The Catholic University of America

Sandra Barrueco, Ph.D.

IPR Fellow
Email: barrueco[at]
Phone: (202) 319-5758
Department: Department of Psychology

An Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Dr. Barrueco's main research goals are to improve the prevention of, and early intervention in, developmental and mental health disorders, particularly among young (0-8), at-risk children. Thus, in her research she endeavors to incorporate three foci:

1) to advance the theoretical and research knowledge base pertaining to developmental and clinical processes among language and ethnic minority groups,

2) to improve the early identification of at-risk children and families through advancements in assessment methodology, and

3) to examine and develop interventions that prevent or mitigate developmental psychopathology. Much of her work in these areas has focused on early bilingual, socioemotional, and acculturative processes within the Latino community.

Currently, Dr. Barrueco is engaged in four distinct programs of research:

1) Together with her co-workers, she is collaborating with Head Start programs in NC and FL, in order to implement a language and literacy intervention program (called Even Start) with migrant farmworkers. This study examines: a) the impact of an early prevention/intervention program on the development of migrant preschoolers and families, b) language, literacy, and socioemotional development within migrant families, and c) the appropriateness, strength, and feasibility of several methods of assessing migrant children and parents. This program is supported by funds from the Department of Education.

2) Dr. Barrueco and her co-workers were recently awarded a federal ACF contract to design a national study of migrant and seasonal farm working families engaged in Head Start. The result of this project will be a comprehensive, multi-method research design that can gather data that describes program variations, strengths and gaps in Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services, and the lives of migrant and seasonal families and children served by the programs through observations, interviews, surveys, and direct assessments of children.

3) Using ECLS-B data, they are examining mental health and developmental processes in a nationally-representative sample of young immigrant families surveyed between infancy and school entry.

4) Finally, Dr. Barrueco & co-workers are engaged in a national psychometric analysis of measures used to assess young English language learning children.