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How do cultural and social contexts like immigration influence youth development? How do adolescents navigate competing cultural contexts (e.g., home, school, peers) as they form their identities? How can every day social settings such as schools and peer groups promote positive development among at-risk youth? My students and I are interested in exploring person-context interactions such as these, particularly within vulnerable populations. Vulnerability can come in many forms – through poverty, discrimination from being a “minority” group member, or through legal status as an undocumented immigrant, for example. Learning about how children and adolescents from vulnerable groups thrive (or don’t thrive) is a central goal of our research. Because many of our research questions are process and context oriented in nature, our lab draws from a variety of mixed qualitative-quantitative methodological techniques. We also rely heavily on positive youth development and resiliency perspectives to inform our work. Graduate students in my lab have recently applied these methodological and theoretical orientations to thesis topics including: a meta-analysis of the effects of school-based discrimination on children and adolescents; capturing relational stress among undocumented and mixed legal status families; mixed-methods approaches to understanding risk and resiliency among urban youth with trauma; and a person-centered exploration of social and emotional stress among immigrant children in school.

She, her, hers



Research Interests

Developmental Psychology (Social & Emotional), At-risk Youth, Culture & Immigration, Identity & Mixed Methods.

Publications & Presentations


  • Marks, A.K., & Garcia Coll, C. (2018). Education and developmental competencies of ethnic minority children: Recent theoretical and methodologicaladvances. Developmental Review, 50, 90-98.

  • Suarez-Orozco, C., Motti-Stefanidi, F., Marks, A.K., & Katsiaficas, D. (2018). An integrative risk and resilience model for understanding the development and adaptation of immigrant origin children and youth. American Psychologist, 73(6), 781-796. DOI: 10.1037/amp0000265

  • Marks, A. K., a McKenna, J., & Garcia Coll, C. (2018). National receiving contexts: A critical aspect of native-born, immigrant, and refugee youth well-being. European Psychologist, 23(1), 6-20. DOI: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000311

  • Pieloch, K. A., McCullough, M. B., & Marks, A. K. (2016). Resilience of children with refugee statuses: A research review. Canadian Psychology. 57(4), 330-339. DOI: 10.1037/cap0000073

  • Pieloch, K. A., Marks, A. K., & Garcia Coll, C. (2016). A person-centered exploration of children of immigrants’ social experiences and their school-based well-being. Applied Developmental Science. DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2016.1225500

  • Suarez-Orozco, C., & Marks, A. K. (2016). Immigrant students in the U.S.: Addressing their possibilities and challenges. In J. Banks, M. Suarez-Orozco, & M. Ben Perez (Eds.), Global Migration, Diversity, & Civic Education. (pp. 107-131) New York: Teacher’s College Press.

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