Faculty & Staff

Dalal Katsiaficas

Assistant Professor

Dalal Katsiaficas is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her current research focuses on exploring the social development of immigrant-origin youth, with regards to the development of multiple identities and social and academic engagement. Her research has been published in Qualitative Research in Psychology, Harvard Educational Review, Emerging Adulthood, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.


Ph.D., Education (Human Development & Psychology), University of California, Los Angeles

B.S., Applied Psychology, New York University 

Research & Teaching Interests

Katsiaficas’ research interests relate to the social development of immigrant-origin youth. Integrating theories and methods from developmental, social and educational psychology, her research broadly explores questions such as: How do immigrant students engage in their schools, families and communities? How do immigrant students forge identities as they navigate the various messages from family, school, peers and society? What role does context play in shaping their engagement and their identities? Taken together, these frameworks inform her program of research on the interplay of two main lines of inquiry: the multiple identities of immigrant-origin youth and their social and academic engagement.

She employs a dynamic set of methodological and analytic tools to take up these questions. As a mixed-methods researcher, Dr. Katsiaficas utilizes ethnographic observations, semi- structured interviews, large-scale surveys, focus groups, structured classroom observations, and identity mapping to collect data. Her work has incorporated both longitudinal and cross-sectional designs. She relies on various statistical methods (e.g., moderated mediation, meta-analysis, and HLM) alongside innovative qualitative analysis (e.g., identity and family mapping, and pluralistic narrative analysis) in her work.

Her research agenda is guided by a commitment to socially meaningful issues that face immigrant-origin adolescents and emerging adults. Most recently, she began working with undocumented youth utilizing a Participatory Action Research framework to understand the most pressing issues in their lives on college campuses. She continues to work with undocumented undergraduates to conduct socially meaningful work to inform change on college campuses.

In her teaching, Dr. Katsiaficas is interested in the role of culture and context in shaping development during adolescence and emerging adulthood. She also examines these processes more deeply for immigrant-origin and undocumented youth. 


Selected Publications

Katsiaficas, D., Alcantar, C. M., Hernandez, E., Gutierrez, M.N., Samayoa, E., Texis, O.R., & Williams, Z. (2016). Important theoretical and methodological turning points for understanding contribution with undocumented undergraduates. Qualitative Psychology, 3 (1), 7-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/qup0000043. 

Ghavami, N., Katsiaficas, D. & Rogers, L.O. (2016). Toward an Intersectional Approach in Developmental Science: The Role of Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Immigrant Status.  In S.S. Horn, M. Ruck & L. Liben (Eds.). Equity and Justice in Developmental Sciences: Theoretical and Methodological Issues. 

Suárez-Orozco, C., Katsiaficas, D., Birchall, O., Alcantar, C. M., Hernandez, E., Garcia, Y., Michikyan, M., Cerda, J., & Teranishi, R. T. (2015). Undocumented Undergraduates on College Campuses: Understanding Their Challenges and Assets and What It Takes to Make an Undocufriendly Campus. Harvard Educational Review, 85 (3), 427-463. 

Katsiaficas, D., Suárez-Orozco, C., & Dias, S. I. (2014). “When do I feel like an adult?” Immigrant-origin community college students’ conceptualizations and experiences of (emerging) adulthood. Emerging Adulthood,

Katsiaficas, D., & Suárez-Orozco, C. (2013). Liminal bodies: Clinical implications for unauthorized women and girls. Women & Therapy, 36, 286-301.

Katsiaficas, D., Suárez-Orozco, C., Sirin, S.R., & Gupta, T.G. (2013). Mediators of the relation between acculturative stress and anxiety and depression. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19 (1), 27-37.

Katsiaficas, D., Futch, V., Fine, M., & Sirin, S.R. (2011). Everyday hyphens: Methodological pluralism for understanding multiple selves. Qualitative Research in Psychology(2), 1-19. 

Honors & Awards

2014   Merlin C. Wittrock Prize for Outstanding Research and Leadership 

2014   Mentor, Society for Research on Adolescence Young Scholars Program

2013   George Kneller Award for Exemplary Social Justice Research

2013   Junior Scholar, European Association for Research on Adolescence/Society for Research on Adolescence International Summer Program

Professional Affiliations & Activities

Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, Membership Committee Co-Chair

Society for Research on Adolescence, Member

Society for Research on Child Development, Member

Courses Taught

445 Adolescence and the Schools


ED 210 or the equivalent, or graduate standing.

Physiological, intellectual, and social development of adolescence. Relations between aspects of adolescent development and the academic and social demands of secondary schools.

256 Adolescent and Adult Development in Contemporary Society


EPSY 100 or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: EPSY 210 and EPSY 255.

Overview of social, cognitive, and physiological development of adolescent and adult development. Examines the contexts and institutions that influence adolescent and adult development, with a particular interest in the urban context.

594 Special Topics in Educational Psychology


ED 421 and ED 422, or consent of the instructor.

Seminar on a preannounced topic focusing on methodology, research, and educational implications of recent models of learning, problem solving, and thinking. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours.