Maciel Hernández

Position Title
Assistant Professor

  • Human Development & Family Studies

Research Interests


Interests: Culture/Neighborhood/Society, Family, Research Methodology, School, Social-Emotional

Life Phases: Middle Childhood, Adolescence

Guided by theory emphasizing the dynamic roles of context and culture in development, three themes encompass Dr. Hernández’s research program on the education and development of young children from Latino and immigrant backgrounds. The first research theme focuses on the development of Latino/a/x children, with attention to cultural contexts and processes. The second theme examines how self-regulation and emotions exhibited in school (i.e., how children express and regulate their emotions) predict children’s academic and socioemotional adjustment. The third theme examines how social relationships with teachers and peers predict academic outcomes, particularly for those at risk for academic difficulties. Collectively, Dr. Hernández investigates children’s emotional, social, and academic experiences across development with a focus on Latino/a/x children and highlights diversity in development. Dr. Hernández employs various applied longitudinal measurement and analytical methods to test individual differences and developmental trajectories from childhood to adolescence. Dr. Hernández’s research has been published in outlets such as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Emotion, Journal of Educational Psychology, and the International Journal of Behavioral Development. Dr. Hernández is an AERA-SRCD Early Career Research Fellow in Middle Childhood Education and Development, a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, and consulting editor for Developmental Psychology


Select Publications


Hernández, M. M., Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., Spinrad, T. L., Johns, S. K., Berger, R. H., Silva, K. M., Diaz, A., Gal-Szabo, D. E., Thompson, M. S., & Southworth, J. (2018). Self-regulation and academic achievement across the early elementary school grades: Examining longitudinal and bidirectional associations. Early Education and Development, 29, 914-938. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2018.1496722

Hernández, M. M., Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., Thompson, M. S., Spinrad, T. L., Grimm, K. J., VanSchyndel, S. K., Berger, R. H., Silva, K. M., Pina, A. A., Southworth, J., & Gal, D. E. (2018). Trajectories of the expression of negative emotion from kindergarten to first grade: Associations with academic outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110, 324-337. doi: 10.1037/edu0000213

Hernández, M. M., Robins, R. W., Widaman, K. F., & Conger, R. D. (2017). Ethnic pride, self-esteem, and school belonging: A reciprocal analysis over time. Developmental Psychology, 53, 2384-2396. doi: 10.1037/dev0000434

Hernández, M. M., & Bámaca-Colbert, M. Y. (2016). A behavioral process model of familism. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, 463–483. doi: 10.1111/jftr.12166

Hernández, M. M., Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., VanSchyndel, S. K., Spinrad, T. L., Silva, K. M., Berger, R. H., Diaz, A., Terrell, N., Thompson, M. S., & Southworth, J. (2016). Emotional expression in school context, social relationships, and academic adjustment in kindergarten. Emotion, 16, 553-566. doi: 10.1037/emo0000147


Ph.D., Human Development. University of California, Davis.


B.A., Psychology, Spanish. Claremont McKenna College.