Lela Williams

Lela Williams
340 N. Commerce Park Loop Sutie 250
Tucson
Associate Professor
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920
Associate Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
3920

Biography

Lela Rankin Williams is an associate professor and the associate director of the School of Social Work, Tucson. She is also a faculty affiliate and investigator with the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center and a faculty affiliate with Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona.

Williams’ scholarship focuses on preventive interventions for children and families, particularly in vulnerable populations. She has established strong community partnerships that have led to the development, implementation, and management of several federally funded intervention studies. Williams has expertise in longitudinal and intensive-repeated-measure designs, using surveys, observational, and qualitative methods for immigrant Mexican mothers, adolescent mothers, and mothers with newborns born opioid-exposed. In addition, her scholarship is innovative and prolific; she has produced more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals. Both locally and internationally, she is regarded as the spokesperson on using infant carriers as a tool to enhance parenting and promote infant development, reaching several media outlets and international speaking engagements.

Williams teaches human behavior and the social environment and clinical practice courses with adolescents.

Williams has interdisciplinary training in psychology and family studies and human development. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland and Temple University and earned her doctorate from the University of Arizona.

Education

Ph.D. University of Arizona

Videos

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Read more about Williams current projects and publications on Research Gate.

Publications

Selected Publications

Williams, L. R. & Rueda, H. A. (2018). Teen dating violence: Perceptions of need, priority, and prevention responsibility among schools in predominantly Mexican heritage communities. Children and Schools, 40, 135-144. doi.org/10.1093/cs/cdy012

Williams, L. R., Ayón, C., Marsiglia, F. F., Kiehne, E., & Ayers, S. L. (2017). Acculturation profiles and associations with parenting among immigrant Latinos. Hispanic Journal of Social Sciences, 39, 452-469. doi: 10.1177/0739986317725509

Williams, L. R. & Rueda, H. A. (2016). Mexican American adolescent couples’ vulnerability for observed negativity and physical violence: Pregnancy and acculturation mismatch. Journal of Adolescence, 52, 170-181. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.08.001

Williams, L. R., Ayers, S., Baldwin, A., & Marsiglia, F. F. (2016). Delayed youth substance use initiation: A RCT of complementary youth and parenting interventions. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 7, 177-200. doi: 10.1086/685298

Williams, L. R., Marsiglia, F. F., Baldwin, A., & Ayers, S. L. (2015). Unintended effects of an intervention supporting Mexican-heritage youth: Decreased parent heavy drinking. Research on Social Work Practice, 25, 181-189. doi: 10.1177/1049731514524030

Rueda, H. A., Lindsay, M., & Williams, L. R. (2015). “She posted it on Facebook”: Mexican American adolescents’ experiences with technology and romantic relationship conflict. Journal of Adolescent Research, 30, 419-445. doi: 10.1177/0743558414565236

Williams, L. R. & Anthony, E. K. (2015). A model of positive family and peer relationships on adolescent functioning. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 658-667. doi 10.1007/s10826-013-9876-1.

Williams, L. R., Adams, H. L., & Nagoshi, J. L. (2014). Trust, cheating, and dating violence in Mexican American romantic relationships. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 5, 339-360 doi: 10.1086/677174.

Anthony, E. K., Williams, L. R., & LeCroy, C. W. (2014). Trends in adolescent development impacting social work practice: How can we catch up? Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24, 487-498 doi: 10.1080/10911359.2013.849220.

Williams, L. R. (2014). Experiences with violence in Mexican American and European American high school dating relationships. Children and Schools, 36, 115-124. doi: 10.1093/cs/cdu009.

Letendre, J. & Williams, L. R. (2014). “I hear you”: Using focus groups to give voice to adolescent girls’ experiences with violence. Social Work with Groups, 37, 114-128. doi: 10.1080/01609513.2013.823832

Research Activity

  • Williams,Lela Rankin. Mexican American Teen Relationships (MATR) study: The Development of Culturally Sensitive Intervention Models to Prevent Teen Dating Violence. NY COMM TRUST(9/1/2011 - 5/31/2014).
  • Williams, Lela Rankin. Substance Exposed Newborn Attachment and Wellness (NAW) Study. PUBSRV (3/1/2018-3/1/2019). 

Radio Interview with KJZZ 91.5 (March, 2018). Are there measurable benefits of Babywearing? https://kjzz.org/content/616713/are-there-measurable-benefits-babywearing

Courses

Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 461LGBTQ Issues
SWG 561LGBTQ Issues
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 502Macro Human Behav Soc Environ
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 662Soc Wk Practice w/Adolescents
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 502Macro Human Behav Soc Environ
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 303Micro Human Behav Social Envir
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SWU 303Micro Human Behav Social Envir
SWG 501Micro Human Behav Soc Environ
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 502Macro Human Behav Soc Environ
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 662Soc Wk Practice w/Adolescents
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SWG 502Macro Human Behav Soc Environ

Editorships

Special Guest Editors: Lela Rankin Williams & Ann Bigelow

Infant Behavior and Development Journal

Special issue: 'Effects of Physical Contact on Infants and Their Caregivers'.

https://www.journals.elsevier.com/infant-behavior-and-development/call-for-papers/effect-physical-contact-infants-caregivers

Professional Associations

Society for Research in Child Development

Society for Research on Adolescence

Society for Social Work and Research

World Association for Infant Mental Health

Service

  • Casa De Los Niños Board Member
  • Pima Community College Advisory Board Member
  • Tucson Babywearers Board Member 
  • Tu Nidito, Program Development and Assessment Advisory Member 
  • Society for Social Work and Research Cluster Co-Chair for Adolescent Development
  • Society for Research on Adolescence, Innovative Small Grants Committee Member