Chelsea Williams, Ph.D.

Chelsea Derlan headshot

Assistant Professor
Developmental Psychology
808 W Franklin, rm 211
(804) 828-7462

Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Developmental Psychology
PhD (2016), Arizona State University


Empower Youth Research Lab

Research Interests

Broadly, my work examines how risk factors (e.g., discrimination) and resilience factors (e.g., cultural socialization) inform ethnic-racial minority youths’ positive psychological, academic, and health outcomes. Guided by cultural ecological models, I consider the role of family, school, and other key contexts. My research is focused in two main areas: (a) assessing what young children understand and feel about their culture (i.e., ethnic-racial identification), and how this plays a role in development, and (b) examining the interplay between individual and contextual factors as they inform adolescents’ ethnic-racial identity and adjustment.

Select Publications

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. doi: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. doi:10.1037/dev0000386
Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2016). Mothers' characteristics as predictors of adolescents' ethnic-racial identity: An examination of Mexican-origin teen mothers. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 22, 453-459. doi:10.1037/cdp0000072
Derlan, C. L., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2015). Brief report: Contextual predictors of African American adolescents’ ethnic-racial identity affirmation-belonging and resistance to peer pressure. Journal of Adolescence, 41, 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.02.002
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.doi:10.1111/cdev.12191

Recent Courses

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

Recent Grants

Processes That Inform Mexican Children’s Ethnic-Racial Identification Over Time. Principal Investigator. 2015-2016. Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, 1F31HD085772-01. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, $36,924.


  • 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

News Features