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Julia Perilla

Acad Professional    

Ph.D., Georgia State University 1995


Domestic violence, culture and ethnicity, stress in the Latino population


My involvement with the community began many years before I started graduate training. As a result, my research and clinical practice have always been closely tied to applied issues: domestic violence, homelessness, Latino immigrant families, and the effects of exposure to natural and human-caused disasters. As a clinical community psychologist, my work uses a human rights and social justice framework and I am aware of the possibilities and challenges of our field in addressing immediate and urgent social issues. I believe that students’ college and graduate school training can be enhanced greatly by working directly in community settings. As a teacher, researcher, and clinician, I am committed to helping interested students find the means to become connected to such settings in ways that will be beneficial to themselves, the people with whom they work, and our field in general. To this end, I offer two research and applied practicum experiences for students:

Caminar Latino (Latino Journey). Since 1990, this comprehensive, community-based intervention project for Latino families affected by domestic violence has served as a research and training site for students from psychology and other academic fields from GSU and other Atlanta area universities. Students have the opportunity of working as group co-facilitators with children who have witnessed violence in their home. Research studies conducted at Caminar Latino include (a) a preliminary evaluation of the adult components of this project (with Dr. Roger Bakeman); (b) an exploration of parenting stress and parenting competence among Latino fathers who have used violence against their families; (c) gender congruence/incongruence in reporting male-to-female intimate partner violence in Latino couples; (d) a current comprehensive evaluation of the program that my research team is conducting; (e) a current study with Latina survivors who remain with their partner; and (e) several participatory action research studies that the youth of Caminar Latino have conducted regarding the dynamics and effects of witnessing and/or experiencing violence. (Funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Health and Human Services, Casa de Esperanza National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, and Georgia State University).

Summer Migrant Practicum in South Georgia. Beginning in 2000, students in the Department of Psychology have had the opportunity to participate in a unique summer experience with migrant farm worker families in South Georgia. The GSU Department of Psychology is part of a collaborative partnership between GSU, Emory University, and other universities in Georgia. This practicum (which I supervise with Dr. Chris Henrich from GSU) is designed to expose students to rural families, state and federal agencies serving farm workers, and collaborative initiatives between academia and the community and among different disciplines (Nursing, Psychology, Physical Therapy, Dental Hygiene, etc.). Graduate students from the Clinical, Clinical Community, Community and Developmental psychology programs have the opportunity of working for one week with migrant youth (ages 3-18) attending the summer program. In addition to this applied work, at the request of the Migrant Health Clinic in Ellenton, Georgia, our research team has begun to conduct studies that examine the physical, psychological, and sexual health of migrant farm workers in this state. (Funding from Georgia State University Department of Psychology and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies).

I currently serve as the director of the National Latin@ Research Center on Family and Social Change at GSU, a project Casa de Esperanza’s National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities. The purpose of the Center is to increase academic and practitioners’ knowledge base about Latinos and the multidimensional issue of domestic violence and to support the creation, support, and mentoring of new generations of Latino and Latina researchers. (Funding from Casa de Esperanza, Inc.).

I have also been involved in collaborations with Drs. Gabe Kuperminc and Greg Jurkovic (Psychology) and Arthur Murphy (Anthropology – now at UNC Greensboro), José de Jesús Gutiérrez Rodríguez, and Francisco Gutiérrez Rodríguez (Psychology – Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico). Our research with Latino high school students explores the manner in which filial responsibility, school climate, peer relations, and family demographics affect academic outcomes and psychological adjustment within the context of the Latino immigration experience. With this research group, I served as consultant and/or investigator in studies funded by The Russell Sage Foundation, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and Georgia State University.

With Drs. Fran Norris (now at the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research), Arthur Murphy, and other colleagues from the United States and Mexico, we conducted a multi-wave, 4-site epidemiological study of community health in Mexico. In addition, we carried out several studies on the impact of disasters on psychological function in diverse populations. We were especially interested in exploring the manner in which cultural and ethnic variables affect disaster recovery processes. Funding for these studies, in which I served as investigator, was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health.


Perilla, J. L., Lippy, C. A., Rosales, A. & Serrata, J. V. (in press). Domestic violence prevalence: Philosophical, methodological, and cultural considerations. In J White & M. Koss (Eds.) Violence Against Women and Children: Consensus, Critical Analyses, and Emergent Priorities. Volume 1, Mapping the Terrain. Washington, DC: APA.

Perilla, J. L., Serrata, J. V, Weinberg, J., & Lippy, C. A. (in press). Integrating women’s voices and theory: A comprehensive domestic violence intervention for Latinas. Women & Therapy, special issue.

Jones, E.C., Murphy, A. D., Perilla, J. L., Norris, F. H., & Pérez-Vargas, I. (2010). Data quality in a multi-sited, cross-sectional and panel studies. Field Methods.

Perilla, J. L., Lavizzo, E., & Ibañez, G. (2007). Towards a Community Psychology of Liberation: A Domestic Violence Intervention as a Tool for Social Change. In E. Aldarondo (Ed.) Promoting Social Justice Through Mental Health Practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Murphy, A., Perilla, J. L. & Jones, E. (2006). Conducting research in other countries. In F. Norris, N., S. Galea, M. Friedman, & P. Watson (Eds.). Research Methods for Studying Mental Health after Disasters and Terrorism. New York: Guilford Press.

Ibañez, G. E., Kuperminc, G. P., Jurkovic, G, & Perilla, J. L. (2004).Cultural attributes and adaptations linked to achievement motivation among Latino adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 33(6), 559-568.

Jurkovic, G., Kuperminc, G. P., Perilla, J. L., Murphy, A., Ibañez, G. E., & Casey, S. (2004). Ecological and ethical perspectives on filial responsibility: Implications for primary prevention with immigrant Latino adolescents. Journal of Primary Prevention, 25(1), 81-104.

Perilla, J.L., Frndak, K., Lillard, D., & East, C. (2003). A working analysis of women’s use of violence in the context of learning, opportunity and choice. Violence Against Women, 9(1), 10-46.

Perilla, J. L. & Pérez, F. (2002). A program for immigrant Latino men who batter within the context of a comprehensive family intervention. In E. Aldarondo & F. Mederos (Eds.) Working with Men Who Batter: Intervention and Prevention Strategies for a Diverse Society, New York: Civic Research Institute.

Perilla, J.L., Norris, F.H., & Lavizzo, E. (2002). Ethnicity, culture, and disaster response: Identifying and explaining ethnic differences in PTSD six months following Hurricane Andrew.Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21(1), 20-45.

Baker, C. K., Perilla, J. L., & Norris, F. H. (2001). Parenting stress and parenting competence among Latino men who batter. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 16(11), 1139-1157.

Perilla, J. L. (1999). Domestic violence as a human rights issue: The case of immigrant Latinos. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 21(2), 107-133.

Norris, F., Perilla, J. L., Riad, J.K., Kaniasty, K., & Lavizzo, E. (1999). Stability and Change in Stress, Resources, and Psychological Distress Following Natural Disaster: Findings from a Longitudinal Study of Hurricane Andrew. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping: An International Journal, 12, 363-396.

Perilla, J. L., Wilson, A.H., Wold, J. L., & Spencer, L. (1998). Listening to migrant voices: Focus groups on health issues in South Georgia. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 15(4), 251-263.

Norris, F. H. & Perilla, J. L. (1996). The revised Civilian Mississippi Scale for PTSD: Reliability, validity, and crosslanguage stability. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9(2), 285-298.

Perilla, J.L., Bakeman, R., & Norris, F. (1994). Culture and Domestic Violence: The Ecology of Abused Latinas, Violence and Victims, 9(4), 125-140.