Maria Aranda

Research Interest 
Aging
Behavioral Health
Diversity/Cross Cultural
Health
Mental Health
Contact Information
Location
University Park
City Center
Phone213.740.0286
E-mail
Associate Professor
Education 
PhD, University of Southern California, 1995
MPA, University of Southern California, 1991
MSW, University of Southern California, 1982
BSW, California State University, Los Angeles, 1979

MARIA ARANDA joined the USC School of Social Work faculty in 1995 and holds a joint appointment with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She chairs the Human Behavior and Social Environment sequence as well as the Older Adult subconcentration. Dr. Aranda's research and teaching interests address the interplay between chronic illness, social resources and psychological well-being in low-income minority populations.

Dr. Aranda has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on several key studies funded by and/or in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health, National Cancer Institute, The John A. Hartford Foundation/The Gerontological Society of America, National Institute of Rehabilitation and Research, Alzheimer's Association/Health Resources and Services Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Larson Endowment for Innovative Research and Teaching and AltaMed Health Services Corp. Overall, her research addresses the study of psychosocial care of adult and late-life psychiatric disorders, ethnic and racial diversity in the delivery of mental health services and sociocultural adaptations to evidence-based social work practice.

She has also served as a consultant to two population-based studies on health and aging: the Hispanic Epidemiologic Populations Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE) and the Puerto Rican Elderly: Health Conditions study (PREHCO).

Dr. Aranda has 20 years of licensed clinical experience providing mental health services to Latinos in the greater Los Angeles area. She has served on local and national boards and committees dedicated to the enhancement of practice, policy, research and advocacy related to underserved minority populations. Dr. Aranda was recently appointed to the Performance Measurement Advisory Committee of the State of California Department of Mental Health.

As a clinician in the Los Angeles public mental health sector, Dr. Maria Aranda never felt she had enough answers to the problems facing her mentally ill patients. She would frequently consult the literature, but came up with few solutions. After nearly a decade in the field, she decided to return to academia and fill in a long-standing gap in the understanding of mental health needs for minority and aging populations.

A native of Los Angeles, Aranda received both her MSW and PhD from the USC School of Social Work. She attributes her interest in social work to her parents, who lent a helping hand to those in need despite their own lack of means. Her Latina heritage and close relationship to her grandparents contributed to her focus on minority and aging groups.

When Aranda first began working at USC in 1995, there was almost no research being done on older ethnic and racial minorities, and very few evidence-based practices were available to treat these groups for mental illnesses. She recently conducted a 20-year review of studies on depression treatment outcomes in the United States and found that only six of more than 1,000 studies related to minorities. But as funding agencies begin to focus on evidence-based practices for underserved communities, Aranda is poised to take advantage.

Myths about older ethnic and minority populations—that they stand to benefit less from treatment efforts, for instance—have served as barriers in the past, but much of Aranda’s work has served to shatter such preconceived notions. A review she conducted with Dr. Kathleen Ell revealed that older adults do just as well as younger adults when they receive quality treatment for depression.

Aranda is best known for her work on social resources and the psychological well-being of minority populations, particularly Latinos. She recently received a grant to test an evidence-based treatment program for Latinos with severe depression. Her eventual goal is to pioneer treatment interventions that are socially and culturally acceptable.

An avid mentor, Aranda received the Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring Students in 2009. Under her guidance, students have discovered their passion for working with older populations. Aranda also teaches classes in older adult and Latino social work—opportunities for students to become acquainted with this fast-emerging, meaningful field of research.
 

Awards and Distinction
Leadership and Advocacy Award, California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (2013)
Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (2012)
Appointed Member, Institute of Medicine, Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations (2011-12)
Summer Biomarker Institute: Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University (2011)
Social Worker Award, AltaMed Health Services Corp., Los Angeles, CA (2011)
Chair, and Member, 2010 Aging Achievement Award, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for “The State of Aging and Health Among Latino Elders" (2010)
CIBER Global Immersion Program in Social Work, University of Southern California (2010)
Mellon Mentoring Award for Graduate Student Mentoring, University of Southern California (2009)
Workshop on Longitudinal Analysis of Aging Research, Centro Centroamericano de Población, San Jose, Costa Rica (2008)
Summer Training Workshop on African American Aging Research, Program for Research on Black Americans, Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2008)
Public Service Award, California Representative, National Puerto Rican Day Parade Association (2004)
Scholar Award, The John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program in conjunction with the Gerontological Society of America (2003-05)
Summer Training for Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health (2002)
More awards
Selected Publications

Woodward, A.T., Taylor, R.J., Bullard, K.M., Aranda, M.P., Lincoln, K.D. & Chatters, L. (in press). Prevalence of Lifetime DSM-IV affective disorders among older African Americans, Black Caribbeans, Latinos, Asians and Non-Hispanic Whites. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Aranda, M.P., Chae, D.H., Lincoln, K.D., Taylor, R.J., Woodward, A.T. & Chatters, L.M. (in press). Demographic Correlates of DSM-IV Major Depressive Disorder among Older African older African Americans, Black Caribbeans, and Non-Hispanic Whites: Results from the National Survey of American Life. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Aranda, M.P., Ray, L.A., Soham, A.S., Ottenbacher, K.J. & Markides, K.S. (2011). The protective effect of neighborhood composition on increasing frailty among older Mexican Americans. Journal of Aging and Health, 23(7), 1189-1217.

Ell, K., Aranda, M.P., Jiuan, P. & Xie, B. (2010). Collaborative depression treatment in older and younger adults with physical illness: Pooled analysis of three randomized clinical trials. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18, 520-530.

Aranda, M.P. (2010 May). Depression in Latino Older Adults. Social Work Inservice. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County, LAC+USC Health Care Network.

Guo, M., Aranda, M.P. & Silverstein, M. (2009). The impact of the out-migration on the intergenerational support and psychological well-being of older people in China. Ageing and Society, 29, 1-20.

Aranda, M.P. (2009 October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). Cultural Sensitivity Issues in Mentoring Relationships. John A Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program. Annual Orientation Institute,. Washington, DC.

Aranda, M.P. (2009 September). Predictors of Frailty at 2-year Follow-Up in an Old-Old Mexican American Population. The 2009 International Conference on Aging in the Americas. Austin, TX.

Aranda, M.P. (2009 September). Community based-education curricula development in evidence-based practice: Models and teaching tools in the management of depression. Evidence-Based Health Promotion for Older Adults: Competencies, Content, and Curricula. Conference sponsored by SAGE/CGEC. University of California, (Los Angeles). Oxnard, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2009 June). Depression. The Los Angeles Partnership for Evidence-Based Solutions in Elder Health. Los Angeles, CA:.

Aranda, M.P., Kuo, T., Villa, V.M. & Trejo, L. (2009 June). The State of Aging and Health Among Older Latinos in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Partnership for Evidence-Based Solutions in Elder Health. Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Area Agency on Aging.

Aranda, M.P., Dávila, A., Gurutxarri, A.G. & Larriuz, M. (2009 April (2nd Quarter/Spring)). Percepción de raza y color de piel entre personas de edad mayor en Puerto Rico: PREHCO 2006-07. XXIX Foro de Investigación y Educación, Recinto de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad de Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Huynh-Hohnbaum, A.T., Villa, V.M., Aranda, M.P. & Lambrinos, J. (2008). Evaluating a multicomponent caregiver Intervention: A pilot study. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 27(4), 399-325.

Ortiz, L. & Aranda, M.P. (2008). Guest editorial for special issue on Intervention Outcome Research with Latinos: Social work’s contributions.Research on Social Work Practice.

Jani, J., Ortiz, L. & Aranda, M.P. (2008). Latino outcome studies: A review of the literature. Journal of Social Work Practice, 18, 1-16.

Aranda, M.P. (2008). The relationship between religious involvement and psychological well-being: A social justice perspective. Health and Social Work, 33(1), 9-21.

Aranda, M.P., Guo, M. & Silverstein, M. (2008 October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). The impact of out-migration on the intergenerational support and psychological well-being of older people in China. CSWE 54th Annual Program Meeting. Philadelphia, PA.

Aranda, M.P., Guo, M. & Silverstein, M. (2008 October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). The impact of out-migration on the intergenerational support and psychological well-being of older people in China. CSWE 54th Annual Program Meeting. Philadelphia, PA.

Aranda, M.P., Guo, M. & Silverstein, M. (2008 October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). The impact of out-migration on the intergenerational support and psychological well-being of older people in China. CSWE 54th Annual Program Meeting. Philadelphia, PA.

Aranda, M.P. (2008 June). Longitudinal determinants of depressive symptoms among community-dwelling elderly in Puerto Rico: Findings from the PREHCO study. Taller sobre Análisis de Datos Longitudinales de Adultos Mayores. San Jose, Costa Rica: Centro Centroamericano de Población.

Aranda, M.P. (2008 May). Sociocultural Adaptations of PST for Disadvantaged Populations. Prevention Research Centers-Healthy Aging Research Network (PRC-HAN) Research to Practice Symposium: Effective Programs to Treat Depression in Older Adults – Implementation Strategies. Atlanta, GA.

Aranda, M.P. & Trejo, L. (2007 December). Aging Services in the U.S.: Social Work Practice with the Elderly. Beijing, China.

Aranda, M.P. & Morano, C. (2007). Psychoeducational strategies for Latino caregivers. In C.B. Cox (Eds.) Dementia and Social Work Practice: Research and Interventions. (pp. 189-204).: New York: Springer Publishing.

Li, Y., Aranda, M.P. & Chi, I. (2007). Health and life satisfaction of ethnic minority older adults in mainland China: Effects of financial strain.International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 64, 361-379.

Unützer, K.E., Aranda, M.P., Gibbs, N.E., Lee, P.J. & Xie., B. (2007). Managing depression in home health care: A randomized clinical trial. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 26(3), 81-104.

Aranda, M.P. & Gamulin, L. (2007). An Evaluation Study of Interpreter Training Courses for Mental Health Settings. the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Los Angeles, California: University of Southern California, School of Social Work,.

Aranda, M.P. & Chadiha, L. (2007 November). Determinants of health service utilization among African American Female Caregivers: testing the Anderson Model. 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. San Francisco, CA.

Aranda, M.P. & Chadiha, L. (2007 November). Determinants of health service utilization among African American Female Caregivers: testing the Anderson Model. 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. San Francisco, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2007 November). Mental Health: Focus on Hispanic Aging.National Hispanic Council on Aging, Annual Conference. Dallas, TX.

Aranda, M.P. & Parker-Dominguez, T. (2007 October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). Starting from Scratch: Top to Bottom Overhaul of an HBSE Curriculum. Council on Social Work Education, Annual Program Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2007 September). nformal Care of the Frail Elderly: Policy and Practices to Support Family Caregivers, Supporting Latino Caregiving Families: The El Portal Latino Alzheimer’s Project – A Dementia Care Network. The George Washington University National Health Policy Forum. Washington, DC.

Aranda, M.P. (2007 February). Depression in Latino Older Adults. The Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission. Los Angles, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2007 February). Spanish-Speaking Populations: Strategies for Service. Presented at The Many Faces of Dementia: The Journey from Science to Service. USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center. Los Angles, CA.

Aranda, M.P. & Lincoln, K. (2006 December). A Test of the Stress & Coping Model among Low-Income Latinos: The Differential Effects of Financial Strain, Social Support, Negative Interaction, & Coping on Depressive Symptoms. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Social Work in Health & Mental Health. Hong Kong.

Aranda, M.P., Chadiha, L.A. & Brown, E. (2006). Social Work Practice with Older African Americans and Other Black Populations. In B.Berkman (Eds.)Handbook of Social Work in Aging. New York: Oxford University Press.

Aranda, M.P. (2006). Social Work with Older Latinos: A Mental Health Perspective. In B.Berkman (Eds.) Handbook of Social Work in Aging. New York: : Oxford University Press.

Aranda, M.P., Ell, K.R., Unutzer, R., Sanchez, K. & Lee, P.J. (2005). Routine PHQ-9 depression screening in home health care: Depression prevalence, clinical and treatment characteristics. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 24(4), 1-19.

Aranda, M.P. (2005 November). Symposium: The Sociocultural Stress and Coping Model: The Impact of Culture on Caregiving Outcomes among Diverse Caregiving Samples. 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. Orlando, FL.

Aranda, M.P., Hansen, M. & Ell, K. (2005 August). Sociocultural Adaptations of Depression Treatment for Latino Older Adults. START-MH Conference. University of California,San Diego. La Jolla, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2005 June). Depression and Cardiovascular-Related Mortality among Older Americans. The 18th Congress of the International Association of Gerontology. Iberian-Latin American Meeting. Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Aranda, M.P. & Villagrana, M. (2005 February). A Conceptual Model of Mental Health Service Use for Latino Children in Foster Care. Council on Social Work Education, Annual Program Meeting. New York, NY.

Aranda, M.P. (2005 February). Older Latinos and Mental Health. National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. California Policy Institute On Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Aranda, M.P. (2005 February). The Relationship between Immigrant Status, Religious Attendance, Private Prayer and Psychological Well-Being in a Clinical Sample of Older U.S. Latinos. Conference on Religion and Social Justice for Immigrants. Center on Religion and Civic Culture. University of Southern California.

Aranda, M.P. & Allery, A.J. (2004). Alzheimer’s Disease and Communities of Color. In K. Whitfield (Eds.) Closing the Gap: Improving the Health of Minority Elders in the New Millennium. (pp. 81-86). Washington, DC: Allen Press:.

Aranda, M.P. & Talamantes, M. (2004). Cultural Competency in Working with Family Caregivers. National Center on Caregiving, Family Caregiver Alliance.

Aranda, M.P. (2004). Cultural Competency in Working with Latino Caregivers. Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging & The National Council on Aging. San Francisco, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2004). Latino Mental Health: A Systematic Literature Review.Latino Behavioral Health Institute 10th Annual Conference. Universal City, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2004). Using In-Depth Interviews to Understand the Nature and Course of Depression in Older Adults with Chronic Illness. Family Research Consortium IV, First Annual Summer Research Institute. NIMH, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Aranda, M.P., Angel, R., Angel, J. & Miles, T.P. (2004). Risk of nursing home use among elderly Mexican Americans. Journal of Aging and Health, 16((3)), 338-354.

Aranda, M.P. (2003 December). Workshop on Aging, Well Being, and Health.S.A.B.E. Study. The Pan American Health Organization. Research Meeting. San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Aranda, M.P. (2003). Sociocultural Adaptations to Depression Care for Low-Income Latinas with Cancer. The 131st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. San Francisco, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2003). Stress, Social Support, and Depressive Symptoms among Mexican American Elderly. First Annual Meeting of the Latino Professional Network School of Social Work. University of Southern California, Orange County, CA.

Aranda, M.P. (2003). The Longitudinal Results of the Course of Depression in a Sample of Spousal Caregivers: Dementia Caregiving and the Cessation of Care. Caregiver Symposium. 7th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, DC.

Aranda, M.P. (2003). The Sociocultural Stress and Coping Model for Mental Health Outcomes among Older Latinos in Long Term Care. 2003 Scholars Institute, John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program. Washington, D.C.

Aranda, M.P., Villa, V., Trejo, L., Ramirez, R. & Ranney, M. (2003). The El Portal Latino Alzheimer’s Project: A model program for Latino caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease-affected persons. Social Work, 48((2)), 259-271.

Aranda, M.P. (2002). La Enfermedad de Alzheimer's: Retos e Implicaciones para el Familiar. Centro Americano de Estudios de Seguro Social. Mexico City, Mexico.

Aranda, M.P. (2002). Outreach and Care for People in Different Ethnic Groups: What's Different? What's the Same?. American Society on Aging Annual Conference. Denver, CO.

Aranda, M.P. (2002). The Many Faces of Dementia: Individualized Approaches to Care. The Latino Perspective. The Alzheimer’s Association and the American Society on Aging. Preconference Special Program of the 2nd Annual Joint Conference of the National Council on Aging and the American Society on Aging. Denver, CO.

Aranda, M.P. (2002). U.S. Latinos: Values and Beliefs. National Alzheimer's Association. Chicago, IL.

Adams, B.M., Aranda, M.P., Kemp, B.J. & Takagi, K. (2002). Ethnic and gender differences in appraisal, coping and social support: A comparison of White-American, African-American, Japanese-American and Mexican-American spousal caregivers of persons with dementia. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, 8(4), 279-301.

Chiriboga, D.A., Black, S.A., Aranda, M.P. & Markides, K.S. (2002). Stress and depressive symptoms among Mexican American elderly. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57B, P559-P568.

 

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