Arlenis A Santana, PhD
VCU Department of Psychology
Dr. Arlenis Santana (she/her/ella) is a Senior Research Coordinator & Analyst in the EMPOWER Youth Lab. She recently graduated with her PhD in developmental psychology in May 2023. Her research interests include examining risk, resilience, and cultural characteristics in Latine and Black families, with a focus on children and parents' mental health outcomes. Her dissertation focused on understanding how risk factors (i.e., discrimination and ACEs) and cultural characteristics (i.e., ethnic-racial identity) underlie the process of racial socialization, and in turn, youth and caregivers’ mental health. Arlenis is currently on the job market. She is dedicated to uplifting strengths in Latine and Black communities through her work. Arlenis is also passionate about mentoring undergraduate students with underrepresented backgrounds and introducing them to everything about research! Outside of the lab, Arlenis enjoys introducing her son Nico to new activities, acquiring new hobbies and skills, and catching up on her favorite Netflix shows.