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Cristina Wilson, Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Hartford, CT, US

Cristina Wilson, Ph.D.

Professor and Interim Co-Director, PhD Program, School of Social Work | University of Connecticut


Dr. Wilson is a recognized Latina scholar and expert in health disparities and cultural humility working with Latino families.


Cristina Wilson, Ph.D., (publishes as Mogro-Wilson) is a professor and a faculty member in the Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies Project.

Cristina is a recognized Latina scholar and expert in health disparities and cultural humility working with Latino families. Her research has made substantial contributions to improving the lives of Latino families by identifying modifiable factors associated with parenting and how culture influences parenting in Latino families. Cristina has added to the knowledge on what makes individuals and family units more effective at prevention of substance use, and what protects individuals and families that are at-risk or have high intensity needs. Cristina’s work informs culturally responsive practice and education regarding under-studied ethnic and racial minority populations. Her most recent work focuses on engaging Latino fathers in understanding how fatherhood is important, particularly during times of great stress and uncertainty. Cristina is interested in generating models for family-focused sustainable interventions for Latino families that include the needs of fathers. As a social worker, she is committed to focusing on individuals’ strengths, and empowering at-risk groups. Her work focuses on understanding the factors that promote resilience. She has centered her focus on strengthening Latino families, and in creating environments where children and youth can thrive.

In 2022, Cristina was named Editor-in-Chief of Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, a core journal in social work research for over 100 years. Launched in 1920, the journal built a knowledge base for the first systematized approaches to the practice of social work and has been stewarded over the years by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. Families in Society is published in partnership with SAGE Publishing.

Cristina teaches masters level courses in research methods and program evaluation and teaches in the doctoral program (Research Methods, Survey Methods, Multivariate Statistics I and II and Mixed Methods).

Areas of Expertise (7)

Intervention and Prevention Programs for Substance Use

Family Mechanisms and Factors that Play a Role in At Risk Behaviors

Latino Families and Parenting in at Risk Environments

Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Fathers in the Latino Community

Substance Use for Latino Youth and Adults

Children, Youth, and Adults with Disabilities

Education (3)

University at Albany, School of Social Welfare: Ph.D., Social Work

University of Michigan: MSW, Social Work

Fairfield University: B.A., Psychology

Affiliations (4)

  • Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN)

Accomplishments (2)

Career Diva, National Hispanic Science Network (professional)


Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, University of Connecticut (professional)







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Recognizing the Diversity of Fathers and Families in Child and Family Services


Media Appearances (4)

UConn social work professor achieves two firsts as a Latina, aims to help immigrant families

CT Insider  online


Fifteen years later, Mogro-Wilson is the first Latina to become a full professor at the University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work in its 75-year history. In addition, she has become the first person of color to be named editor-in-chief of "Families in Society," the first journal of social work research in the United States, after a few years as an editor.

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Social Current Appoints Cristina Mogro-Wilson of UConn School of Social Work as Editor-in-Chief of Families in Society Journal

Social Current  online


“As a Latina social worker, I value social justice and am committed to advancing equity,” noted Dr. Mogro-Wilson. “I look forward to working with the Families in Society team of scholars to increase the vitality and relevance of FIS though diverse representation in advisory board members, peer reviewers, manuscript authors, and – importantly – the readership

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‘The unknown made it hard to process and accept’: Latinos face gap in autism diagnosis and treatment, CT expert says

Greenwich Time  online


“It’s a huge need (to close the gap), because the later the diagnosis, the worse the outcomes are for those kids and families, because they’re not getting the intervention and treatment that they need,” said Cristina Mogro-Wilson, a Latina professor and research director at the University of Connecticut studying health disparities affecting Latino families.

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Episode 274 - Cristina Mogro-Wilson: Exploring the Impact of Culture on the Parenting Styles of Latino Fathers

inSocialWork Podcast Series - UB Social Work  online


In this episode, our guest Dr. Christina Mogro-Wilson provides us with her research insights into the "Latino paradox" and what makes Latino populations so resilient despite comparatively lower overall socioeconomic status. Specifically, she describes her research focused on Latino fathers - their role, and how their culture affects their parenting and interactions with their children.

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Event Appearances (5)

Academic Mothers: A discussion on more equitable structural policies in the Academy.

(2022) CSWE  Anaheim, CA

Writing and Reviewing for Refereed Journals: Strategies for Successful Publishing and Ethical Peer Review

(2022) CSWE  Anaheim, CA

AcaMamas: Academic Mothers. A new SIG (Special Interest Group)

(2022) SSWR Conference  Washington, DC

Strategies to get your paper published

(2021) The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting  Orlando, FL

Writing for referred journals: Strategies to get your paper published

(2020) The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting  Virtual

Articles (5)

The Importance of Policy Advocacy in Social Work

Families in Society

2023 As part of a practice-based profession, social workers prioritize social justice, advocate for marginalized populations, and conduct research to identify social issues and challenges, understand their root causes, and develop evidence-based interventions. Evidence is needed to make decisions related to policy, funding, and programs, so we can solve the various social problems that impede family and child well-being. Some could argue that there is plenty of evidence, based on the sheer volume of published research. According to a search in Google Scholar, there are 5.8 million published studies on “family and child well-being.” Yet publishing articles doesn’t necessarily translate to accessible knowledge or changes in practice. For as much as we know through research, it doesn’t seem to be moving the needle on progress in the field.

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Free From Sexual Harassment: Creating Safe Spaces in Academic Environments

Journal of Social Work Education

2023 Social work is not immune from sexual and gender harassment, as evidenced by recent events at one of our core professional conferences. Several attendees experienced sexual harassment during the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)’s Annual Program Meeting in 2022 in Anaheim, California. These harassment experiences were shared via Twitter and other social media platforms, with more than a handful of people indicating unwelcome attention and advances of a sexual or gendered nature from more than one person. We wrote this editorial in response to this reported harassment at CSWE and other incidents with the intention of:(a) increasing awareness regarding the importance of safety and well-being for everyone within shared academic spaces, and (b) sharing potential ideas for supporting safer spaces free from harassment

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Calling All Early Career Change Makers

Families in Society

2023 The art, science, and practice of social work is integral to helping individuals reach their full potential, strengthening communities that sustain families and provide opportunities to thrive, and confronting injustice and fostering a society that upholds access, equity, and inclusion. In addition to social work’s values and ethics, the foundation for successful transformation—big or small—is the generation of new knowledge. This is what guides Families in Society (FIS) in stimulating theoretical and empirical work that results in positive change and disruption. One of the key strategies to achieve that is lifting up the voices of early career scholars who can contribute to the development of actionable knowledge through new ideas and perspectives. They may focus on emerging issues, populations, or approaches that have not yet been fully explored, bringing fresh viewpoints to the field.

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A Comparison in the Importance of Religious and Spiritual Beliefs among Latinx Parents of Children with Disabilities

Journal of Disability & Religion

2023 This paper focuses on exploring the differences in the importance of spiritual/religious beliefs and practices (SRBP) between Latinx parents who have children with emotional, physical, and cognitive disabilities. Previous research has focused on looking at individual disabilities, such as autism—comparison in differences in importance of SRBP among Latinx parents needs to be further explored. Data from 154 Latinx parents in the United States was collected from an online survey, and a multiple linear regression was used with several predictor groups. Results indicated statistical significance between parents who have children with emotional disabilities and the importance of SRBP.

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Environmental Shifts: The Significance of Space and Place

Families in Society

2022 As another academic year is upon us, the effects of the surrounding environment continue to permeate our practice, clinical, and scholarly work. The ongoing pandemic further disenfranchises marginalized communities, such as the chronically ill, those with disabilities, those in poverty, and racial and ethnic minorities. Our compassion towards community members and participants in the services we provide will help to navigate ever-changing situations, and we should likewise model the opportunities and limits of such empathy with social work students. The nine articles in this journal issue give examples of such situations and provide a rich collection of recommended practice standards, micro and macro interventions informed by families and communities, and field knowledge and experience.

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