Sandra P. Arévalo

Sandra P. Arévalo, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Human Development
  • Email:
  • Phone: (562) 985-5290
  • Office location: LA3-200G
  • Office hours for Spring 2024: Not teaching.


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (2016-2018) University of Southern California (Minority Aging)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (2014-2016) University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Nutritional Epidemiology)
  • PhD. (2013) Northeastern University, Sociology (emphasis in Health Sociology and Urban Sociology)
  • M.A. (2005) Northeastern University, Sociology
  • B.A. (2000) University of Massachusetts, Boston; and Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, Psychology

Research Interests

My research program has a bio-psycho-social approach. I combine theory, data, and methods from the social, behavioral, and biological sciences to understanding human development, behavior and health; and the interrelationships between social stratification, and the health and well-being of disadvantaged population groups across the life course.

I am currently working on two main projects. The first project, with older Latino adults, is two-fold: (1) to identify the social conditions and contexts across the life course (e.g., type of work, immigrant history, and stress exposure) associated with cognitive decline; and (2) to identify biological pathways (e.g., allostatic load, metabolic dysregulation, dietary deficiencies, sleep) linking social conditions/contexts with cognitive health. My second project seeks to identify the effects of adverse experiences and traumatic events, experienced across the life course, on the physical and mental health of disadvantaged groups (e.g., im-migrants in low socioeconomic positions, and racial/ethnic minority groups).

Guided by the theoretical frameworks and research methods I have learnt during my undergraduate and graduate training in psychology and sociology, and my postdoctoral training in nutritional epidemiology and minority aging; I conduct my research using various methods including latent variable modeling and growth curve trajectories to examine interrelations, and to identify bio-psycho-social pathways leading to deteriorations in physical and mental health.


  • HDEV 180: Lifespan Human Development 
  • HDEV 303/RSCH 207: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health Disparities 
  • HDEV 307: Approaches to Childhood through Adolescence 
  • HDEV 320: Research Methods in Human Development 

Recent Publications

  • Arévalo SP, Kress J, Rodriguez FS.2020, April. Validity of Cognitive Assessment Tools for Older Adult Hispanics: A Systematic Review. J Am Geriatr Soc. 68(4):882-888. PubMed PMID: 31886524.
  • Garcia, MA, Ortiz, K., Arévalo, SP, Briceño, E. Diminich, ED, Tarraf, W., Vega, IE. Forthcoming.  Age of Migration and Cognitive Functioning among Older Latinos in the United States. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Ortiz, K. Garcia, MA,  Briceño, E. Diminich, ED Arévalo, SP, Vega, IE Tarraf, W. Forthcoming. Glycosylated hemoglobin level, race/ethnicity, and  cognition in mid-life and early old age. Research in Human Development, special issue “Modeling Cognitive Aging in Human Development.” NIHMS1587905.
  • Please visit my NIH Bibliography or click here for a complete list of published work.