The CASA Lab at the University of Michigan examines school, family, and peer contexts of development – from early adolescence through young adulthood – among diverse youth. We are particularly interested in the role of three ethnic, racial, and cultural processes in the academic and socioemotional outcomes of diverse youth:

New Book: Below the Surface: Talking with Teens about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity by Drs. Deborah Rivas-Drake and Adriana Umaña-Taylor

Identity: We are interested in how youth make sense of their ethnic/racial identity how they learn about it at home with their families and at school with their friends – as well as how it changes over time. We also examine how ethnic/racial identity is linked to academic and social outcomes across adolescence and young adulthood.

Socialization: We examine how families, schools, and peers are settings in which youth are taught explicitly and implicitly about race and ethnicity and how such teachings can support positive youth development in adolescence and young adulthood. We also examine how parents and adolescents come to adopt similar or different cultural values over time.

Discrimination: Many of us are interested in youths’ experiences of explicit discrimination or social exclusion due to their ethnicity/race – primarily to identify factors that protect youth from negative academic and mental health outcomes when they have such experiences.

Check out Dr. Rivas-Drake’s blog at Psychology Today: American Me, American We


UM Community Talk | Dr. Deborah Rivas-Drake

Getting Below the Surface: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Youth