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Lissette Piedra

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Professor Piedra’s research interests explores the social consequences of an increasingly diverse society by examining how the language and culture of immigrants affect their access to and use of social and health services. Specifically, her analyses have focused on three interrelated topics, as they apply to Latino immigrants: (1) the mental health service barriers created by linguistic and cultural incongruence, (2) the increased need for bilingual and interpretational services in communities with rapidly growing immigrant populations, and (3) the adaption of interventions to these new service contexts through university and community partnerships. Her recent work builds on this conceptual foundation by adapting a cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) to meet the linguistic and cultural needs of depressed immigrant mothers living in communities with new Hispanic populations.  Subsequently, she developed Vida Alegre [Happy/Contented Life], a 10-week group CBT to address maternal depression and that trains bilingual BSW and graduate students to implement the model.  Dr. Piedra plans to test this intervention in other new growth communities in Illinois and throughout the U.S.


BA, Psychology, Syracus University, 1992

MSW, Loyola University, 1997

PhD, Social Work, University of Chicago, 2006

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Associate Professor, Latina/Latino Studies
Associate Professor, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives
Associate Professor, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Recent Publications

Chen, Y., & Piedra, L. M. (2024). In this issue… exploring violence, reflexivity, and transformative practices. qualitative social work, 23(4), 597-601.

Iveniuk, J., Zhong, S., Wilder, J., Marshall, G., Boyle, P., Hanis-Martin, J., Hawkley, L., Piedra, L. M., Riley, A. R., & Lee, H. (2024). Race/ethnicity and the measurement of cognition in NSHAP: Recommendations for robustness. Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Article gbae043. Advance online publication.

Piedra, L. M. (2024). Member checking: A brief metalogue of a career interview. qualitative social work, 23(4), 589-596.

Riley, A. R., Hawkley, L. C., & Piedra, L. M. (2024). Unequal loss: Disparities in relational closeness to a COVID-19 death among U.S. older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 72(5), 1483-1490.

Piedra, L. M. (2023). A garden of compassion…In memory of Norman K. Denzin. qualitative social work, 22(6), 1051-1054.

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