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Francisco A. Villarruel - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Francisco A. Villarruel Francisco A. Villarruel

Associate Chair and Professor | Michigan State University


An expert on issues affecting Latino youth and families; Latinos in the criminal justice system



Francisco A. Villarruel Publication




Great Plains IDEA: Skills for Real Life HDFS Faulty Expert Interview with Dr. Francisco Villarruel Intro and Francisco Villarruel



Francisco Villarruel is the HDFS Associate Chair for Education, a Outreach a University Outreach and Engagement Senior Fellow and Professor. He is a founding faculty member of the GPI-Youth Development program - an online asynchronous masters program for prospective youth professionals.

Villarruel has worked with numerous communities, state, and federal agencies to address the involvement of Latino youth in juvenile justice systems programs. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Campaign for Youth Justice and is also working with colleagues across the nation to establish The Alianza for Latino Youth Justice – a consortium of practitioners, advocates, funders, families and scholars that seek to engage in culturally relevant practices to address the needs of Latino youth secure placements. He has authored numerous policy reports that seek to contribute to a fair and equal justice program for youth. He has also been involved in research that focuses on youth development and what communities can do to foster the development transitions of youth to adulthood.

Villarruel teaches two graduate seminars for the GPI-Youth Development Program: Youth Policy and Cultures of youth.

Areas of Expertise (2)

Positive Youth Development

Latino Youth and Families

Education (3)

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Ph.D., Child and Family Studies 1990

University of Wisconsin-Madison: M.S., Assisted Computer Learning and Language 1987

University of Michigan: A.B., Developmental Psychology 1982

Affiliations (3)

  • Coordinating Council on Juvenile and Justice Delinquency Prevention (CCJJ) (2016 – present)
  • National Council on the Victims of Crime (2011 – 2015 ) Co - Chair, Program Committee
  • Michigan Campaign for Justice (2011 – present)

Journal Articles (3)

Perspectives and recommendations for future directions in US Latino psychology

Handbook of US Latino Psychology: Developmental and Community-based Perspectives

Gustavo Carlo, Francisco A Villarruel, Margarita Azmitia, Natasha J Cabrera

2009 Editing a major volume in the field of US Latino psychology offers an opportunity toreflect on the state of the field and to speculate on the future. In this chapter, we first present some of our observations of the state of the psychological research on US Latinos. Our observations are based on our reading of the chapters and reflect our personal perspectives regarding research in this dynamic, growing area of research...

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Shared ancestry, evolving stories: Similar and contrasting life experiences described by foreign born and US born Latino parents

Family Process

José Rubén Parra‐Cardona, David Córdova, Kendal Holtrop, Francisco a Villarruel, Elizabeth Wieling

2009 As the Latino population in the United States continues to increase, so does the necessity for in‐depth knowledge about their life experiences. This qualitative study sought to privilege the voices of Latino parents by utilizing focus group discussions. Specifically, participants described the life experiences that have the greatest influence on their parenting efforts...

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“Queremos aprender”: Latino immigrants' call to integrate cultural adaptation with best practice knowledge in a parenting intervention

Family Process

José Parra Cardona, Kendal Holtrop, David Córdova, Jr, Ana Rocio Escobar‐chew, Sheena Horsford, Lisa Tams, Francisco A Villarruel, Graciela Villalobos, Brian Dates, James C Anthony, Hiram E Fitzgerald

2009 Despite the unique and challenging circumstances confronting Latino immigrant families, debate still exists as to the need to culturally adapt evidence‐based interventions for dissemination with this population. Following the grounded theory approach, the current qualitative investigation utilized focus group interviews with 83 Latino immigrant parents to explore the relevance of culturally adapting an evidence‐based parenting intervention to be disseminated within this population. Findings from this study indicate that Latino immigrant parents want to participate in a culturally adapted parenting intervention as long as it is culturally relevant, respectful, and responsive to their life experiences...

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