Mildred Maldonado-Molina, Ph.D., M.S.

Professor, Chair
Department of Health Education & Behavior

  • Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University (2005)
  • M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University (2001)
  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Puerto Rico (1999)

Contact Info

P.O. Box 118210
Gainesville, FL 32611-8210
(352) 392-0583 |


Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina, Ph.D. joined the Department of Health Education in Behavior in July 2019 as Professor and Chair. Dr. Maldonado-Molina joined the College of Health and Human Performance from the UF College of Medicine where she was an Associate Professor and Director of the Family Data Center. She is also an affiliate faculty member with the UF Institute of Child Health Policy, the UF Anita Zucker Center for Early Childhood Studies, and The Methodology Center at Penn State. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award for significant scientific contributions from the Methodology Center at Penn State University in 2013 and recognized for outstanding teacher accomplishments by the UF College of Medicine on three different occasions.

Dr. Maldonado-Molina’s research program centers around reducing health disparities in child and adolescent health, in alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences in particular, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Her work is characterized by the application of innovative statistical methods in prevention-oriented studies of youth, with an area of expertise in cultural processes associated with substance use in Latin American youth.

She is a MPI of two R01 projects awarded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, examining cultural stress and behavioral health risks among Hispanic or Latin American crisis migrants living in the United States and the Americas.

Adelante Boricua Project Website

Venezolanos en Nuevos Entornos Project Website


  • Reducing health disparities in alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences
  • Improving the health of minority children and adolescents
  • Reducing risk factors associated with drug use and violence
  • Understanding the role of acculturation among Latin American families
  • Examining the role of context (e.g. neighborhood, access to alcohol, high poverty) on alcohol-related outcomes among urban youth
  • Child and maternal health, including early childhood education


Pineros-Leano M, Garcia MF, Salas-Wright CP, Maldonado-Molina MM, Bates MM, Costas-Rodríguez B, Calderón I, Brown EC, Schwartz SJ. Experiences of cultural stress among U.S. citizen migrants: A mixed method approach. J Couns Psychol. 2024 Feb 15. doi: 10.1037/cou0000728. 

Dell NA, Salas-Wright CP, Vaughn MG, Maldonado-Molina MM, Oh S, Bates M, Schwartz SJ. A machine learning approach using migration-related cultural stress to classify depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among hurricane survivors. J Affect Disord. 2024 Feb 15;347:77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.11.055. 

Hodges JC, Maldonado-Molina MM, Schwartz SJ, García MF, Pineros-Leano MF, Bates MM, Montero-Zamora P, Calderón I, Rodríguez J, Salas-Wright CP. The impact of hurricane trauma and cultural stress on posttraumatic stress among hurricane Maria survivors relocated to the U.S. mainland. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2023 Nov 2. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000623. 

Pineros-Leano M, Salas-Wright CP, Maldonado-Molina MM, Hodges JC, Brown EC, Bates MM, Mendez-Campos B, Rodríguez J, Schwartz SJ. Technology-based communication among Hurricane Maria survivors in the United States: a trans-territorial lens. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2023 Jul;58(7):1075-1085. doi: 10.1007/s00127-022-02404-w.

Moore WS, Maldonado-Molina MM, Mobley AR, Shelnutt KP, McVay MA. Parental Factors Associated With Intentions to Initiate a Family-Based Pediatric Weight Management Program. Child Obes. 2023 Jun 27. doi: 10.1089/chi.2023.0033. 

Salas-Wright CP, Vaughn MG, Maldonado-Molina MM, Bates M, Brown EC, García MF, Rodríguez J, Schwartz SJ. The importance of acculturation orientation in understanding the impact of pre- and post-migration stressors on behavioral health: Evidence from a crisis migrant sample. J Clin Psychol. 2023 Mar 11;. doi: 10.1002/jclp.23505. 

Salas-Wright CP, Maldonado-Molina MM, Pérez-Gómez A, Trujillo JM, Schwartz SJ. The Venezuelan diaspora: Migration-related experiences and mental health. Curr Opin Psychol. 2022 Oct;47:101430. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101430.