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Dr. Sabrina Mendez-Escobar Successfully Defends Dissertation

On behalf of the joint Erikson-Loyola Doctoral Program in Child Development, please join committee Chair Dr. Tonya Bibbs and the entire community in congratulating Dr. Sabrina Mendez-Escobar for successfully defending, with distinction, her doctoral dissertation titled “Ethnic-Racial Socialization Practices of Dominican Mothers with their Young Children: Understanding Practices with a Sociohistorical Context Framework” to a full room of colleagues, family, and friends.

Throughout Dr. Mendez-Escobar’s presentation, she shared her thinking with the audience and showed them how she integrated the Dominican Republic’s social-historical context with developmental theories as they are expressed in everyday caregiving practices. She elaborated on the developmental contributions of her study in her responses to questions from her committee and audience. The committee and audience questions provoked an interesting discussion about the role of Spanish language use in ethnic-racial socialization. Is Spanish language use a primary driver? How does the use of Spanish language shift across geographies and become embedded in identities?  Dr. Mendez-Escobar received a grant to complete the quantitative portion of her study, which will extend her findings further.

Dr. Mendez-Escobar’s defense was distinct in the following ways. She demonstrated excellent positionality throughout her project. She thoughtfully integrated her lived experience as a Dominican woman, with her critical curiosity of and empathy for her participants, all while maintaining a strong connection to the literature and theory framing her project. Dr. Mendez-Escobar designed a dissertation that built upon and innovated the typical research approach to studying ethnic racial socialization. This approach, along with her rigorous construction of research protocol yielded high-quality data. Finally, Dr. Mendez-Escobar linked her findings to vital and understudied developmental and clinical concerns.

We are proud of her tremendous accomplishment and look forward to celebrating her at graduation.

Dr. Sabrina Mendez-Escobar

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