Heather Rae Espinoza


Heather Rae-Espinoza, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Human Development
  • Email: hre@csulb.edu
  • Phone: (562) 985-4209
  • Office Location: LA3-200B
  • Office hours for Fall 2023: Mondays @ 12:30 pm-1:30 pm via Zoom.

Research Interests

Dr. Rae-Espinoza’s research centers on an individual’s process of interpreting their experiences and interpersonal relationships in a socio-cultural context of innovation. Her dissertation research addressed how the children psychologically adapted and socially adjusted to parental emigration. Based on three years of fieldwork in Ecuador (1998, 1999-2001, and 2003-2004) along with exploratory research in Mexico and with the Immigration Museum for New Americans, Dr. Rae-Espinoza has created a typology of children’s reactions to situations of possible distress based on cultural context, psychological needs, and social approval. Her future research will evaluate this typology further with other instances of possible distress with diverse cultural contexts.


M.A. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego


  • HDEV 180: Lifespan Human Development
  • HDEV 307: Approaches to Childhood
  • HDEV 360: Cultural Foundations for Human Development
  • HDEV 470: Seminar/Practicum