Office location: 2117
Phone number: 217-649-8836
2006 Doctorate of Philosophy, University of Chicago School of Social Services Administration, Chicago, IL
1997 Master in Social Work
Loyola University School of Social Work, Chicago, IL
1992 Bachelor of Arts
Syracuse University College of Liberal Arts, Syracuse, NY
Research and Practice Interests
Professor Piedra’s research interests explores the social consequences of an increasingly diverse society by examining how the language and culture of immigrants affect their access to and use of social and health services. Specifically, her analyses have focused on three interrelated topics, as they apply to Latino immigrants: (1) the mental health service barriers created by linguistic and cultural incongruence, (2) the increased need for bilingual and interpretational services in communities with rapidly growing immigrant populations, and (3) the adaption of interventions to these new service contexts through university and community partnerships.
Dr. Piedra’s earlier work applies social work practice theory to the needs of communities that have experienced a rapid growth in their immigrant Latino population. Her recent work builds on this conceptual foundation by adapting a cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) to meet the linguistic and cultural needs of depressed immigrant mothers living in communities with new Hispanic populations. Subsequently, she developed Vida Alegre [Happy/Contented Life], a 10-week group CBT to address maternal depression and that trains bilingual BSW and graduate students to implement the model. Dr. Piedra plans to test this intervention in other new growth communities in Illinois and throughout the U.S.
SocW 321- Social Entrepreneurship
SocW 412- Hispanics in the U.S.: Building a Social Policy Agenda
SocW 500- Social Work Practice with Individuals & Families
SocW 554- Social Entrepreneurship in a Diverse Society
SocW 561- Special Studies in Social Work I: Vida Alegre-
A Bilingual Mental Health Training Program
Peer Reviewed Articles
Piedra, L. M., & Byoun, S.-J. (2012). Vida Alegre: Preliminary findings of a depression intervention for immigrant Latino mothers. Research in Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731511424168
Piedra, L. M., Byoun, S.-J., Guardini, L. & Cintrón, V. (2012). Improving the parental self-agency of depressed Latino immigrant mothers: Piloted intervention results. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.09.007
Ridings, J. W., Piedra, L. M., Julio C. Capeles, J. C., Rodríguez, R., Freire, F. and, Byoun, S. (2011).Building a Latino youth program: Using concept mapping to identify community-based strategies for success. Journal for Social Service Review, 37 (1):34-49.
Piedra, L. M. & Buki, L. P. (2010). Ameliorating mental health disparities in immigrant Latino populations: The application of community readiness theory. Border-Lines: Journal of the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, 4:61-94.
Larrison, C. R., Velez-Ortiz, D., Hernandez, P., Piedra, L. M., & Goldberg, A. (2010). Brokering language and culture: Can ad hoc interpreters fill the language service gap at community health? Social Work in Public Health, 25(3): 387-407.
Engstrom, D. W., Piedra, L. M., & Min, J. W. (2009). Bilingual social workers: Language and service complexities. Administration in Social Work, 33:1-19.
Piedra, L. M. and Engstrom D. W. (2009). Segmented assimilation theory and the life model: An integrated approach to understanding immigrants and their children. Social Work, 54(3), 270-277.
Engstrom, D. W., & Piedra, L. M. (2005). Central American survivors of political violence: An examination of contextual factors and practice issues. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Services, 3(1/2), 171-190; and: In Gonzalez, M. J. & Gonzalez-Ramos, G. (Eds.) Mental health Care for New Hispanic Immigrants: innovative approaches in contemporary clinical practice. Haworth Press, Inc.
Buki, L. P., & Piedra, L. M. (Eds.). (2011). Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health. New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Engstrom, D. W., & Piedra, L. M. (Eds.). (2006). Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity -- Implications for 21st Century American Society. Washington, D. C.: NASW Press.
Book Chapters (Peer Reviewed)
Piedra, L.M., Choi, S. & Park, H. (in press). Debate Topic: Population Growth (Counterpoint). In Gans, J., Replogle, E.M., & Tichenor, D.J. (Eds.), SAGE Debating Issues in U.S. Immigration. Thousand Oaks, C.A.: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Piedra, L. M., Andrade, F. C. D., & Larrison, C. R. (2011). Building response capacity: The need for universally available language services. In L. P. Buki & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health (pp. 55-76). New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Piedra, L. M., Schiffner, T. A., & Reynaga-Abiko, G. (2011). Investing in the future: Expanding educational opportunities for first-generation Latino college students. . In L. P. Buki & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health (pp. 117-137). New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Piedra, L. M. (2010). Latinos & Spanish: The awkwardness of language in social work practice. In R. Furman & N. Negi (Eds.), Social work practice with Latinos. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.
Piedra, L. M. (2010). Using social entrepreneurship as a strategy for campus climate change. In H. A. Neville, M. Browne Huntt, & J. Chapa (Eds.), Implementing Diversity: Contemporary Challenges and Best practices at Predominantly White Universities (pp. 167-185). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL: Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society.
Piedra, L. M. (2006). Revisiting the language question. In D. W. Engstrom & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity -- Implications for 21st Century American Society. Washington, D. C.: NASW Press.
Piedra, L. M. (2004). Pathologies of power [book review]. Illinois Child Welfare, 1(1), 131-138.
Piedra, L. M. (2003). Social work practice with immigrants and refugees [book review]. Affilia, 18(3), 357-358.