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Lela Rankin Williams

Research Interests

Adolescent romantic relationships and teen dating violence; adolescent substance use; school-based interventions; parenting adolescents; Mexican American youth.

Contact Information

Office: Tortolita Bldg. #213

Phone: 520-884-5507

ext. 20611


Curriculum Vitae

Current Research Projects
Dr. Williams is the Principal Investigator of the Mexican American Teen Relationships (MATR) study, which is funded through ASU’s office of the vice president for research and economic affairs and the Lois and Samuel Silberman grant fund. This study includes 305 self-identified Mexican American youth aged 15 to 17 years to study teen dating violence using a novel and innovative approach, including a multi-informant (adolescents, dating partners) and multi-method (web-based surveys, video-taped couple interactions, focus groups) design. The MATR study is partnered with several community agencies and high schools in the Phoenix area with the aim of developing a developmentally and culturally responsive school-based intervention program to prevent teen dating violence. 
SWG 791: Introduction to Statistics in Social Work
SWG 591: Social Work Practice with Adolescents
SWG 502: Macro Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SWG 501: Micro Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Sample Publications

LeCroy,C. W. & Williams, L. R. (2013). Outcome studies in social work journals:  A review of publication trends. Research on Social Work Practice, online first May 7 doi: 10.1177/1049731513487223

Williams, L. R. & Adams, H. L. (2013). Friends with benefits or “friends” with deficits? The meaning and contexts of uncommitted sexual relationships among Mexican American and European American adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 1110-1117.

Williams, L. R., & Russell, S. T. (2013). Shared social and emotional activities within adolescent romantic and non-romantic sexual relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 649-658.

Williams, L. R., Ayers, S. L., Garvey, M. M., Marsiglia, F. F., & Castro, F. G. (2012). The efficacy of a culturally based parenting intervention: Strengthening communication between Mexican heritage parents and their adolescent children. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 3, 296-307.

Williams, L. R., Wray-Lake, L., Loken, E., & Maggs, J. L. (2012). The effects of adolescent heavy drinking on the timing and stability of cohabitation and marriage. Families in Society, 93, 91-98.

Williams, L.R., Adams, H. L., & Altamirano, B. (2012). Mexican American adolescents’ perceptions of dating violence programs: Recommendations for effective program design and implementation. Qualitative Social Work, 11, 395-411.

Williams, L. R. & Hickle, K. (2011). “He cheated on me, I cheated on him back”: Mexican American and White Adolescents’ perceptions of cheating in romantic relationships. Journal of Adolescence, 34, 1005-1016. (impact factor=2.82).

Williams, L. R. & Steinberg, L. (2011). Reciprocal relations between parenting and adjustment in a sample of juvenile offenders. Child Development, 82, 633-645. (impact factor=4.72).


Lela Rankin Williams
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Arizona
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