Deborah Rivas-Drake

Associate Professor, School of Education; Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Deborah  Rivas-Drake, School of Education

Deborah Rivas-Drake's research is broadly concerned with how adolescents and young adults make sense of their place in society. She draws from developmental perspectives that attend to cultural and ecological/contextual factors and examines variation in processes both within and across diverse ethnic and racial groups. Currently, one line of inquiry explores how schools, families, peers, and communities influence the development of ethnic and racial identity, and how such identities shape youths’ academic and psychological outcomes. For instance, she is interested in the ways in which parents’ efforts to socialize their children around issues of ethnicity and race (i.e., ethnic-racial socialization) intersect with youths’ own experiences outside the family context – such as when they experience discrimination in school and peer settings. Her work also examines the extent to which ethnic identity can buffer youth from the pernicious consequences of discrimination on academic and psychological outcomes. A second line of inquiry explores the contributions of contextual and individual factors in the educational attainment of Latino youth across diverse US communities.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Rivas-Drake was an assistant professor at Brown University and an National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at New York University.

She received her PhD in education and psychology from the University of Michigan.

Contexts of Academic and Social Adjustment (CASA) Lab

Rivas-Drake teaches courses in the following program(s):
Combined Program in Education and Psychology


Selected Publications

Rivas-Drake, D. (in press). Ethnic Identity and Adjustment: The Mediating Role of Sense of Community. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Neblett, E., Rivas-Drake, D., & Umaña-Taylor, A. (in press). The Promise of Racial and Ethnic Protective Factors in Promoting Ethnic Minority Youth Development. Child Development Perspectives.

O'Connor, C., Mueller, J., Lewis, R. L., Rivas-Drake, D., & Rosenberg, S. (2011). Being Black and Strategizing for Academic Excellence in a Racially Stratified Academic Hierarchy. American Educational Research Journal, 48, 1232-1257.

Rivas-Drake, D. (2011). Public Ethnic Regard and Academic Adjustment among Latino Adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(3), 537-544.

Rivas-Drake, D. (2011). Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Adjustment among Latino College Students: The Mediating Roles of Ethnic Centrality, Public Regard, and Perceived Barriers to Opportunity. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(5), 609-619.

Hughes, D., Way, N., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2011). Stability and Change in Private and Public Ethnic Regard among African American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Chinese American Urban Early Adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(4), 861-870.

Rivas-Drake, D., Hughes, D., & Way, N. (2009). Public Ethnic Regard and Perceived Socioeconomic Stratification: Associations with Well-being among Dominican and Black American Youth. Journal of Early Adolescence, 29(1), 122-141.

Hughes, D., Witherspoon, D., Rivas-Drake, D., & West-Bey, N. (2009). Received Ethnic/Racial Socialization Messages And Youth's Academic and Behavioral Outcomes: Examining the Mediating Role of Ethnic Identity and Self Esteem. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(2), 112-124.

Rivas-Drake, D. & Mooney, M. (2009). Neither Colorblind nor Oppositional: Perceived Minority Status and Trajectories of Academic Adjustment among Latinos in Elite Higher Education. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), 642-651.

Rivas-Drake, D., Hughes, D., & Way, N. (2009). A Preliminary Analysis of Associations among Ethnic-Racial Socialization, Ethnic Discrimination, and Ethnic Identity among Diverse Urban Sixth Graders. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 19(3), 558-584.

Rivas-Drake, D. (2008). Perceptions of Opportunity, Ethnic Identity, and Motivation among Latino Students at a Selective University. Journal of Latinos and Education, 7(2), 113-128.

Rivas-Drake, D. & Mooney, M. (2008). Profiles of Latino Adaptation at Elite Colleges and Universities. American Journal of Community Psychology, 42(1/2), 1-16.

Chavous, T. M., Rivas-Drake, D., Smalls, C., Griffin, T., & Cogburn, C. (2008). Gender Matters, too: The Influences of School Discrimination and Racial Identity on Academic Engagement among African American Adolescent Boys and Girls. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 637-654.

Rivas-Drake, D., Hughes, D., & Way, N. (2008). A Closer Look at Peer Discrimination, Ethnic Identity, and Psychological Well-Being among Urban Chinese American Sixth Graders. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37(1), 12-21.

Hughes, D., Rivas, D., Foust, M., Hagelskamp, C., Gersick, S. & Way, N. (2007). How to Catch a Moonbeam: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Ethnic Socialization Processes in Ethnically Diverse Families. In S. Quintana and C. McKown (Eds.), Handbook of Race, Racism, and the Developing Child (pp. 226-277). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Rivas, D. & Chavous, T. M. (2007). Understanding Achievement Motivation within the Context of Racial Stratification: Racial Identity and Academic Adjustment among African Americans. In F. Salili & R. Hoosain (Eds.), Culture, Motivation and Learning: A Multicultural Perspective (pp. 287-322). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

See also: Rivas-Drake's Google Scholar Citations page.




Room 1404
2260 East Hall


Curriculum Vitae