Texas Tech University

Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Ph.D.

C.R. Hutcheson Professor | Provost Faculty Fellow
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: elizabeth.trejos@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-6080

Office: HS 506A

Provost Faculty Fellow

TTU Fulbright Liaison

STEM CORE Directors

Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2022

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 to research through my background in quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g., ethnography, case studies, in-depth interviews, focus groups) and Participatory Action Research (PAR) that seeks to build evidence-based practice for the development, extension, and improvement of prevention/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 the 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 20+ years, I have been working closely with several local communities, statewide partners, national and international collaborators (e.g., Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, 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/international research activities, 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 youth, and to serve the community and society at large.

Areas of Expertise

  • Positive Youth Development and Well-Being
  • Risk-Taking & Deviance | Externalizing-Internalizing Behaviors
  • Ethnic/Racial Minorities and Immigrant Youth
  • Cross-Cultural & Cross-National Comparative Research
  • Mixed Methods | Participatory Action Research (PAR)
  • Fluent: English, Spanish, Portuguese

Recent Publications

Ramos Jaraba, S.M., Berbesí Fernández, D.Y., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (Accepted/in-press). Consumo de Basuco en Mujeres Transgénero, de tres ciudades de Colombia (Basuco Consumption in Transgender Women in Three Cities in Colombia-South America). Revista Addiciones (Spain).

Trejos-Castillo, E., Zaru, R., Mashburn, P., Paruolo, G., Raufu, I., & Ceniceros, R. (Accepted-in press). Immigrant Youth Influences on U.S. Youth Culture. Advances in Sociology Research, Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY.

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

Trejos-Castillo, E. (2019). Technology platforms and family engagement for HIV/AIDS prevention: Addressing the needs of minority rural youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, Guest Editorial. doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.04.017      

Tovar, J., Mora, Y., Oldewage-Theron, W., Moustaid-Moussa, N., Trejos-Castillo, E., & Park, O. H. (2019). A Pilot Study for Understanding Key Factors to Create an Innovative School Nutrition Program for the Prevention of Obesity and Risky Behaviors (P16-046-19). Current developments in nutrition3(Suppl 1), nzz050.P16-046-19. https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzz050.P16-046-19

Thoen, M., Dodson, L.E., Manzo, G., Piña-Watson, B., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2019). Agency-Offered and Officer-Utilized Suicide Prevention and Wellness Programs: A National Study. Psychological Services. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ser0000355

Toro-Tobón, D., Berbesi-Fernandez, D.Y., Trejos-Castillo, E., Segura-Cardona, A., & Montoya -Vélez, L. (2019). Gender differences in risky injection practices among people who inject drugs in Colombia. Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment, 18,140–148. doi: 10.1097/ADT.0000000000000161 


Trejos-Castillo, E. (Ed.), Trevino-Schafer, N. (Ed.). (2018). Handbook of Foster Youth. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

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


Graduate Minor & Certificate in Cross-Cultural Studies

Positive Youth Development Lab