Department of Psychology and Brain Science

Nancy G. Guerra

Associate Provost for International Programs

Director, Institute for Global Studies

Editor, Journal of Research on Adolescence


Psychology: 129 Wolf Hall, Institute for Global Studies, 203 Elliott Hall, Newark DE
(302) 831-2854


Institute for Global Studies

Opening(s) available for grad students. Please contact Nancy G. Guerra at

Nancy G. Guerra

Aggression, social cognition, and preventive interventions


My research focuses on understanding and preventing children's aggression and behavior problems of youth, particularly youth violence. I also am very interested in the role of culture in the etiology of behavior and implications for the design and implementation of prevention programs in the U.S. and internationally. My work is grounded in social-cognitive theory, emphasizing the role of children's thought processes and beliefs in determining and modifying behavior. I have been involved in the development and evaluation of several large scale prevention programs. I was the principal investigator for the Metropolitan Area Child Study, an 8-year development and prevention study with urban and inner city children in Chicago, funded by NIMH. A primary finding of this work was that community context is an important moderator of prevention outcomes. Specifically, a multi-component, multi-context 2-year program was effective in reducing children's aggression, but only in moderate resource communities (not in the poorest, inner-city settings). I was the principal investigator for an evaluation of a district wide SAMHSA-funded Safe Students project in Southern California that was designed to promote healthy development and prevent risk through Wellness Centers in school settings.


More recently, as part of a CDC-funded Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention, I was involved in the implementation and evaluation of an evidence-based parent-child interaction therapy program for low-income immigrant Latino families, which led to the development of a home visitation child development parent training program, Madres a Madres, to address the unique needs of immigrant families. I also developed a competence-based cognitive-behavioral intervention for adolescents, Positive Life Changes, that currently is being evaluated in alternative school and juvenile justice settings in California and Connecticut. 


An important focus of my research is on the application of child development and prevention research across different cultural settings and internationally. I have worked on projects funded by The World Bank, The Interamerican Development Bank, USAID, and other donor agencies over the past several years. These projects have emphasized enhancing children's development, improving educational and youth service settings, and preventing problem behaviors in Latin American and the Caribbean. Countries I have worked in include Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Venezuela, Jamaica, and Trinidad.




Grant Funding


2000-2003 Principal Investigator, "Southern California Developing Center of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention," CDC, $1,197,000

2001-2003 Principal Investigator, "Aggression and social cognition among urban and inner-city youth," NICHD, $550,000

2003-2005 Principal Investigator, "Southern California Developing Center of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention" (renewal), CDC, $774,123

2005-2011 Principal Investigator,"Southern California Academic Center of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevenation," CDC, $4.3 million.


Recent Publications


Sample Publications

Guerra, N. G., Hammons, A., & Otsuki, M. (in press). How ethnicity and culture influence the development of aggression and violence: A cross-national comparison. In X. Chen, & K. H. Rubin (Eds.), Socioemotional development in cultural context. New York: Guilford Press.

Guerra, N. G., Williams, K. R., & Sadek, S. (2011). Bullying and victimization from childhood to adolescence: Developmental changes and implications for prevention. Child Development, 82, 1, 295-310.

Guerra, N. G., Graham, S., & Tolan, P. H. (2011). Raising healthy children: Translating research into practice. Child Development82, 1, 7-16.

Williams, K. R., & Guerra, N. G. (2011). Perceptions of collective efficacy and bullying perpetration in schools. Social Problems, 58, 126-143.

Leidy, M., Guerra, N., G., & Toro, R. (2010). The impact of positive parenting and family cohesion on social competence among children of immigrant Latino parents: A mixed methods study. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 252-260.

Cook, C., Williams, K. R., Guerra, N. G., Kim, T., & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of childhood bullying and victimization: A meta-analytic review. School Psychology Quarterly, 25, 65-83.

Guerra, N. G., & Bradshaw, C. (Eds., 2008). Core competencies to prevent problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development, 122. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.



  • Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences - University of Delaware
    108 Wolf Hall  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: 302-831-2271