Department: Psicología

Research institute: Instituto para el Desarrollo Social Sostenible (INDESS)

Area: Developmental and Educational Psychology

Research group: Inteligencia, Comportamiento y Adaptación


Áreas PAIDI: Humanidades

Doctor by the Universidad de Cádiz with the thesis Adaptabilidad social en niños de cuatro y cinco años Un estudio piloto 1999. Supervised by Dr. Paloma Braza Lloret.

I graduated in Psychology (University of Seville) in June 1992. I joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Cadiz and the research group (HUM-554) of which I am currently a member in 1994. In 1999, I defended my doctoral thesis that was about the utility of an index of diversity of behaviors (IAB) as a measure of social competence in boys and girls. From the beginning, my research has focused on the study of social behavior in childhood with the objective of knowing better the indicators of adjustment and social risk. My previous work can be separated in two stages. Before 2005, my research was motivated by a keen interest in early stages of development. Using observational methodology and an ethological approach, I focused on exploring what social behaviors were related to social risk or adjustment in preschool children. Furthermore, during this period, our empirical research showed, amongst other things, the adaptive nature of aggression or the anthropometric and family correlates of the social behaviors in peer groups. Since 2005, we have focused our interest on school-aged children (7-8 years) and aggressive behavior. We began to collaborate with a team of researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), a cooperation that continues today. Together, we form a group of researchers from different areas of knowledge (Developmental Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Basic Psychological Processes, Human Ethology and Psychobiology) that has approached the study of social risk in a more comprehensive and holistic way. So, we have worked in the search for complex models that could explain and predict, before 8 years of age, the aggressive behavior from biological (hormones profiles), psychological (sociocognitive, emotional, temperament) and contextual (family, peers) variables. Using analytical strategies to test direct, interactive and indirect relations between predictors of aggression, our work have identified relevant risk factors for child aggression such as parental corporal punishment, parental inconsistent practices, high levels of testosterone and cortisol or negative emotionality; protective factors such as parental warm, effortful control or empathy; and the moderating role or sex. I have participated in eleven contributions published in the last decade (ten indexed in the JCR (8 in Q1-Q2; 2 in Q3-Q4). My teaching career began as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Educational Sciences (1994-2004), and currently, a University Professor in the area of Developmental Psychology and Education. I have held various academic management positions: Secretary of Department of Psychology, Director of Department of Psychology and, currently, Academic Secretary in the Faculty of Education Sciences.