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Latisha Ross

Education Researcher, SRI Education

Latisha Ross, PhD, conducts research that centers on student experiences and family involvement. Ross has a professional background in positive youth development and interests in understanding the ways in which families and community contexts contribute to the positive development of Black and Latinx youth. She has worked with school- and community-based organizations in New York City and New Jersey to offer student and parent support toward maximizing student potential and engagement and parent confidence in supporting the positive development of their child(ren). Ross cares deeply about the positive development of youth of color and ways that parents and schools best support them. She is an educational psychologist with a strong interest in using her skills to create inclusive and engaging learning environments and supportive systems that foster positive human development. It is her passion to improve educational outcomes for students of color through research, evaluation, and program and professional development informed by data-driven best practices.

Ross’ research investigates the ways in which achievement motivation and academic engagement are socialized in students. She focuses on processes by which youths’ academic behaviors, attitudes, engagement, and performance are shaped by caregiver/parent academic socialization (PAS) messages and developmental contexts and the impact of PAS messages on the academic and psychosocial outcomes of youth. Thus far, her research suggests that parent PAS messages have an impact on the ways in which adolescents build academic motivation and persistence, manage their engagement with academic content, and further develop their academic selves and skills. Ross also has research expertise in parent involvement, parenting, parent-child relationships, and race socialization.

In addition to content expertise in parenting/socialization and engagement, Ross has deep expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods, including survey design, measurement design, interviews, focus groups, mixed methods evaluation, and participatory action research. Her quantitative analytic skills include psychometric analyses, dimension reduction and clustering, general linear modeling, structural equation modeling, regression techniques, and multilevel modeling, and her qualitative analytic skills include individual and team thematic analysis and grounded theory with the assessment of interrater reliability.

Ross has served as a thought partner and collaborated with education stakeholders and youth development specialists to best understand and serve youth and families. She has provided technical assistance to school redesign efforts in community-of-practice settings, working with school teams to interpret data, identify strengths, and create plans to target and address areas in need of growth.

Ross earned her PhD in education and psychology and MS in psychology at the University of Michigan and a BS in applied psychology at New York University.

Key projects

  1. Evaluation of the Engage New England Initiative


  1. Dealing with discrimination: Parents’ and adolescents’ racial discrimination experiences and parenting in African American families *
  2. Intergenerational Factors, Fatherhood Beliefs, and African American Fathers’ Involvement: Building the Case for a Mediated Pathway *
  3.  Racial identity as a context for African American parents’ school trust and involvement and the impact on student preparation and persistence *

*Publication written prior to SRI employment.

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