Psychology Graduate Students

Betsy Aracely Paredes Centeno

Research Interests

Latine/x populations, adolescents, discrimination, race/ethnicity, educational outcomes, psychological well-being, health, intersectionality, liberation psychology, youth participatory action research (yPAR)

Biography, Education and Training

I'm a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology at UCSC. I work with Dr. Saskias Casanova's in the Migration, Identity, and Education Lab! I seek to conduct social justice-orientated research and community-engaged research with marginalized groups. Specifically, I am interested in issues related to Latine/x populations that promote education, psychological well-being, and overall health. I am Central American, hijx of immigrants, and a first-generation college student born and raised in the Bay Area. I double-majored in Psychology and Latino/a Studies at San Francisco State University, where I also pursued a M.A. in Psychology with a graduate certificate in Ethnic Studies. Thus, my worldview and my research are informed by interdisciplinary perspectives and critical theories and practices. 

Honors, Awards and Grants

Cornelius Hopper Diversity Supplement Award (2021-2022) from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), Project title: Colorism and tobacco use among racial/ethnic minority adolescents (T31IP1855)

CSU Pre-Doctoral Sally Casanova Scholar (2021-2022)

Selected Publications


Centeno, B., Bayazitli, I., Purnell, S., Bravo, D. Y., & Mello, Z. R. (2023). Colorism unveiled: Examining how skin color discrimination is associated with academic achievement, mental health, and substance use among Latinx adolescents. Research in Human Development. 


Moon, J., Centeno, B., De Leon, J., & Mello, Z. R. (2023). Brief Report: Revealing the nuance: Examining approaches for research with adolescents who identify with multiple racial/ethnic groups. Journal of Adolescence, 1–10. 

Selected Presentations

Centeno, B., Bayazıtlı, I., Bravo, D. Y., Reyes, D. G., Argueta Rodriguez, J. C., Cabilogan, J. N., Moon, J., Purnell S. E., & Mello, Z. R. (2023, October 13–15). Coloring schools and communities: The association between colorism, academic achievement, mental health, and substance use among Latinx adolescents. The developmental significance of skin color. [Symposium]. The 13th Biennial Conference of the Society for the Study of Human Development, Philadelphia, PA.


Centeno, B., Moon, J., Bayazitli, I., & Mello, Z. R. (2022, October 20–22). A qualitative approach to understanding perceived discrimination based on immigration among adolescents. [Poster presentation]. National Latinx Psychological Association Conference, Denver, Colorado.