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Faculty & Research

Adriana Janette Umaña-Taylor

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Professor of Education

Adriana Janette Umaña-Taylor

Degree:  Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, (2001)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Vitae/CV:   Adriana Janette Umaña-Taylor.pdf
Office:  Larsen 613
Faculty Coordinator:  Colleen Laude


Adriana Umaña-Taylor is the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her work seeks to apply developmental science in a manner that reduces ethnic-racial disparities in psychological and academic adjustment and, in turn, promotes social justice. Umaña-Taylor has successfully collaborated with school districts for over 20 years to design and implement large-scale, longitudinal, school-based data collection efforts with high school students. She is Principal Investigator of multiple, longitudinal research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. She developed the Identity Project, a school-based intervention curriculum that engages adolescents in the developmental processes of ethnic-racial identity exploration and resolution. Her recent studies focus on testing the efficacy and effectiveness of the Identity Project; developing professional development programming to prepare educators to implement the Identity Project with their students; understanding how adolescents develop their ethnic and racial identities in the context of their peer relationships within the school setting; testing how the negative physiological effects of race-based stress can be reduced by intervening in adolescents' ethnic-racial identity development; and exploring the universal nature of ethnic-racial identity development as a promotive factor for adolescents in Latin American and European countries. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and handbook chapters, and her books include Below the Surface: Talking with Teens about Race, Ethnicity, and Identity (with Rivas-Drake; Princeton University Press, 2019); Studying Ethnic Identity: Methodological and Conceptual Approaches across Disciplines (co-edited with Santos; American Psychological Association, 2015); and Studying Ethnic Minority and Economically Disadvantaged Populations: Methodological Challenges and Best Practices (with Knight and Roosa; American Psychological Association, 2009). Umaña-Taylor has served as associate editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence, as a member of the Executive Council of the Society for Research on Adolescence, and on the Board of Directors for the National Council on Family Relations. Her contributions to mentorship and student training have been recognized with national awards such as the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Society for Research on Adolescence and the Marie F. Peters Award from the National Council on Family Relations. She is an inducted Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the National Council on Family Relations.

Areas of Expertise
Sponsored Projects


Innovative Family Prevention with Latino Siblings in Disadvantaged Settings (2018-2023)


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