trejos@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-6080

Office: HS 506A

Office of International Affairs


Not accepting students for Fall 2024

Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo

Research Focus

My research focus is interdisciplinary, rooted in Human Development, Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Social Work, and Cross-Cultural Studies. My scholarship focuses on the influence of individual characteristics and contextual factors on adolescence development, toxic-stress, trauma and resilience on ethnic/racial minorities and vulnerable youth using a cross-cultural/cross-national comparative lens. I use a mixed-method approach (e.g., surveys, secondary data, ethnography, case studies, interviews, focus groups) and Participatory Action Research (PAR) that seeks to build evidence-based practice for the development, extension, and improvement of prevention and intervention efforts. My research has been funded by national and international organizations including Fulbright, United States Department of State-Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs; The Administrative Department for Science, Technology & Innovation of Colombia-South America; São Paulo -Brazil Research Foundation; U.S.A Department of Education; U.S. Administration on Children, Youth, & Families among others.

I serve as an International Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social Work, College of Applied Social Sciences at State University of Ponta Grossa, Paraná-Brazil as well as in the Departments of Medicine, Biostatistics & Epidemiology and Psychology at CES University, Medellín-Colombia (South America). During the past 25+ years, I have been working closely with several local community, statewide partners, national and international collaborators (e.g., Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, India, Norway, Sweden, Spain) to support the well-being and positive development of youth.

All my graduate and undergraduate students gain "hands on" experience by participating in national and international research activities, community outreach programs, volunteering activities, and positive development programs for youth and their families. 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 youth, and to serve the community and society at large.


Areas of Expertise

  • Positive Youth Development and Well-Being
  • Toxic Stress, Trauma, and Trauma-Informed Practices
  • Externalizing-Internalizing Behaviors
  • Ethnic/Racial Minorities and Immigrant Youth
  • Cross-Cultural and Cross-National Comparative Research
  • Quantitative-Qualitative Mixed Methods
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR)
  • Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation
  • Fluent: English, Spanish, Portuguese

Recent Publications

Wiium, N., Chen, B.-B., Gomez-Baya, D., Perez-Diaz, P., Trejos-Castillo, E., Ferrer-Wreder, L. (2023). Youth, Health
and Development in Diverse Cultures and Contexts. Frontiers Psychology, 14 (doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1247821).

Barrera-Valencia, M Calderon Delgado, L., Noriega, I.., Al-Khalil, K., Trejos-Castillo, E., & O´Boyle, M. (Accepted/in-press). Emotional processing in children with post-traumatic stress disorder: evidence from a study of functional neuroimaging (fMRI). In Erazo Santander, O.A. (Ed.), Achievements in Applied Cognitive Neuro Sciences II, Santiago de Cali University Press, Colombia.

Fernandes, M.N. & Trejos-Castillo, E. (Accepted/in-press). A Circulação de Ideias Sobre o Menorismo nas Instituições e nas Leis do Brasil: Um Estudo em Construção. Educar Em Revista (Brazil).

Peres da Costa, R., Fernandes, M.N., & Trejos-Castillo. (2023). Repercussão Da Violência E Da Invisibilidade Social Na Privação De Liberdade De Adolescentes. In A.Volpato Craveiro & E. Palma Priotto (Eds), Violências na Atualidade: Olhares e Pespectivas, Ch. 1, pp. 23-49, Nova Praxis, Brazil. ISBN 978-65-80599-44-8.

Salehi, P., Trejos-Castillo, E., Mastrotheodoros, S., Izanloo, B., & Habibi Asgarabad, M. (2023). Dimensions of Identity Development Scale: Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Gender Invariance, and External Validity of the Persian Version. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1-16, doi.org/10.1111/jora.12860

Hadi, N., Zaru, R., Trejos-Castillo, E., & Rosales, O. (2023). Children of the Incarcerated: The Role of Parenting, School, and Social Support in Caucasian and African American Youth Outcomes. Advances in Sociology, 39, Chp 5, ISBN: 979-8-88697-196-5. Nova Publishers.

Trejos-Castillo, E., Lopoo, E.& Dwivedi, A. (2023). Humanizing Justice: Supporting Positive Development in Criminalized Youth. In J. Travis & Western, B. (Eds), Parsimony and Other Radical Ideas about Justice. The New Press, N.Y. https://thenewpress.com/books/parsimony-other-radical-ideas-about-justice

Fischer, J.L., Engler Jordan, R., Trejos-Castillo, E., & Lyness, K.P.  (2023). Sibling Training Hypothesis: Alcohol Use Behaviors Among Three Adolescent Siblings,Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly,DOI: 10.1080/07347324.2023.2167527

Darvishi, M., Habibi Asgarabad, M., Elhami Athar, M., Atef Vahid, M.K., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2022). An explanation of adolescents' delinquent behaviors based on Jessor's Problem Behavior Theory (PBT) in Iran: The role of individual vulnerability, opportunity risk availability, and perceived support. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.744794

Ramos Jaraba, S.M., Berbesí Fernández, D.Y., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2022). Basuco consumption in transgender women in three cities in Colombia-South America). Revista Addiciones (Spain). DOI: 10.20882/adicciones.1617

Dicoro, D., Carneiro e Silva, S., Trejos-Castillo, E. (2022). Patrulha Escolar Comunitária: Reflexões A partir do conceito de estado ampliado de Antonio Gramsci. Editorial UEPG.

Calderon Delgado, L., Barrera-Valencia, M. ., Noriega, I. ., Al-Khalil, K. ., Trejos-Castillo, E. ., & O´Boyle, M. . (2021). Aportes de los estudios de neuroimagen funcional a la comprensión del trauma infantil: estudio preliminar. CES Psicología, 14(3), 19–33. https://doi.org/10.21615/cesp.5437

Trejos-Castillo, E., Zaru, R., Mashburn, P., Paruolo, G., Raufu, I., & **Ceniceros, R. (2021). Immigrant Youth Influences on U.S. Youth Culture. In: Advances in Sociology Research (Jaworski, J.A., Ed.), Ch. 1, pp. 1-33, Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY. ISBN: 978-1-53619-855-3.

Colwell, M. J., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2021). Socio-emotional development in childhood and adolescence through communication: An overview. In: Communication Begins with Children-A Lifespan Communication Sourcebook, Socha, T.J. & and Punyanunt-Carter, N.M. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, New York: NY.

Noriega, I., Trejos-Castillo, E., Chae, Y., Calderon, L., Barrera, M., ***Al-Khalil, K., & O'Boyle, M. (2021) Emotional Memory Processing in PTSD Affected Colombian Youth. International Journal of Psychology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ijop.12730

Carneiro e Silva, S., Trejos-Castillo, E., & *Dal Molin, D. (2021). Controle Social E Penal De Adolescentes no Brasil E Nos EUA. Revista Sociais e Humanas, 33, 53-67. Special Issue: Children & Youth's Rights; Brazil. https://periodicos.ufsm.br/sociaisehumanas/article/view/43125

Trejos-Castillo, E., Lopoo, E.& Dwivedi, A. (2020). Learned helplessness, criminalization, and victimization in vulnerable youth. Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy. https://squareonejustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CJLJ8562-Vulnerable-Youth-Square-One-Report-201214-WEBv2.pdf

Berbesi-Fernandez, D.Y., Segura-Cardona, A., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2020). Design and Validation of a HIV Knowledge Scale for Homeless Populations (Diseño y Validación de una Escala de Conocimientos sobre HIV en Población Habitante de Calle), CES Enfermería, (17-26, December), Colombia, South America. https://revistas.ces.edu.co/index.php/enfermeria/article/view/5894/3234

Trejos-Castillo, E. & Noriega, I. (2020). Mental and Reproductive Health in Multisystem Youth: An in-depth qualitative approach. Child and Youth Services Review, 109, 104693. doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104693

Calderón-Delgado, L., Barrera-Valencia, M., Noriega, I., Al-Khalil, K., Trejos-Castillo, E., Mosi, J., Chavez, B., Galvan, M., & O'Boyle, M. (2020). Implicit Processing of Emotional Words by Colombian Children with PTSD: An fMRI investigation. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 20, 45-53. doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2019.11.002



Cross-Cultural Studies (CCS) program-Director


Positive Youth Development Lab