Sarah Rendón García (She/her/ella)

Assistant Professor

Human Development and Family Sciences

My research lives at the intersection of immigration studies, developmental psychology, and social justice and broadly examines the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children impacted by immigration policy.


I approach this line of inquiry in three ways:

  1. by exploring the role of familial strategies as a moderating factor between exposure to undocumented immigration status and developmental outcomes,
  2. by investigating the individual differences in how children and adolescents cognitively and emotionally understand the concepts of “illegality” and immigration policies in the United States, and
  3. by studying the influence of caregiver-child relationship quality in mixed-status families on individual meaning-making processes.

Across these three intertwined lines of work I take an interdisciplinary lens, I prioritize methodologies that elevate the voices of these communities, and I consider families’ geographical contexts, sociopolitical ecologies, and caregivers’ perimigration contexts.


Educational background:

Ph.D., Education (Human Development, Learning, and Teaching, Harvard University

Ed.M., Prevention Science and Practice, Harvard Grarduate School of Education

B.A., Psychology and French, College of the Holy Cross


Research Interests:

  • Latine famiiles
  • Mixed-status immigrant families
  • Immigration socialization
  • Caregiver-child relationships
  • Socioemotional development
  • Dual-generation community-based interventions


Selected Publications:

  • Brabeck, K., Gonzalez, D., & Rendón García, S.A (in press). The Interactions between immigrant child development and the immigration legal system. In A. Redlich & J. Quas (under contract). (Eds.) The Handbook on Psychology and the Law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press
  • Frankel, K.K., Brabeck, K.M., & Rendón García, S.A. (2021). Understanding unaccompanied immigrant youth’s experiences in US schools: An interdisciplinary perspective. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), doi: 10.1080/10824669.2021.1949320
  • Rendón García, S.A. (2019). “No vamos a tapar el sol con un dedo”: Maternal communication concerning immigration status. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 7(4), 284–03.
  • Chaudry, A., Yoshikawa, H., Rendón García, S.A., Koball, H., & Francis, T. (2019). Approaches to Protect Children’s Access to Health and Human Services in an Era of Harsh Immigration Policy. NYU Institute of Human Development and Social Change.
  • Gonzales, R.G., Ellis, B.D., Rendón García, S.A., & Brant, K. (2018). (un)Authorized transitions: Illegality, DACA, and the life course. Research in Human Development, 15(3-4), 345-359.
Sarah Rendon Garcia
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