Karen Sirota

Karen Sirota, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.Karen Sirota

Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Sirota’s research examines the social and cultural dimensions of health and mental health. She employs ethnographic research and discourse and narrative analysis to learn how psycho-cultural processes are transacted in everyday life and to explore how family life contributes to children’s understandings and experiences of illness, disability, and wellbeing. Dr. Sirota’s research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, Discourse and Society, Discourse Studies, Ethos, Social Development, and Text & Talk. In addition, she is a licensed clinical social worker who has over 30 years of clinical experience working with children, youth, and families in community-based mental health settings.


  • M. A. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.S.W. (1980) in Social Work from the New York University
  • Teaching Certification (1975) in Education from the University of California, Berkeley
  • B.A. (1974) in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley


  • HDEV 327: Approaches to Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
  • HDEV 357: Approaches to Adulthood Through Aging
  • HDEV 360: Cultural Foundations for Human Development
  • HDEV 403: The Acquisition of Culture: Socialization in Cross-cultural Perspective
  • HDEV 470: Seminar/Practicum