Jenny Padilla

Assistant Professor

William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Collegiate Chair, Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies

Assistant Professor
7 Center For Children & Families
South Bend, IN 46635

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Latino Adolescents, Siblings, and Families Lab

Primary Area: Developmental

Research and teaching interests

Research: Latinx family relationships; siblings; cultural values; psychological adjustment; family systems -- Teaching: developmental psychology; families in context


Grounded in developmental, family systems, and cultural-ecological perspectives, Dr. Padilla's research focuses on families as a context of development and psychological adjustment, primarily in adolescence and young adulthood. With respect to the larger contexts of family systems dynamics, she is most interested in the role of sociocultural ecology. A major goal of her research is to advance understanding of the diversity of youth and family experiences within the Latinx population and larger family context factors as well as the cultural practices and values within families that impact family roles and relationships and youth well-being. To address questions about changes in multiple individuals, dyads, and larger family systems—within their changing contexts-- she is also interested in advance psychological research methods, particularly quantitative analytic approaches (e.g., multilevel models, actor-partner interdependence models, multitrait-multimethod confirmatory factor analysis) for capturing complex family dynamics. In working with longitudinal family data, she utilizes multilevel models to capture variation at the within-person, between-person, and between-family levels.


Ph.D., M.A. The Pennsylvania State University

B.A. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Representative Publications

Padilla, J., Vazquez, E. J., Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. M., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2020). "Mexican-origin youth’s ethnic-racial identity development: The role of siblings." Developmental Psychology, 57(2), 302-308. doi: 10.1037/dev0001072

Padilla, J., Jager, J., Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. M., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2020). "Mexican-origin family members’ unique and family perspectives of familism values and their links with parent-youth relationships." Developmental Psychology, 56(5), 993-1008. doi: 10.1037/dev0000913

Padilla, J., Sang, S., Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. M., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Rodriguez, S. A. (2019). "Siblings’ appraisals of fairness and jealousy in response to parental differential treatment: Longitudinal links to Mexican-origin young adults’ adjustment." Emerging Adulthood. doi: 10.1177/2167696819851435.

Gallagher, A. M., Updegraff, K. A., Padilla, J., & McHale, S. M. (2018). "Longitudinal associations between sibling relational aggression and adolescent adjustment." Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(10), 2100-2113. doi: 10.1007/s10964-018-0871-0

Padilla, J., McHale, S. M., Rodríguez De Jesús, S. A., Updegraff, K. A., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2017). "Longitudinal course and correlates of parents’ differential treatment of siblings in Mexican-origin families." Family Process, 57(4), 979-995. doi: 10.1111/famp.12328