Department: Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación

Research institute: IUNE, as a university institute for scientific research, has the mission of promoting and conducting first-level cognitive, social, clinical and educational research

Area: Developmental and Educational Psychology

Research group: Familia y desarrollo humano

Research field: Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas

Ph.D. in Psychology for the University of Salamanca. Ex-Director of the Master Programme on Family Intervention and Mediation at the University of La Laguna, Spain. President of the European Association of Developmental Psychology (2008-2011). Fellow since 2010 of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) for sustained and outstanding distinguished contributions to psychological science. Organizer of several posgraduate courses on Evidence-based Parent Education Programs and Best Practices to Promote Positive Parenting sponsored by the Council of Europe and the Jacobs Foundation. Expert commissioned by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality to promote good practices among professionals in the use of evidence-based and preventive approaches for family work. I coordinate a consortium of seven Spanish Universities working in partnership with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities since 2009 providing the main foundations to develop a family policy that supports families in Spain with a prevention and promotion focus on children wellbeing. I am also member of the executive committee of the COST Project EurofamNet aimed at identifying family policies across European countries and examining the respective quality assurance system to improve the attention to families. My research topic is Evidence-based parenting programmes to promote positive parenting in the families under at risk circumstances and prevent child maltreatment on which she has published many international papers. With my team I have designed, implemented and evaluated group parenting programs targeted at families referred by the local social services, which are widely spread in Spain and currently applied in Portugal and Brasil. I also developed a web resource for Spanish-speaking parents “Educar en Positivo” that contains an on-line evidence-based parenting programme. I am also involved in a second line of research on developmental neuroscience with two topics: a) the study of the epigenetic, neurological and personality bases of maternal insensitivity to infant signals in neglectful mothers; and b) the study of the neural networks activated in adolescents’ risky decision-making in social contexts as well as in juvenile offenders.