Kathleen M. Roche

Kathleen M. Roche

Kathleen M. Roche



School: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Department: Prevention and Community Health


Office Phone: 202-994-3858
Fax: 202-994-3601
950 New Hampshire Avenue, Office: 305 - Floor 3 Washington DC 20052

Trained in fields of public health and social work, Professor Roche's research program seeks to investigate intersecting influences of community, culture, and parenting in relationship to the healthy development of adolescents, particularly those in Latin American-origin families. Using a development-in-context approach to research, her work examines parenting, parent-adolescent relationships, and adolescent adjustment within the context of adversities including racial-ethnic discrimination, acculturation to the U.S., economic disadvantage, and restrictive immigrant environments. Dr. Roche's research is informed by multiple disciplines: developmental psychology, urban sociology, family social sciences, and social epidemiology. She engages in longitudinal studies to investigate adolescent health and well-being, parenting, acculturation-related factors, immigrant Latino/a families, and neighborhood-by-parenting interaction effects. She is particularly interested in integrating developmental and ecological theories with the social epidemiology of adolescent health in order to better understand social influences on adolescent behaviors, success in school, and mental health. 

Social Determinants of Health

Mental Health

Children's Health

Behavioral Health

Bachelor of Arts, Art History, Emory University, 1988

Masters of Social Work, The University of Georgia, 1993

Doctorate of Philosophy, Maternal and Child Health, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1999

PubH 6504: Social and Behavioral Science Research Methods

PubH 6502_2U: Data Management and Analysis

Dr. Roche is a Regular Member of the Psychosocial Development and Risk Prevention NIH Study Section and is a Consulting Editor or Editorial Board member for several journals including Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Family Theory and Review, and Adolescent Research Review.


Caminos al Bienestar logo

Dr. Roche is the Principal Investigator of "Pathways to Health / Caminos al Bienestar" - a project comprised of two five-year studies (2017-22; 2021-26) funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. For a probability sample of Latin American-origin families living in a new immigrant destination, this study examines the cascading effects of immigration- and COVID-19-related adversities as well as neighborhood and school cultural demands and opportunities on parenting and parent-adolescent relationships and, in turn, adolescent adjustment. The sample includes 547 adolescents and, for half of them, their mothers. Participants are being followed over 13 time points from early adolescence through the transition to adulthood. This research uses multi-level and structural equation modeling techniques to examine direct and indirect pathways linking extra-familial contexts with Latina/o/x adolescent outcomes. Roche and her colleagues will be examining chronic and acute stress measured by salivary and hair cortisol to advance knowledge on biological stress processes experienced by today's U.S. Latino/a adolescents. The research team also is examining family, neighborhood, and youth protective factors that help mitigate risks. Findings will inform the development of preventive interventions and policies that can promote school success and healthy development for this population.

Dr. Roche also is the Multiple Principle Investigator (MPIs: Roche, Caughy, Calzada) of "Societal stressors, adaptive factors, and developmental timing: Influences on Latinx mental health from early childhood through young adulthood." This five year R01 is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH (2024-2029). This project will use Integrated Data Analysis techniques to pool data from five existing Latinx longitudinal cohort studies to examine how societal stressors shape Latinx youth's internalizing symptoms from early childhood to young adulthood.

Related to this research, Dr. Roche's study examining impacts of recent immigration actions and news on the lives of US Latino parents has been featured in national media including the NBC Nightly News, US News & World Report, Vox.com, and WAMU 88.5.  She and her colleagues are currently conducting a follow up study focused on adolescent children of Latino/a immigrant parents.  You may follow her on Twitter @KRoche_GWU.

Latino/a adolescents and their families:

  1. Roche, K. M., White, R. M. B., Partovi, R., Vaquera, E., & Little, T. D. (2024). Immigration policy stressors and Latinx youth mental health: A 4-year prospective study. Early view online: JAMA Pediatrics. US Immigration Policy Stressors and Latinx Youth Mental Health

  2. Roche, K. M., Ehrlich, K. B., Vaquera, E., & Little, T. D. (2024). Mental health during early adolescence and later cardiometabolic risk: A prospective study of US Latinx youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 74, 71 - 77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2023.08.026

  3. Kho, C., White, R. M. B., Zhao, C., Knight, G. P., & Roche, K. M. (2023). Familism values and psychological adjustment of Latinx adolescents in an emerging immigrant community: A five wave longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 59, 1315 – 1326. APA PsycNet

  4. Kho, C., White, R. M. B., Knight, G. P., Zhao, C., & Roche, K. M. (2022). Parental warmth and developmental change in familism values: Latinx adolescents in an emerging immigrant community. Journal of Research on Adolescence.33(1), 202-215. Parental Warmth and Developmental Change in Familism Values: Latinx Adolescents in an Emerging Immigrant Community

  5. Bennett, M. B., Roche, K. M., Huebner, D. M., Lambert, S. L., & White, R. B. M. (in press). Peer discrimination, deviant peer affiliation, and Latino/a adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms: A prospective study. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

  6. Roche, K. M., Lambert, S. L., Partovi, R. & Little, T. D. (2022). A longitudinal test of acculturative family distancing theory explaining Latino/a/x adolescents’ adjustment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2022.101440

  7. Roche, K. R., Huebner, D. M., Lambert, S. L., & Little, T. L. (2022). COVID-19 stressors and Latinx adolescents’ mental health symptomology and school performance: A prospective study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-022-01603-7

  8. Zhao, C., White, R. B. M., & Roche, K. M. (2022). Familism values, family assistance, and prosocial behaviors in U.S. Latino/a adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescencehttps://doi.org/10.1177/02724316221078831

  9. Nair, R., White, R. B. M., Zhao, J. C. & Roche, K. M. (2022). Discrimination in Latinx families’ linked lives: Examining the roles of family process and youth worries. Journal of Family Psychologyhttp://www.doi.org/10.1037/fam000095

  10. West, K. B., Hale, M., Roche, K. M., White, R. B. M., & Suveg, C. (2022). Predictors of latent class trajectories of depressive symptoms in Latina mothers. Journal of Family Psychology.10.1037/fam0000957

  11. Partovi, R., Calzada, E. J., Roche, K. M., & Little, T. D. (2022). The mediating role of home-school dissonance in linking maternal discrimination to Latinx adolescent academic performance. Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12719

  12. Roche, K. M., Walsdorf, A. A., Jordan, L., & Falusi, O. O. (2021). The contemporary anti-immigrant environment and Latin American-origin adolescents’ perceived futures: A content analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 30, 2328-2339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-02015-0
  13. West, K. B., Roche, K. M., White, R. B. M., & Suveg, C. (2021) Predictors of latent class trajectories of internalizing symptoms in Latinx adolescents. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. Advance online publication. https://doi:10.1007/s10802-021-00854-5
  14. Walsdorf, A. A., Roche, K. M., McGeorge, C., & Caughy, M. O. (2022). Latinx parents’ perceptions of how the changing immigration climate has affected their adolescent children. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 10(1), 54-70.https://doi.org/10.1037/lat0000199
  15. Roche, K. M., White, R. B. W., Rivera, M. I., Safa, M. D., Newman, D., & Falusi, O. O. (2020). Recent Immigration Actions and News and the Adjustment of U.S. Latino/a Adolescents. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000330
  16. Jordan, L., Walsdorf, A. A. & Roche, K. M., & Falusi, O. O. (2021). “I am affected in all ways…”: A phenomenographic analysis of the effects of media reports of family separations at the border. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 27(4), 736–745. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000416
  17. Bennett, M., Roche, K. M., Huebner, D. & Lambert, S. F. (2020). School discrimination and changes in Latinx adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Early view online. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01256-4
  18. Calzada, E. J., Roche, K. M., White, R. B. M., Partovi, R. & Little, T. D.(2020)Latinx parenting and adolescent externalizing behavior: Modifying impacts of an adverse immigration environment. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 8(4), 332–48. https://doi.org/10.1037/lat0000162 
  19. Roche, K. M., White, R. B. M., Lambert, S. F., Calzada, E. J., Schulenberg, J., Kuperminc, G. P., & Little, T. D. (2020). Family member detention or deportation and US Latino/a adolescents’ later suicidal ideation, alcohol use, and externalizing behavior. JAMA Pediatrics.
  20. Roche, K. M., Vaquera, E., DelBasso, C. A., Kuperminc, G. P., Cordon, M., & Rivera, M. I. (2020). Worry, Behavior Change, and Daily Adversity: How U.S. Latino/a Parents Experience Contemporary Immigration Actions and News. Journal of Family Issues.
  21. Roche, K. M., Little, T. D., Ghazarian, S. R., Lambert, S. F., Calzada, E. & Schulenberg, J. (2019). Parenting processes and adolescent adjustment in immigrant Latino families: The use of residual centering to address the multicollinearity problem.  Journal of Latinx Psychology, 7, 6–21. 
  22. Roche, K. M., Vaquera, E., White, R. B. W., Rivera, M. I. (2018). Impacts of immigration actions and news and the psychological distress of US Latino parents raising adolescents.  Journal of Adolescent Health, 62, 525 - 531.
  23. Nair, R. N., Roche, K. M. & White, R. B. W. (2018). Acculturation gap distress among Latino youth: Prospective links to family processes and youth depressive symptoms, alcohol use, and academic performance.  Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 47, 105 - 120.
  24. Roche, K. M., Calzada, E. J., Ghazarian, S. R. Little, T.D., Lambert, S. F., & Schulenberg, J. (2017).  Longitudinal pathways to educational attainment for youth in Mexican and Central American immigrant families.  Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 5, 12 - 26.
  25. Roche, K. M., Lambert, S. F., Ghazarian, S. R. & Little, T. D. (2015). Latino youth’s language brokering across contexts: Associations with parenting and parent-child relationships in a new immigrant destination area. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 77 – 89. 
  26. Roche, K. M., Caughy, M. O., Schuster, M. A., Bogart, L. M., Dittus, P. J. & Franzini, L. (2014).  Cultural orientations, parental beliefs and practices, and Latino youth’s autonomy and independence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 1389 – 1403.  
  27. Roche, K. M., Ghazarian, S. R., Fernandez-Esquer, M. E. (2012). Unpacking acculturation: Cultural orientations and educational attainment among Mexican-origin youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence41, 920 – 931.

Low-income urban youth and parenting:

  1. Lambert, S. F., Roche, K. M., Saleem, F. T. & Henry, J. S.  (2015). Mother-adolescent relationship quality as a moderator of associations between racial socialization and adolescent psychological adjustment.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85, 409 - 420.
  2. Murray, K. W., Bair-Merritt, M., Roche, K. M. & Cheng, T.  (2012). The impact of intimate partner violence on mothers’ parenting practices for low-income adolescents. Journal of Family Violence, 27, 573 – 583.
  3. Roche, K. M. & Ghazarian, S. R. (2012). The value of family routines for the academic success of vulnerable adolescents.  Journal of Family Issues, 33, 874 – 897. 
  4. Roche, K. M., Ghazarian, S. R., Little, T, & Leventhal, T. (2010). Understanding links between punitive discipline and adolescent adjustment: The relevance of context and reciprocal associations. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 448 – 460.
  5. Ghazarian, S. R. & Roche, K. M.  (2010). Social support and low-income, urban mothers: Longitudinal associations with adolescent delinquency. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 39, 1097 – 1109.
  6. Roche, K. M. & Leventhal, T. (2009). Beyond neighborhood poverty: Family management, neighborhood disorder, and adolescents' early sexual onset. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 819 – 827.
  7. Roche, K. M., Ensminger, M. E., & Cherlin, A. J.  (2007). Variations in parenting and adolescent outcomes among African American and Latino families living in low-income, urban areas.  Journal of Family Issues, 28, 882 - 909.
  8. Roche, K. M., Astone, N. M., & Bishai, D. (2007). Caring for young adolescents during out-of-school hours: Impact on problem behaviors among youth in low-income, urban areas.  Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 471 - 488.  
  9. Roche, K. M., Ensminger, M. E., Ialongo, N., Poduska, J., & Kellam, S. (2006). Early entries into adult roles: Associations with aggressive behavior from adolescence into young adulthood. Youth & Society, 38, 236 - 261.
  10. Roche, K. M., Mekos, D., Alexander, C. S., Astone, N. M., Bandeen-Roche, K., & Ensminger, M. E. (2005).  Parenting influences on early sex initiation among adolescents: How neighborhood matters.  Journal of Family Issues, 26, 32 - 54.
  11. Roche, K. M., Ellen, J., & Astone, N. M. (2005). Effects of out-of-school care on early sex initiation in low-income, central city neighborhoods.  Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 68 - 73.
  12. Roche, K. M., Ensminger, M. E., Chilcoat, H. & Storr, C. (2003).  Establishing independence in low-income urban areas: The relationship to adolescent aggressive behavior.  Journal of Marriage and Family 65 (3), 668 - 680.
  13. Roche K. M., Webster, D., Alexander, C. S., & Ensminger, M. E. (2003). Neighborhood variations in the salience of family support to boys’ fighting.  Adolescent and Family Health 3 (2), 55 - 64.
  14. Gittelsohn, J., Roche, K. M., Alexander, C. S., & Tassler, P. (2001).  The social context of smoking among African American and White adolescents in Baltimore City.  Ethnicity and Health 6, 211-225.

Adolescence & Adolescent risk behaviors

  1. Lemon, E. D., Vu, M., Roche, K. M., Hall, K. S., & Berg, C. J. (in press). Depressive symptoms in relation to adverse childhood experiences, discrimination, hope and social support in a diverse sample of college students. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01038-z
  2. Huebner, D. M., Roche, K. M. & Rith, K. A. (2019). Effects of family demographics and the passage of time on parents’ difficulty with their lesbian, gay or bisexual youth’s sexual orientation. Youth & Society, 48, 1581-1588.
  3. Little, T. D., Roche, K. M., Chow, S., Schenck, A. P. & Byam, L. (2016)National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Advancing research to prevent youth suicide. Annals of Internal Medicine165, 795-799.
  4. Ries A. V., Voorhees C. C., Roche K. M., Gittelsohn J., Yan A. F., & Astone N. M. (2009). A quantitative examination of park characteristics related to park use and physical activity among urban youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45, S64-S70.
  5. Mmari, K.,  Roche, K. M., *Sudhinaraset, M., & Blum, R. W. (2009).  When a parent goes off to war: Understanding impacts on adolescents and their families. Youth & Society, 40, 455 - 475.
  6. Roche, K. M., Ahmed, S., & Blum, R. W. (2008). The enduring consequences of parenting for risk behaviors from adolescence into early adulthood. Social Science and Medicine, 66, 2023 - 2034.
  7. Ries, A.V., Gittelsohn, J., Voorhees, C.C., Roche, K. M., Clifton, K.J., & Astone, N. M. (2008). The environment and urban adolescents’ use of recreational facilities for physical activity: A qualitative study. American Journal of Health Promotion 23, 43-50.
  8. Ries, A.V., Voorhees, C. C., Gittelsohn, J., Roche, K. M. & Astone, N. M. (2008). Adolescents' perceptions of environmental influences on physical activity.  American Journal of Health Behavior, 32, 26 - 39.
  9. Trent, M., Clum, G., & Roche, K. M.  (2007). Sexual victimization and reproductive health outcomes in urban youth.  Ambulatory Pediatrics, 7, 313 - 316.

​Adolescents in developing country contexts:

  1. Meyer, K. & Roche, K. M. (2017). Sport-for-development gender equality impacts from a basketball program: Shifts in attitudes and stereotypes in Senegalese youth and coaches.  Journal of Sport for Development, 5, 49 - 57.
  2. Bingenheimer, J. B., Roche, K. M., & Blake, S. (2017).  Family adult awareness of adolescents’ premarital romantic and sexual relationships in Ghana. Youth & Society, 49, 341-368.
  3. Roche, K. M., Bingenheimer, J. B. & Ghazarian, S. R. (2016). The dynamic interdependence between family support and depressive symptoms among adolescents in Ghana. International Journal of Public Health. 61, 487 - 494.