Barbara J. Tinsley, Ph.D.

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  Graduate Students                                   

  Michiko Otsuki

  Fourth-year Developmental/Health Psychology student

  Educational History

  • B.A. Psychology, 2000     International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan)

  • M.A. Psychology, 2002    University of California, Riverside

  Research Interests

     The goal of my research is to identify how cultural, social, and developmental influences impact substance use among immigrant adolescents and young adults. My ambition is to continue research that will serve as an empirical base for developing effective intervention and education programs.

     During my graduate training, I have worked closely with Dr. Barbara Tinsley on a longitudinal study of familial socialization of health beliefs and behaviors among multiethnic families. For my Master’s thesis, I examined the influences of pubertal timing and parental monitoring on the anticipation of tobacco use among Mexican- and Euro-American preadolescent girls. My findings suggested distinct familial, social, and cultural processes at puberty that differentially affect susceptibility to smoking across Mexican- and Euro-American preadolescent girls.  I am currently preparing a manuscript of this study for publication (along with many others, that is).

      Most recently, with the funding from a dissertation fellowship from Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program at the University of California, I have been conducting a pilot project to examine social and cultural processes associated with Latino and Asian American college students’ cigarette smoking. Acculturation - dynamic processes by which immigrant individuals and their children adopt the values, language, and customs of the new country - has been studied as a risk factor for immigrants’ health behaviors such as smoking. However, the determinants of college smoking are largely unknown, particularly for students of Latino and Asian American descent. With this project, I am hoping to reveal the mediators and moderators of the relations between acculturation and cigarette smoking among these college populations.

  Olivia Pillado   

  Fourth-year Developmental Psychology student

  Educational History

  • B.A. Psychology, 1997    UCLA

  • B.A. Sociology, 1997      UCLA

  • M.A. Psychology, 2002   University of California, Riverside

  Research Interests

      My research interests lie in identifying familial and cultural factors that contribute to adolescent resiliency in terms of abstaining from health-related risky behaviors, more specifically risky sexual behavior.  One of my main goals is to investigate how parents can help their children engage in health-protective behaviors and to disseminate this information for caregivers' use.

      I have been fortunate to work on a federally funded longitudinal study of familial and cultural socialization of health behaviors in preadolescent children.  This longitudinal study is funded through an NICHD grant awarded to Dr. Barbara Tinsley.  Using these data for my master's thesis,  I examined the relative influences of parental monitoring and maternal communication about health topics on preadolescent anticipated substance use and sexual behavior.  One of the findings from this study is that parental monitoring, when controlling for communication about health topics, seems to be the best indicator of preadolescent anticipated risky behavior such that preadolescents who reported more parental monitoring reported less anticipated risky behavior. This manuscript is currently under preparation for publication.

      During my graduate training I have also had to fortune to work closely with Dr. Nancy Guerra at the Southern California Center of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention.  As a research fellow for the center from 2001-2003 I've worked on various projects including compiling a resource guide of social development measures, organizing and presenting at a Summer Institute on Youth Violence Prevention (sponsored by the Center), and co-authoring a book chapter on ethnic identity and youth violence.

  John Pugliese Jr.

  First-year Developmental/Health Psychology student

  Educational History

  • B.A. Psychology, 2003   California State University, Fullerton

  Awards and Honors

  • Graduate Dean's Fellow, University of California, Riverside

  • Ed Stearns Exemplary Statistics and Research Design Award, California State University, Fullerton

  • Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, Member

  Research Interests

     My research interests focus on illuminating familial and cultural factors that contribute to adolescent self-regulation of health-promoting behaviors, specifically physical activity.  In particular, I am interested in family level participation, the quality and quantity of these interactions, and children's perceptions of autonomy and competence.  Moreover, I seek to explicate these processes under a motivational framework, and discern how parental practices influence children's intrinsic and extrinsic orientations toward physical activity.

  Angela Zamora

  First-year Developmental Psychology student

  Educational History

  • B.A. Psychology, 2001  UCLA

  • M.A. General-Experimental Psychology, 2003  California State University, Northridge

  Awards and Honors

  • Graduate Dean’s Fellow, University of California, Riverside

  • Fellow from the Bridges to a Ph.D. Program, 2001-2003, National Institute of Health

  • San Fernando Valley Psychology Graduate Award, 2003

  Research Interest

Child Development
Adolescent Health
Minority Adolescent/Child
Health Education
Parent-Adolescent Interaction
Family Communication

     Research interests include adolescents’ knowledge of, attitude towards, and engagement in health risk behaviors. Previously, I studied effective methods of teaching STD education to middle school-aged children. I am currently interested in the nature and influence of parent-child communication on girls’ sexual attitudes and behavior. Specifically, I am interested in exploring the mechanisms contributing to lower levels of Latina adolescent girls’ responsivity to their mothers’ questions, compared to non-Latino white girls. I plan to investigate the variability in verbal and nonverbal communication, and patterns of communication modalities in mother-daughter conversations about sexuality.


Zamora, A., & Nadel, N.  (2001, May).  Adolescents’ reactions to their mothers’ questions about sexuality.  Paper presented at UCLA’s Annual Undergraduate Conference; Los Angeles, CA.

Zamora, A., Romo, L. F., Lizaola, E., & Sigman, M.  (2002, April).  Maternal questions in Latino and Euro-American mother-adolescent conversations about sexuality.  Poster presented at Western Psychology Association Conference; Irvine, CA.

Zamora, A., Romo, L. F., Bishop, N. H., & Ulpindo, C.  (2002, November).  Educating seventh grade students about STDs using a biological approach.  Poster presented at California State University’s Student Research Symposium; Northridge, CA

Zamora, A., Romo, L. F., Bishop, N. H., & Ulpindo, C.  (2003, April).  Teaching adolescents about STD transmission from a biological perspective.  Poster presented at Society for Research in Child Development Conference; Tampa, FL.