Laura Romo is a Professor in the Department of Education specializing in child and adolescent development. Her research has focused on the impact of the Latina mother-daughter relationship on adolescent well-being. Topics include how mother-daughter communication is associated with their dating and sexual behaviors, body image, academic achievement and aspirations. As a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar, she designed and implemented a community-based mother-daughter sexual health education program to improve communication between Latina mothers and daughters about dating and sexuality. She is currently evaluating the efficacy of a science-based curriculum created by her research team to increase Latino preschoolers’ understanding of basic health concepts. This project received funding from the National Institute of Health. At the high school level, she is implementing a theory-based science curriculum that teaches students about risk behaviors (e.g., e-cigarettes) that increase their risk for cancer in adulthood.
Professor Romo is currently the Director of the Chicano Studies Institute (CSI), a research unit at UCSB that supports faculty and graduate student research on Latino issues. She is evaluating the efficacy of grad-undergrad mentoring program for first generation Latino students that the CSI implemented to help them navigate the college experience. Her research also focuses on ways to increase the capacity of student service units on campus to better meet the needs of first generation Latino students.