Penn GSE CMSI

Lucia Alcalá

Lucia Alcalá is an assistant professor of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton. She received her BA in Psychology from the California State University, Northridge and her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lucia recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States to study Mayan mothers’ views and expectations on children’s development (parental ethnotheories) and their relation to children’s learning processes in the Yucatan Peninsula, México. Prior to her postdoc fellowship, Lucia was a visiting professor at the Universidad Intercultural Maya de Quintana Roo, where she worked with Mayan students from an intercultural education framework in which community practices and knowledge are integral parts of the academic program. Lucia has conducted research in the Mayan communities of Yucatan and other indigenous communities in Guadalajara, México, and California. Her research explores the cultural variation of children's cognitive and social development exploring the role of children’s contributions to family household work and community work in their approaches to learning—in other words, looking at why children in some communities help and why in some communities they don’t want to help. Lucia is currently collaborating with colleges in Guadalajara in a cross-cultural study looking at the recent arrival of Mayan immigrant families to Southern California and exploring how challenges and adjustments in family experience influence children’s development.