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Alers Rojas, Francheska

Francheska C Alers Rojas

Postdoctoral Fellow, Lecturer
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences


Phone: 787-340-1583

Office Location

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712


Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan

J.D., University of Puerto Rico Law School

B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies (Pre-Law), University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras

Academic Positions

2020-Present.    Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Texas at Austin    

Research Interests

Central to Dr. Alers-Rojas' scholarship is a deceptively simple question: What helps adolescents, especially those from minoritized backgrounds, do well? To answer this question, Alers-Rojas examines individual, familial, contextual, and cultural factors that promote youth development, particularly among Latinx adolescents. More specifically, her research draws from resilience and strength-based frameworks to investigate the impact that contextual risks (e.g., discrimination, exposure to community violence, family stress, school stress) have on adolescents' behavioral outcomes and psychological well-being. Dr. Alers-Rojas has employed daily diary, interviews, secondary data analyses, and survey methodologies. A new stream of research incorporates biological markers (e.g., cortisol) of and physiological responses (e.g., sleep) to distress to better understand the potential underlying mechanisms that promote or hinder the development of ethnically/racially minoritized adolescents.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Chen, S., Alers-Rojas, F., Benner, A.D., & Gleason, M.E.J. (2021). Daily experiences of discrimination and adolescents’ sleep: The moderating role of social support. Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/ 10.1111/jora.12693.

Ceballo, R., Cranford, J.A., Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R.M., & Kennedy, T.M. (2021). What happens after school? Linking Latino adolescents’ activities and exposure to community violence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01480-6 

Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R., Cranford, J., & Ceballo, R. (2020). Latina mothers’ awareness of their children’s exposure to community violence. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 42(3), 324343. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739986320927512

Ceballo, R., Alers-Rojas, F., Montoro, J. P., & Mora, A. S. (2020). Contextual stressors and the role of religion and spirituality in the mental health of Latino/a immigrant parents and youth. In G.C. Nagayama Halla (ed.), Mental and Behavioral Health of Immigrants in the United States (pp. 135-155). Academic Press. 

Jocson, R., Alers-Rojas, F., & Ceballo, R. (2018). Religion and spirituality: Benefits for Latino adolescents exposed to community violence. Youth and Societyhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X18772714

Cordova, D., Alers-Rojas, F., Perron, E., Salas-Wright, C., & Vaugh, M. (2017). Group-based approaches to preventing adolescent substance abuse: The state of social work science. In C. Garvin, L. Gutiérrez, & M. Galinsky (Eds.), Handbook of Social Work With Groups. Guilford Press. 

Ceballo, R., Jocson, R., & Alers-Rojas, F., (2017). Parental school involvement and Latino children’s educational attainment. In N. Cabrera & B. LeyendeckerB. (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Development of Minority Children. Springer.    

Cordova, D., Alers-Rojas, F., Lua, F. M., Bauermeister, J., Nurenberg, R., Ovadje, L., ... & Council, Y. L. (2016). The usability and acceptability of an adolescent mHealth HIV/STI and drug abuse preventive intervention in primary care. Behavioral Medicinehttps://doi.org/10.1080/08964289.2016.1189396

Cordova, D., Bauermeister, JA., Fessler, K., Delva, J., Nelson, A., Nurenberg, R., Mendoza Lua, F., Alers-Rojas, F., Salas-Wright, C. P., & Youth Leadership Council, (2015). A community-engaged approach to developing an mHealth HIV/Sexually transmitted infections and drug abuse preventive intervention for primary care: A qualitative study. JMIR mHealth uHealth, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221508

Manuscripts in Preparation   

Alers-Rojas, F., Ceballo, R., & Cranford, J.A. (under review). A daily diary study of Latino adolescents’ communication about family stress.    

Ceballo, R., Alers-Rojas, F., Mora, A.S., & Cranford, J.A. (under review). Exposure to community violence: Towards a more expansive definition and approach to research.  

Jocson, R., Ceballo, R., Alers-Rojas, F., & Cranford, J. (under review). Examining mother’s exposure to violence: How does it influence young adolescents?   

Mora, A.S., Muñoz-Velázquez, J., Alers-Rojas, F., Ceballo, R., & Cranford, J.A. (submitted for publication). An intersectional approach to understanding Latino adolescents’ experiences with discrimination. 

Benner, A.D., Alers-Rojas, F., Su Yeong, K., & Hou, Y. (manuscript in preparation). COVID-19 racial discrimination and adolescents' well-being: The impact of prior discrimination and current pandemic stress. 

Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R., Cranford, J., & Ceballo, R. (manuscript in preparation). More than data collection: Daily diary studies with Latinx high school students.    


Oral Presentations  

Alers-Rojas, F. (2021, February 2). A daily diary study of Latino Adolescents’ stress. Department of Human Development and Family Sciences Seminar. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States. 

Alers-Rojas, F., Montoro, J., Ceballo, R., & Cranford, J. (2019, March 7-9). Every second matters: A daily 

diary study of adolescents’ after-school activities, risks, stress, and well-being. In Alers-Rojas. (Chair). ¡Aquí estamos y contamos! Effective recruitment and retention of Latinxs. International Convention of Psychological Science, Paris, France.    

Alers-Rojas, F., Ceballo, R., & Sypher, I.  (2018, June 29 – July 1). "Background noise:" Becoming emotionally numb to community Violence. In Kennedy., T. & Jocson, R. (Chairs). Community violence exposure and sexual harassment among racial/ethnic minority adolescents. Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.  

Kennedy, T., Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R., & Ceballo, R. (2018, April 12-14). Latino adolescents’ community violence exposure and well-being: Desensitization and attitudes toward violence. Society for Research on Adolescence, Minneapolis, MN, United States.  

Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R.M., & Ceballo, R. (2017, September 18-20). Religion and spirituality: Benefits for Latino adolescents exposed to community violence. Innovations in Injury Prevention Science (SAVIR) Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.    

Jocson, R.M., Alers-Rojas, F., Ceballo, R., & Cranford, J.A. (2017, September 18-20). Community violence exposure and psychological distress among Filipino mothers: The protective role of religiosity. SAVIR Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.    

Kennedy, T., Jocson, R.M., Alers-Rojas, F., & Ceballo, R. (2017, September 18-20). Preventing the cycle of violence: Community violence exposure and attitudes toward violence among Latino adolescents. SAVIR Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.    

Alers-Rojas, F. (2017, January 30). Latina mothers’ awareness of children’s exposure to community violence. University of Michigan, Department of Psychology Developmental Area Brown Brag, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.    

Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R., Cranford, J., Fike, K., & Ceballo, R. (2016, September 29 – October 2). Latino mother-adolescent agreement about adolescents' exposure to community violence. National Latina/o Psychological Association, Orlando, FL, United States.  

Alers-Rojas, F., Jocson, R., Cranford, & Ceballo, R. (2016, July 10-12). Associations between gender, language used by mother and mother-child nativity status on Latino youth’s community violence exposure. In Kennedy, T. (Chair). Unpacking community violence exposure: The differential impact of multiple dimensions of violence on youth. International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH, United States.   

Kennedy T., & Alers-Rojas, F. (2016, July 10-12). Colombian youth’s subjective perceptions of dimensions of community violence exposure: A qualitative investigation. In Kennedy, T. (Chair). Unpacking community violence exposure: The differential impact of multiple dimensions of violence on youth. International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH, United States.   

Jocson, R. M., Alers-Rojas, F., Garcia, A. S., & Kennedy, T. M. (2015, August 19-22). Experiences of community violence exposure among low-income urban Filipino mothers. Asian Association of Social Psychology, Psychological Association of the Philippines, Cebu City, Philippines.   

Kennedy, T. M., Alers-Rojas, F., & Chaux, E. (2015, August 6-9) A qualitative study of the role of family in Colombian youths' community violence exposure. [Co-presenter] American Psychological Association, Toronto, ON, Canada.  

Cordova, D. Bauermeister, J., Alers-Rojas, F., Nurenberg, R., Mendoza Lua, F., Feil, D., Salas-Wright, C. (2015, July 28-31). Physician-adolescent HIV/STI risk behaviors communication in primary care. AIDSIMPACT, Amsterdam, Netherlands.  

Cordova, D., Bull, S., Coleman-Minahan, K., Chavez, M., & Romo, T. (2015, May 26-29). The direct and indirect effects of social capital on HIV/STI risk behaviors among urban adolescents. [Presenter Alers-Rojas, F.] Society for Prevention Research. Washington, DC, United States.  

Kennedy, T. M., Chaux, E., Alers-Rojas, F., Walter, E. R., Esquivel, L., & Chapa, O. O. (2015, March 19-21) How do Colombian children and adolescents experience and cope with violence exposure? A qualitative, dimensional approach. Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA, United States.  

Córdova, D., Bauermeister, J., Delva, J., Alers-Rojas, F., Nurenberg, R., Mendoza, F., & Fell, D. (2015, January 15-18). Developing a primary care HIV preventive intervention app: Grounded in the voices of adolescents. Society for Social Work Research. New Orleans, LA, United States.  


University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2021

HDF 368 Children and Public Policy

University of Michigan (Graduate Student Instructor)

Winter 2018 & Fall 2017

PSYCH 351 Developmental Research Methods

Winter 2015 & Fall 2014

PSYCH 353 Social Development (grader)

Winter 2014

SPAN 440 Literature and Cultures of the Borderlands: The Politics of Language (grader)

AMCULT 301 Immigration Law: Critical Approaches to Contemporary Issues (grader)