Josefina M. Grau

Josefina M. Grau

Department of Psychology
Associate Professor
Office Location:
Room 328 Kent Hall
Contact Information


Research Area: Clinical:

Does Dr. Grau plan to recruit a doctoral student for the next incoming class?

Research Interests:

My research interests include the study of parenting and family processes and their relation to social and emotional development in children. I am particularly interested in the role culture and context play on these processes, and have examined parenting and developmental processes among Latino and European-American families. My current Latino parenting work focuses on Latina adolescent parenting. This research is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and examines the individual, family, cultural, and contextual factors that influence the young mothers’ parenting and the developmental outcomes of their children.

Courses Frequently Taught:

  • Child Psychology (undergraduate)
  • Child Psychopathology (undergraduate)
  • Child Psychopathology (graduate)
  • Ethnic Minority Issues in Clinical Practice (graduate)


  • Silberman*, S. G., Grau, J. M., Castellanos*, P., Duran*, P. A., Smith*, E. N. (2020). Friend support and the parenting behavior of Latina adolescent mothers: the moderating role of maternal age. Journal of Family and Child Studies, 29, 1444-1457. 10.1007/s10826-019-01647-7
  • Hammer, A. T., Grau, J.M., Silberman, S. G., Smith, E.N. (2019). Dyadic synchrony among young Latina mothers and their toddlers: The role of maternal and child behavior. Infant Behavior and Development, 57. DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101378
  • Wood, L.E.*, Grau, J.M. (2018). Associations Between Maternal Control and Child Defiance Among Puerto Rican-Origin Adolescent Mothers and Their Toddlers: A Person-Centered Examination. Journal Of Latina/O Psychology, 6(4), 264-275. DOI: 10.1037/lat0000120 
  • Wood*, L.E. & Grau, J. M., Smith*, E., Duran*, P.A., Castellanos*, P. (2017). The influence of cultural orientation on associations between Puerto Rican adolescent mothers’ parenting and toddler compliance and defiance. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23, 300-309.  DOI: 10.1037/cdp0000109
  • Grau, J. M., Castellanos*, P., Smith*, E., Duran*, P.A., Silberman*, S.G., & Wood*, L.E. (2017). Psychological adjustment among young Puerto Rican mothers: Perceived partner support and the moderating role of latino cultural orientation.  Journal of Latino Psychology, 5, 45-60. DOI: 10.1037/lat0000064
  • Grau, J. M., Duran*, P. A., Castellanos*, P., Smith*, E. N., Silberman*, S., & Wood*, L. E. (2015). Developmental outcomes of toddlers of young Latina mothers: Cultural, family, and parenting factors. Infant Behavior and Development, 41, 113-126. Full Text
  • Smith*, E. N., Grau, J. M., Duran*, P. A., Castellanos*, P. (2013). Maternal depressive symptoms and child behavior problems among Latina adolescent mothers: The buffering effect of mother-reported partner child care involvement. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 59, 304-329. Full Text
  • Grau, J., Wilson, K., Weller*, E., Castellanos*, P., & Duran*, P. (2012). Adolescent Parenting: Risk and Protective Factors in the Context of Poverty. In V. Maholmes, & R. B. King (Eds.). The Oxford handbook of poverty and child development. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Villarruel, F., Carlo, G., Grau, J. Azmitia, M., Cabrera, N., & Chain, J. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of US Latino Psychology: Developmental and Community Based Perspectives. Thousand Oaks,Ca: Sage Publications.
  • Grau, J., Azmitia, M., & Quattlebaum*, J. (2009). Latino  Families: Parenting, relational, and developmental processes. In F. Villarruel, G. Carlo, J. Grau, M. Azmitia, N. Cabrera, & J. Chain (Eds.). Handbook of US Latino Psychology: Developmental and Community Based Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage Publications.
  • Quintana, S., Aboud, F., Chao, R., Contreras-Grau, J., Cross, W., Hudley, C., Hughes, D., Liben, L., Nelson-Le Gall, S. & Vietze, D. (2006). Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Child Development: Contemporary Research and Future Directions. Child Development, 77, 1129-1141Full Text
  • Teichman*, J. & Contreras-Grau, J. (2006). Acculturation and teaching styles among young Mainland Puerto Rican Mothers.  Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 28, 84-101.
  • Narang*, D. & Contreras, J. (2005). The role of dissociation and affective family environment in the intergenerational cycle of child abuse.  Child Abuse and Neglect, 29, 683-699. Full Text
  • López, I., & Contreras, J. (2005). The best of both worlds? Biculturality, acculturation and adjustment among young mainland Puerto Rican mothers. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36,192-208.

*denotes graduate student authors


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago (1992)


Family Functioning, Parent-Child Relationships, Socio-Emotional Development, Adolescent Parenting, Cultural Influences, Social Sciences, Psychology, Adolescent Psychology