Seth J Schwartz, Ph.D.


(305) 243-8791
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Seth J. Schwartz, Ph.D., is Professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami. He has a master’s degree in family and child sciences from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Florida International University. Dr. Schwartz’s research program focuses on identity, acculturation, culturally related stressors, and crisis-induced migration. He has 312 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and he is the senior editor of the Handbook of Identity Theory and Research and the Handbook of Acculturation and Health. He is also under contract with Oxford University Press to write a book on writing for publication. He has also been the principal investigator of six NIH-funded projects and one project funded by the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation. Dr. Schwartz is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Past President of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, Director of the Ph.D. program in prevention science and community health, and a standing member of the NIH Social Psychology, Personality, and Intergroup Process review panel. He was the Distinguished Alumnus and Tyner Eminent Lecturer at the Florida State University College of Human Sciences and was the 2019 recipient of the National Hispanic Science Network’s Excellence in Mentoring Award.


Research Projects

Hurricane Maria Survivor Study

In this study, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, we are recruiting and following Puerto Rican families who experienced Hurricane Maria and then moved to the US mainland. We are examining the effects of hurricane-related trauma and post-migration culturally related stressors on family functioning (parent involvement with adolescents, parent-adolescent communication, and family cohesion), mental health (anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress), and alcohol use among youth ages 10-20 and their parents. We will follow these families for 3 years to map their adjustment and will work with our community partners to develop recommendations for services and interventions to be created, adapted, and delivered to this highly vulnerable population. This study is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Florida, Boston College, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Cultural Stress Measurement Study

This study, funded by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, was designed to develop a new self-report measure of culturally related stress for Hispanic youth in the US. Although a number of cultural stress measures have been developed, none of these measures assesses all of the dimensions of this construct (e.g., discrimination, negative context of reception, language brokering, marginalization by other Hispanic people). Our expert panel helped us develop a set of items. We have recruited a sample of Hispanic high school students from Miami and Los Angeles, and we are administering the new measure to them. We will use factor analytic procedures to identify the items that should be retained in the measure.

Venezuelan Immigrant Study

Since Nicolás Maduro took over as president of Venezuela in 2013, more than 2 million Venezuelans have left the country. An estimated 300,000 have relocated to the United States – mostly to South and Central Florida. However, other than our own pilot work, no empirical research has focused on Venezuelan immigrant families in the US. In this study – funded by the US/Israel Binational Science Foundation – we are recruiting Venezuelan immigrant families (with adolescents ages 12-16) who arrived in the US in 2015 or later and following them longitudinally for 3 years. We are focusing on pre-migration trauma, post-migration culturally related stressors, and their effects on family functioning and on parents’ and adolescents’ mental health. Findings will be used to develop interventions and services for this new and growing population.

Puerto Rican Earthquake Study

Between December 2019 and March 2020, the southern coast of Puerto Rico experienced a series of devastating earthquakes that destroyed homes and businesses. Many affected families relocated to Central Florida. With funding from the University of Miami Institute for the Americas, we are conducting a survey study of 80 adult earthquake survivors. We are asking about exposure to Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes, mental health, reactions to COVID-19, and life after relocation. We will also conduct virtual focus groups with participants and will hold a community partner event to develop programs for this traumatized population.