ERICK GUERRERO joined the USC School of Social Work faculty in 2009 as a post-doctoral fellow and was promoted a year later to assistant professor. His research focuses on health care management policy, organizational change, and Latinos' social and health outcomes. Particularly, he focuses on the implementation of culturally responsive and evidence-informed health service models. In his dissertation, Guerrero explored the adoption of culturally competent practices in the nation's outpatient substance abuse treatment field. He also studies organizational inclusion of diversity, social development and international social work practice.
Guerrero has taught courses on organizations, management and policy implementation. He currently teaches research methods for social workers and a doctoral course on theories for practice in large systems. Guerrero has consulted for national and international non-profit organizations on diversity management and program evaluation. A licensed clinical therapist, he has provided bilingual-bicultural (Spanish) clinical services at different psychiatric and substance abuse treatment settings for the past 13 years.
While working on his doctorate, Guerrero completed a pre-doctoral fellowship sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has also received numerous emerging scholar awards from other health and organizational research institutions, such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Association on Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Volunteering Action (ARNOVA) and the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprise. He is currently a member of ARNOVA, the Society for Social Work Research, the Academy of Management and the National Hispanic Network on Drug Abuse.
On his path to becoming a social worker, Dr. Erick Guerrero took several detours to study clinical psychology, business administration and economics before working in management for organizations that served ethnic and racial minorities. But in an act of professional convergence, Guerrero found a way to merge his multidisciplinary training and clinical experience into a unique specialty—the study of organizational culture as it relates to the treatment of minority populations. He has since focused his research on the context and organizational structures that influence the effectiveness of client–practitioner relationships.
After initial forays into international relations and business administration, Guerrero studied clinical psychology at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City. His interest in the field grew out of past experiences with people in the community who needed “extra support to maximize their potential.” Upon moving to Chicago to continue his education, Guerrero began working at an agency that served a low-income, predominantly Latino community and quickly developed an interest in substance abuse treatment.
During his time in Chicago, Guerrero began devising ways to create a high-quality, self-sustaining model that offered culturally and linguistically appropriate care. While studying economics in an effort to better understand management, he was told that his clinical experience would make him an effective social worker. Awakened to the possibility, he pursued a PhD in social work from the University of Chicago, focusing his dissertation on the adoption of culturally competent practices in the nation’s outpatient substance abuse treatment field, one of the few studies of its kind.
As an assistant professor at USC, Guerrero has continued to focus on the evaluation of organizational competence and mental health treatment services, including a recent project exploring the management of substance abuse providers in Los Angeles. Guerrero’s overall focus is organizational culture and climate—the ways in which therapists and supervisors interact with their environment—and he has repeatedly found that an organization’s success depends on dedicated, proactive management.
Much of his work involves interviewing managers, and Guerrero has been able to provide many of his students with opportunities to conduct meaningful field work. Under his mentorship, students have traveled to service organizations across Southern California and interviewed key administrators, giving them an opportunity to both understand new research methodologies and become acquainted with real-world practice.
Guerrero, G.E., Marsh, J.C., Duan, L., Oh, C., Perron, B. & Lee, B. (in press). Between and within racial and ethnic group disparities in completion of substance abuse treatment. Health Service Research.
Guerrero, G.E. (2012). Latinos and health disparities in substance abuse treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. New York, NY: Addiction Health Services Research.
Marsh, J.C. & Guerrero, G.E. (2012). Gender differences among Latino subsample in a national sample of substance abuse treatment programs.Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. (pp. e8). New York, NY: Addiction Health Services Research.
Guerrero, G.E. (2012). Managerial challenges and strategies to implementing organizational change in substance abuse treatment for Latinos.Administration in Social Work, Online first.
Guerrero, G.E., Campos, M., Urada, D. & Yang, J.C. (2012). Do cultural and linguistic competence matter in Latinos’ completion of mandated substance abuse treatment?. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 7(1), 34.
Guerrero, G.E. (2012). Workforce diversity in outpatient substance abuse treatment: The role of leaders' characteristics. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Online first.
Guerrero, G.E., Cepeda, A., Duan, L. & Kim, T. (2012). Disparities in completion of substance abuse treatment among Latino subgroups in Los Angeles County, CA. Addictive Behaviors, 37(10), 1162-1166.
Guerrero, G.E., Kao, D. & Perron, B. (2012). Travel distance to outpatient substance use disorder treatment facilities for Spanish speaking clients.International Journal of Drug Policy, Online first.
Guerrero, G.E. (2012). Organizational characteristics fostering adoption of culturally competent practices in outpatient substance abuse treatment in the U.S. Evaluation and Program Planning, 35(1), 9-15.
Guerrero, G.E., Pan, K., Curtis, A. & Lizano, L.E. (2011). Availability of substance abuse treatment in Spanish: A GIS analysis of Latino communities in Los Angeles County, California. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 6, 21.
Guerrero, G.E. & Andrews, C. (2011). Cultural competence in outpatient substance abuse treatment: Measurement and relationship with wait time and retention. Drug and Alcohol Dependance, 119, e13-e22.
Guerrero, G.E. & Cederbaum, A.J. (2010). Adoption and utilization of sexually transmitted infections testing in outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities serving high risk populations in the U.S. International Journal of Drug Policy, 22, 41-48.
Guerrero, G.E. (2010). Managerial capacity and adoption of culturally competent practices in outpatient substance abuse treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 39(4), 329-339.
Perron, B.E., Vaughn, M.G., Howard, M.O., Bohnert, A. & Guerrero, E. (2010). Item response theory analysis of DSM-IV criteria for inhalant use disorders in adolescents. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 71(4), 607-614.
Marsh, J.C., Cao, D., Guerrero, E. & Shin, H. (2009). Need-service matching in substance abuse treatment: Racial/ethnic differences. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32(9), 43-51.
Guerrero, E. (2005). Lack of self-control breeds counterproductive work behaviors in mental health workers. Kellogg Journal of Organizational Behavior (Fall).
Guerrero, E. (2004). Implications of parental supervision in high sensation seeking adolescents from single parent families. Journal of Hispanic American Psychiatry, 4, 6-9.
- Master of Social Work