Chelsea Williams, Ph.D.

Chelsea Derlan headshot

Assistant Professor
Developmental Psychology
808 W Franklin, rm 211
williamscd13@vcu.edu
(804) 828-7462

Formerly Chelsea L. Derlan
Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Developmental Psychology  
Ph.D. (2016), Arizona State University


Website

Empower Youth Research Lab


Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding how risk and resilience factors contribute to psychological, educational, and health outcomes/disparities among Latinx, African American, and Multiracial youth, emerging adults, and families. Specifically, I am interested in ethnic-racial identity, ethnic-racial socialization, discrimination/colorism, and cultural experiences across the lifespan. I am especially passionate about extending our understanding of these processes in adolescence/emerging adulthood to earlier developmental periods (e.g., early and middle childhood) by advancing theory and measurement in innovative ways. My work centers primarily in applied settings (e.g., homes, schools, and communities), and uses advanced quantitative methods to model processes, as well as translate findings into interventions and programs.
I view collaborative team science as one of the most exciting parts of being a scientist! As the Director of the EMPOWER Youth Lab, I work collaboratively with students, staff, and community members to strengthen positive development for youth and families. As a Core Member of the Culture, Race and Health Transdisciplinary Core at the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed) at VCU, I am part of a transdisciplinary team that designs studies and interventions aimed at examining and addressing health disparities. I am also part of two centers at VCU that work in interdisciplinary teams: Affiliated Faculty at the Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention, as well as Institute Faculty at the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development.


Select Publications

Williams, C. D., Byrd, C. M., Quintana, S. M., Anicama, C., Kiang, L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Calzada, E. J., Pabón Gautier, M. C., Ejesi, K., Tuitt, N. R., Martinez-Fuentes, S., White, L., Marks, A. K., Rogers, L. O., & Whitesell, N. (in press). A lifespan model of ethnic-racial identity. Research in Human Development.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15427609.2020.1831882

Abrams, J. A., Belgrave, F. Z., Williams, C. D., & Maxwell, M. L. (in press). African American adolescent girls’ beliefs about skin tone and colorism. Journal of Black Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095798420928194

Lozada, F. T., Seaton, E. K., Williams, C. D., & Tynes, B. M. (in press). Exploration of bidirectionality in African American and Latinx adolescents' offline and online racial discrimination. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000355

Williams, C. D., Bravo, D. Y, Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Updegraff, K. A., Jahromi, L. B., Martinez-Fuentes, S. & Elias, M. J. (2020). Intergenerational transmission of cultural socialization and effects on young children’s developmental competencies among Mexican-origin families. Developmental Psychology, 56(2), 199–207. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000859

Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Jahromi, L. B, & Updegraff, K. A. (2018). Cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors: Examining mothers’ centrality, discrimination experiences, and children’s effortful control as moderators. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24(2), 162-172. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000176

Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2017). Longitudinal relations among Mexican-origin mothers’ cultural characteristics, cultural socialization, and 5-year-old children’s ethnic-racial identification. Developmental Psychology, 53(11), 2078-2091. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000386

Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Toomey, R. B., Jahromi, L. B, & Updegraff, K. A. (2016). Measuring cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors of Mexican-origin mothers with young children: A longitudinal investigation. Family Relations, 65, 477-489. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12196

Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Toomey, R. B., Updegraff, K. A., Jahromi, L. B., & Flores, L. I. (2014). Perceived discrimination and ethnic affirmation: Anglo culture orientation as a moderator among Mexican-origin adolescent mothers. Child Development, 85, 1357-1365. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12191

Brittian, A., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Derlan, C. L. (2013). An examination of biracial college youths’ family ethnic socialization, ethnic identity, and adjustment: Do self-identification labels and university context matter? Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19, 177-189. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029438


Recent Courses

  • PSYC 603: Developmental Processes, graduate level
  • PSYC 304: Lifespan Developmental Psychology, undergraduate level

Recent Grants

Are Cultural Risk and Resilience Mechanisms Predictors of Mental Health Disparities Longitudinally in Black and Latinx Elementary School-Aged Children? (PI: Derlan). National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 2019-2021.

 

Virginia Commonwealth University Guided Research Experiences & Applied Training (VCU GREAT) Program (PI: Adkins), Role: Program Faculty. Summer Research Education Experience Programs (R25) Grant, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2018-2023.

A Lifespan Conceptual Model of Ethnic-Racial Identity (PI: Calzada), Role: Collaborator. Working Group Grant, National Science Foundation, 2017-2019.

Processes that Inform Mexican Children’s Ethnic-Racial Identification over Time (PI: Derlan; 1F31HD085772-01). Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2015-2016.


Awards

  • Dissertation Award, Latino Caucus, 2017
  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, Society for Research in Child Development, 2017
  • Distinguished Student Research Award, Division 45: Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race (selected for outstanding research accomplishments and potential leadership in the field), 2016
  • Martha E. Bernal Memorial Award (selected for record of contributions and career plans in research relevant to ethnic minority populations), 2015

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