Departments & Divisions
Institutes & Centers
Currently seeking M.S. & Ph.D. students
Luz M Garcini, PhD, MPH
Luz Maria Garcini, Ph.D., MPH, is a nonresident scholar at the Center for the United States and Mexico and an Assistant Professor at the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) at UT Health San Antonio's Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine. Broadly, Garcini’s research focuses on the study of trauma, loss and grief among Latino immigrants. The primary goal of her research is to inform policy and best practices among providers, as well as to develop and disseminate interventions for individuals and families facing adversity. Her current work with Projecto Voces, which involves both community outreach and research, has generated scientific evidence to document and address the complex health needs of undocumented Mexican immigrants and deportees.
- 2016 - PhD - Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology - San Diego State University, University of California San Diego (Joint Doctoral Program)
- 2015 - MPH - Epidemiology - San Diego State University
- 2012 - MS - Clinical Psychology - San Diego State University, University of California San Diego
- 2008 - MA - Clinical Psychology - University of Houston-Clear Lake
- 2003 - BA - Psychology - University of Houston
- 2019 - Post-Doctoral Fellow - Latino Health and Health Disparities - Rice University
Dr. Garcini’s research informs social justice. She has presented at national & international conferences and received widespread media coverage through Univision, Telemundo, CBS, U.S. News and World Report, MSN, and Global News Report. Dr. Garcini’s research has been recognized by numerous awards including 3 Ford Foundation Fellowships, the American Psychological Foundation, and a K01 from the NIH NHLBI. Through service and mentoring, she supports diversity in health and social sciences.
- 2019 - Assistant Professor - University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio
- 2018 - Faculty Scholar - Rice University, Center for the United States and Mexico, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University
Instruction & Training
- 2020, Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychology. Lecture title: “Translational Science to Inform and Meet the Health Needs of Hidden and Hard-to-Reach Populations.”, Harvard University
- 2020, Webinar developer and instructor: "Address the Needs of Underserved Latinx Immigrants in Primary Care: Building Competencies and Ethical Considerations.", UT Health San Antonio
- 2020, Webinar Collaborator and Instructor: Developing Psychotherapy Strategies to Foster Resilience & Resist Trauma among Immigrant Communities," , American Psychological Association
- 2020, Workshop Developer and Instructor: "One Scar Too Many: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Undocumented Immigrants in the Face of Trauma.", New Jersey Psychological Association
- 2020, Workshop Developer and Instructor: "Mental Health Impact of Separation, Detention, and Deportation on Immigrant Families: Building Competencies and Creating Safe Spaces.", Los Angeles County Mental Health Department
- 2019, Practicum Preceptor/Instructor, UTHealth School of Public Health in San Antonio
- 2019, Invited Lecturer, Psychological Sciences. Lecture title: “Addressing the Health Needs of Hidden and Hard-to-Reach Latino Populations: Relevance, Context, and Approach” , Rice University
- 2018, Teaching Assistant, PSYC 546 Psychoneuroimmunology, Rice University
- 2018, Invited Lecturer, Department of Psychology. Lecture title: “Trauma, Loss, & Grief: Contextualizing the Health of Undocumented immigrants.” , University of North Texas
- 2018, Workshop Developer and Instructor: "Protecting the Wellbeing of those Providing Assistance to Immigrants and Families Facing Deportation.", United We Dream Deportation Defense
- 2018, Workshop Developer and Instructor: "Enhancing the Quality of Research to Address the Needs of Undocumented Latino Immigrants: Overcoming Challenges, Recommendations, and Funding, National Latino Psychological Association
Research & Grants
Dr. Garcini’s research uses of innovative methodology to identify, understand, and address the health needs of underserved populations. Her current work Projecto Voces is a combination of community efforts and research studies aimed to generate scientific evidence to document and address the complex health needs of the underserved Latinxs. Her current research is funded by the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute (NHLBI) & National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Faculty Diversity in Biomedical Research (K01) as well as the American
Psychological Foundation - Visionary Grant.
- Projecto Corazon; a biobehavioral approach to cardiovascular disparities among bereaved Latinxs and non-Latinx whites
- Latinx Immigrants: Risk and Resilience
- Proyecto Voces: Identifying the mental health needs of Latinxs in South Texas amid the COVID-19 pandemic
- Proyecto Voces: Barriers, Attitudes And Willingness to Engage In Testing And Preventive Measures For Covid-19 Among Latinxs
2021 - Present: Co-Chair American Psychological Association (APA) Council Diversity Work Group, Diversity Training and Culture Change Subcommittee
2021 - Present: COR Representative, National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA) Council of Representatives
2018 - Present: Diversity Council/Chair, APA Society for Health Psychology
2018 - 2020: Co-Chair, NLPA Undocumented Immigrant Collaborative Special Interest Group
Fostering Resilience of DACA Recipients and Mixed-Status Families: Strategies for Building Support Groups in the Face of Adversity. [Resource Sheet]
Good News for Young Adults: Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health. [Webinar]
En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas, Pero … En La Unión Está La Fuerza: Family Communication. [Resource sheet]
- Effectiveness of Respondent-Driven Sampling for Conducting Health Studies Among Undocumented Immigrants....
- Protective Factors to the Wellbeing of Undocumented Latinx Immigrants in the United States: A Socio-Ecological Approach
- Exposure to ethnic discrimination in social media and symptoms of anxiety and depression among Hispanic emerging adults....
- A Tale of Two Crises: The Compounded Effect of COVID-19 and Anti-Immigration Policy in the United States
- Dying in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Contextual Considerations and Clinical Recommendations
- Alcohol use severity among Hispanic emerging adults: Examining the roles of bicultural self-efficacy and acculturation
- Relationship Satisfaction Determines the Association between Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) Latency and Somatic Symptoms after....
- Attachment Orientations and Loss Adjustment Among Bereaved Spouses
- Abrazame Que Ayuda [Hug Me, It Helps]: Social Support and the Effect of Perceived Discrimination on Depression....
- Spousal Bereavement among Latinxs: A systematic review of methodology and findings
- “Miles over mind:” Transnational death and its association with psychological distress among undocumented Mexican immigrants
- A high price paid:” Association of migration-related loss and psychological distress among undocumented Mexican immigrants
- Grief, depressive symptoms, and inflammation in the spousally bereaved
- Bereavement, self-reported sleep disturbances, and inflammation: Results from Project HEART
- Psychological and biological pathways linking perceived neighborhood characteristics and Body Mass Index
- Kicks hurt less: Discrimination predicts distress beyond trauma among undocumented Mexican immigrants.
- Pathways linking racial/ethnic discrimination and sleep among U.S-born and foreign-born Latinos
- Low childhood SES and telomere length in adulthood: The role of attachment orientations.
- One scar, too many:” The association of traumatic events and psychological distress among undocumented Mexican Immigrants
- Racial disparities in breast cancer incidence, risk factors, healthcare utilization, and outcomes in the United States
- Mental disorders among undocumented Mexican immigrants in high-risk neighborhoods: Prevalence, comorbidity, and vulnerabilities
- DREAMers Living in the United States: A Contextual Perspective and Clinical Implications
- Traumatic events and symptoms among Mexican deportees in a border community
- Health related quality of life among Mexican-origin Latinos varying in immigration legal status
- Mental health of undocumented immigrant adults in the United States: A systematic review of methodology and findings
- Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Awareness and Acceptability Among U.S.-Born and U.S. Foreign-Born Women Living in California
- Predictors of routine medical care use among Mexican Immigrants/Mexican-Americans varying in legal status
- Assessment on the use of the Suinn-Lew Asian Self Identity Acculturation Scale in health studies of Asian immigrant populations
- Latinos and Political Advocacy for Cancer Control in a United States-Mexico Border Community
- The link between border crossing and obesity
- Awareness and knowledge of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) among ethnically diverse women varying in generation status
- Assessing acculturation over time: A four-year prospective study of Asian-American young adult
- Focus group discussions in community-based participatory research to inform the development of a Human papillomavirus (HPV)....
- Affective and motivational predictors of perceived meaning in life among college students
- The study of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake from a parental perspective: A systematic review of observational studies
- Predictors of current mental health service use in a general medical population
- Type D personality and chronic pain: Construct and concurrent validity of the DS14
Hughes, D.C., Marín, J., Ortiz, A., Garcini, L.M., Lapetoda, A., Darby, N., Serra, M., Zamora, C., Kilpela, L., Patel, D., Cuevas, B., Long-Parma, D., Munoz, E., & Ramirez, A.G. (in press). A Feasibility Pilot Study using Reversal Theory States to Test Holistic Interventions to Maximize Cancer Survivors’ Quality of Life. Journal of Emotion, Motivation and Personality. In Press.
Garcini, L.M., Brown, R.L., Ziauddin, K., Chen, M.A., Saucedo, L., Morales, P., Fagundes, C.P., & Tsevat, J. (in press). Chronic Pain and Psychological Distress among Undocumented Latinx Immigrants. Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Garcini, L.M., Stowe, Raymond P., Chirinos, D.A., Murdock, K.W., LeRoy, A.S., Chen, M., Zhang, J., & Fagundes, C. (2019). Church attendance and cellular immune function among bereaved and non-bereaved adults. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 11(3), 319-325. doi:10.1037/rel0000222.
Garcini L.M., & La Roche, M. J. (in press). An undocumented Journey in Search of a heart. In M. Feu & A. Venta (Eds.). Detained voices.
La Roche, M. J., & Garcini, L. M. (in press). Individual differences in acculturation. In B. J. Carducci (Editor-in-Chief) & J.S. Riggio (Vol. Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences: Vol. IV. Clinical, applied, and cross-cultural research. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Garcini, L.M., Murray, K., Barnack-Tavlaris, J., & Klonoff, E. (2015). Cultural Concerns. In F. Andrasik, J. Goodie, & A. Peterson (Eds.), Biopsychosocial Assessment in Clinical Health Psychology: A Handbook (pp. 369-389). New York, NY: Guildford Press
Development, implementation, and cultural adaptation of health interventions for underserved Latinxs. Areas of specialization include trauma, loss and grief; mental health; promotion of health behaviors; and overall wellbeing.
- Why depression and anxiety are prevalent during COVID-19
- Why mental healthcare is not a safe space for undocumented immigrants
- Research shows a mental health crises for immigrants
- Violence against women crossing the border
- Diez herramientas para cuidar tu salud en la era post-DACA
- Trauma greets many illegal immigrants in the U.S
- Study finds massive trauma among undocumented immigrants
- El 82% de Mexicanos que habitan la frontera sufren traumas severos