Concepcion Barrio

Associate Professor
Contact Information
University Park
Department of Study 
Adults and Healthy Aging
Research Interest 
Diversity/Cross Cultural
Mental Health
PhD, University of Southern California, 1998
MSW, University of Southern California, 1980
BA, Loyola Marymount University, 1978

CONCEPCION (CONCHA) BARRIO joined the USC School of Social Work faculty in 2006 after serving as associate professor in the School of Social Work at San Diego State University and co-investigator at two research centers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in San Diego, the Child and Adolescent Services Center and the Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research (ACISR) at the University of California, San Diego. Barrio continues to maintain her research positions at these two centers and as principal investigator of the Latino Studies Unit at the ACISR.

Barrio has a national reputation in mental health services research, particularly the interaction of ethnicity and effective clinical practice. Since 1997, she has been the principal investigator on three NIMH grants. Currently, her NIMH research study examines the development of a culturally based family intervention for Mexican-Americans dealing with schizophrenia. She is also a co-investigator on several other National Institute of Health grants in Los Angeles and San Diego that focus on the cultural relevance of mental health services and on the development and cultural adaptation of interventions for Latino and other underserved and under-researched multicultural populations dealing with severe and persistent mental illness and co-morbid conditions.

Barrio has 20 years of social work practice experience in community and private mental health settings with multicultural populations. Her teaching expertise is in the area of advanced direct practice in mental health settings and psychopathology and the diagnosis of mental disorders.

She has served on the Services Research Scientific Merit Review Committee at the National Institute of Mental Health and has been nominated as standing member of this Review Committee. Barrio also serves as reviewer for numerous interdisciplinary scientific journals in social work, psychiatry, psychology, public health, anthropology, cultural diversity and mental health services.

As an undergraduate student, Dr. Concepción Barrio had been pondering a career as either a teacher or a social worker when she began volunteering once a week as a translator at a free clinic in Venice. After observing the work performed by a part-time social worker and the sheer level of need among impoverished clients, the choice became clear. She earned her master’s degree in social work from the USC School of Social Work in 1980 and immediately delved into service.

After a brief stint in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she practiced psychiatric social work with Latino and Native American populations, Barrio returned to Southern California to pursue similar community mental health work with multicultural groups in East Los Angeles. Drawn to issues surrounding serious mental illness, she also developed an interest in families and the critical role they play in treatment and recovery.

In 1988, her career took a bit of a shift when she became the director of admissions at the USC School of Social Work. She continued consulting and practicing in the mental health community, but spent much of her time immersed in academia and soon made the decision to pursue a PhD with a focus on serious mental illness and Latinos. As an associate professor at San Diego State University, she successfully competed for federal grant funding and leveraged her proximity to two major research centers into a robust research career. In 1999, she became the first Latina social worker to receive a five-year career development research award from the National Institute of Mental Health, and her string of funding success has continued since she joined the USC faculty in 2006.

Barrio’s research has generally focused on the development and cultural adaption of interventions for Latinos and other multicultural groups dealing with serious mental illness and co-morbid conditions. She recently developed a culturally based intervention for Latino families with a relative diagnosed with schizophrenia. As her work progresses, Barrio is interested in pursuing interventions focused on early onset psychosis, or symptoms that become apparent before an initial psychotic break. That is the time to intervene, she says, before biological and social elements are impacted.

Born in Mexico, Barrio moved with her family to the United States at age 5, and her background has undoubtedly influenced her research path. She also feels that her 20 years of experience as a practitioner affects her overall approach and interaction with the community. “It gives you an understanding of the meaning of research, that it needs to connect to practice and the lives of real people,” she says.

Awards and Distinction
Mentor Recognition Initiative Honor, CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education Mentor Recognition Program (2011)
Hutto Patterson Award for Distinguished USC School of Social Work Faculty, Excellence in Teaching & Service (2011)
USC Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2008)
Most Influential Graduate Faculty Award, SDSU School of Social Work (2005-2006)
Outstanding Service Award, Associated Students University Affairs Board, SDSU (2004-2005)
Outstanding Graduate Faculty of the Year Award, Student Council, College of Health and Human Services, SDSU (1998-1999)
Most Influential Graduate Faculty Award, SDSU School of Social Work (1998-1999)
Wallis Anneberg Graduate Fellowship, USC (1993-1997)
Council of Social Work Education Minority Research Fellowship (1993-1996)
More awards
Selected Publications

Barrio, C., Dixon, L., Jeste, D.V., Russo, P. & Yamada, A. (in press). Clinician interactions with patients and families. Comprehensive Care of Schizophrenia: A Textbook of Clinical Management (2nd).

Lambros, K. & Barrio, C. (in press). Mental health interventions with Latino students in multi-cultural school environments: A framework for assessing biases and developing cultural competence. In Franklin, C., Harris, M. & Allen-Meares, P (Eds.) The School Services Sourcebook: A Guide for School-Based Professionals. New York: Oxford University Press.

Barrio, C., Hernández, M. & Barragán, A. (2011). Serving Latino Families Caring for a Person with Serious Mental Illness. In Buki, L.P. & Piedra, I.M (Eds.) Creating infrastructures for Latino mental health. (pp. 159-175). New York: Springer.

Barrio, C. & Yamada, A. (2010). Culturally based intervention development: The case of Latino families dealing with schizophrenia. Research on Social Work Practice, 20(5), 483-492.

Yamada, A., Lee, K., Dinh, T., Barrio, C. & Brekke, J. (2010). Intrinsic motivation as a mediator of relationships between symptoms and functioning among individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in a diverse urban community. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198(1), 28-34.

Min, J. & Barrio, C. (2009). Cultural Values and Caregiver Preference for Mexican-American and Non-Latino White Elders. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 24(3), 225-239.

Gilmer, T., Ojeda, V., Barrio, C., Fuentes, D., Garcia, P. & Jeste, D. (2009). Adherence to antipsychotic medications among Latinos and Asians with schizophrenia and limited English proficiency. Psychiatric Services, 60(2), 175-182.

Yamada, A., Barrio, C., Atuel, H., Harding, C., Webster, D. & Hough, R. (2009). A retrospective study of delayed receipt of initial psychiatric services in a tri-ethnic community sample of adults with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 108(1-3), 305-306.

Yamada, A., Barrio, C., Harding, C., Webster, D., Atuel, H. & Hough, R. (2009). Cultural themes associated with pathways to initial use of psychiatric services in a tri-ethnic community sample of adults with schizophrenia.Schizophrenia Research, 115(2), 375-376.

Barrio, C., Palinkas, L., Yamada, A., Fuentes, D., Criado, V. & Garcia, P. (2008). Unmet needs for mental health services for Latino older adults: perspectives from consumers, family members, advocates, and service providers. Community Mental Health Journal, 44(1), 57-74.

Cardenas, V., Mausbach, B., Barrio, C., Bucardo, J., Jeste, D. & Patterson, T. (2008). The relationship between functional capacity and community responsibilities in middle-aged and older Latinos of Mexican origin with chronic psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 98(1-3), 209-216.

Cohen, A., Glynn, S., Murray-Swank, A., Barrio, C., Fischer, E. & McCutcheon, S. (2008). The Family Forum: Directions for the implementation of family psychoeducation for severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 59(1), 40-48.

Mausbach, B., Bucardo, J., McKibbin, C., Goldman, S., Jeste, D., Patterson, T., Cardenas, V. & Barrio, C. (2008). Evaluation of a culturally tailored skills intervention for Latinos with persistent psychotic disorders. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 11(1), 61-75.

Chavez, L., Canino, G., Shrout, P., Barrio, C. & Ware, N. (2007). Psychometric evaluation of the Spanish version of CONNECT: A measure of continuity of care in mental health services. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 16(1), 23-33.

Chavez, L., Matias-Carrelo, L., Barrio, C. & Canino, G. (2007). The cultural adaptation of the youth quality of life instrument-research version for Latino children and adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16(1), 72-86.

Folsom, D., Gilmer, T., Barrio, C., Moore, D., Bucardo, J. & Garcia, P. (2007). Spanish-speaking Latinos differ from English-speaking Latinos and Caucasians in care for serious mental illness. American of Journal Psychiatry, 164(8), 1173-1180.

Salkever, D., Karakus, M., Slade, E., Harding, C., Hough, R., Rosenbeck, R., Swartz, M., Barrio, C. & Yamada, A. (2007). Measures and predictors of community-based employment and earnings of persons with schizophrenia in a multisite study. Psychiatric Services, 58(3), 315-324.

Lambros, K. & Barrio, C. (2006). Mental health interventions with Latino students in multi-cultural school environments: A framework for assessing biases and developing cultural competence. In Franklin, C., Harris, M. & Allen-Meares, P (Eds.) The School Services Sourcebook: A Guide for School-Based Professionals. (pp. 765-776). New York: Oxford University Press.

McKibbin, C., Patterson, T., Norman, G., Patrick, K., Jin, H., Roesch, S., Mudaliar, S. & Barrio, C. (2006). A lifestyle intervention for older schizophrenia patients with diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled trial.American Psychological Association Annual Convention, 86(1-3), 36-44.

Singelis, T., Yamada, A., Barrio, C., Laney, J., Her, P. & Ruiz-Anaya, A. (2006). Metric equivalence of the bidimensional acculturation scale, the satisfaction with life scale, and the self-construal scale across Spanish and English language versions. Hispanic Journal of the Behavioral Sciences, 28(2), 231-244.

Yamada, A., Barrio, C., Morrison, S., Sewell, D. & Jeste, D. (2006). Cross-ethnic evaluation of psychotic symptom content in hospitalized older adults.General Hospital Psychiatry, 28(2), 161-168.

Yamada, A.M., Valle, R., Barrio, C. & Jeste, D. (2006). Application of measures of acculturation to middle-aged and elderly Latinos. Research on Aging, 28(5), 519-561.

Barrio, C. & Yamada, A. (2005). Serious mental illness among Mexican immigrant families: Implications for culturally relevant practice. In M.J. Gonzalez and G. Gonzalez-Ramos (Eds.) Mental Health Care for New Hispanic Immigrants: Innovative Approaches in Contemporary Clinical Practice. (pp. 87-106). New York, NY: Haworth Press.

Barrio, C. & Slade, E.P. (2005). Cost-Sharing Requirements and Access to Mental Health Care among Medicare Enrollees with Schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services, 56, 960-966.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A.M., Rosenheck, R., Swanson, J., Swartz, M., Shern, D., Gallucci, G., Harding, C., Palmer, L., Russo, P., Hough, R.L. & Garcia, P. (2005). Serious mental illness among Mexican immigrants: Implications for culturally relevant practice. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Services, 3(1/2), 87-106.

Munoz, R., Zhu, B. & Ascher-Svanum, H. (2005). Tri-ethnic differences in symptom remission during the long-term treatment of patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 31(2), 547.

Barrio, C., Montross, L., Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Lindamer, L., Golshan, S., Garcia, P. & Fuentes, D. (2005). Tri-Ethnic Variations of Co-Morbid Substance and Alcohol use disorders in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 79, 297-305.

Barrio, C., Patterson, T.L., Bucardo, J., McKibbin, C.L., Depp, C., Goldman, S.R., Jeste, D.V., Hough, R.L. & Jeste, D.V. (2005). A pilot intervention study of a program for training and development of skills for older Latinos with chronic psychotic disorders. American Public Health Association. Philadelphia, PA.

Barrio, C., Bucardo, J., McKibbin, C.L., Depp, C., Goldman, S.R. & Jeste, D.V. (2005). Psychosocial Treatment for Older Latinos with Schizophrenia: Adapting an Intervention using Cultural Competency Principles. American Psychiatric Association Institute on Psychiatric Services. San Diego, CA.

Barrio, C. & Patterson, T.L. (2005). Development and Pilot Testing of a New Intervention for Older Latinos with Chronic Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 31(4), 922-930.

Barrio, C., Bucardo, J., McKibbin, C.L., Mausbach, B.T., Moore, D., Goldman, S.T. & Jeste, D.V. (2005). Ethnographic Study of Culture, SMI, & Services among Mexican Americans. 18th NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research (MHSR). Bethesda, Maryland.

Barrio, C. & Munoz, R. (2005). Tri-Ethnic Differences in Symptom Remission in Patients with Schizophrenia. American Psychological Association. Atlanta, GA.

Barrio, C., Zhu, B., Ascher-Svanum, H., Faries, D., Hough, R.L. & Yanada, A. (2005). Tri-Ethnic Differences in Symptom Remission During the Long-Term Treatment of Patients with Schizophrenia. International Congress on Schizophrenia Research. Savannah GA: Published in a special edition of Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Barrio, C. & Yamada, A. (2005). Tri-Ethnic Study of the Duration of Untreated Psychosis. Society for Social Work & Research. Miami, FL.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A. & Valle, R. (2004). Ethnic Differences in Social Network Help-seeking Strategies among Latino and Euro-American Dementia Caregivers. Aging and Mental Health, 8(6), 535-543.

Barrio, C., Montross, L., Yamada, A. & Lindamer, L. (2004). Tri-Ethnic Variations of Co-Morbid Substance Use in Schizophrenia Complexities of Co-Occurring Conditions: NIMH/NIDA/Spnsored Conference. Washington, DC.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Montross, L., Hough, R.L., Garcia, P., Jeste, D.V. & Jeste, D.V. (2004). Utilization of Public Mental Health Services among Latinos Diagnosed with Schizophrenia and a Comorbid Substance Use Disorder.Complexities of Co-Occurring Conditions: NIMH/NIDA- Sponsored Conference. Washington DC.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Garcia, P., Fernandez, L., Hough, R.L., Baquero, B. & Amenson, C. (2004). Evaluation of a Spanish Language Schizophrenia Education Class. Annual Conference of the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services. San Diego, CA.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A.M., Atuel, H., Hough, R.L., Yee, S., Berthor, B. & Rosso, P. (2003). A tri-ethnic examination of symptom expression on the positive and negative syndrome scale in schizophrenia spectrum discorders.Schizophrenia Research, 60(2-3), 259-269.

Barrio, C., Brown, C., Abe-Kim, J., Yee, S., Berthor, B. & Rosso, P. (2003). Commentary: "Treatment is Not Enough: We Must Prevent Depression in Women.". Prevention & Treatment, 6(2)(18).

Barrio, C., Brown, C. & Abe-Kim, J.S. (2003). Depression in ethnically diverse women: Implications for treatment in primary care settings.Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34(1), 10-19.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Hough, R. & Hawthorne, W. (2003). Ethinic disparities in use of public mental health case management services among patients with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services, 54, 1264-1270.

Yamada, A., Valle, R., Barrio, C., Garcia, P. & Jeste, D.V. (2003). Ethnic differences in social network help-seeking strategies among Latino.Gerontologist, 43, 520.

Hawthorne, W., Yamada, A., Barrio, C. & Benson, D. (2003). A Preliminary Outcome Study of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Domestic Violence Services for CalWorks Participants.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Valle, R., Farmer, J., Gantsweg, R., Hough, R., Lohr, J., Mead, B., Patterson, T. & Ragsac, L. (2003). Ethnic Differences in Social Network HelpSeeking Strategies Among Latino and Euro-American Dementia Caregivers: Gerontological Society of America. San Diego, CA.

Barrio, C., Hawthorne, W., Yamada, A. & Ragsac, L. (2003). A Preliminary Outcome Study of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Domestic Violence Services for CalWorks Participants.

Review of the book Age Through Ethnic Lenses: Caring for the Elderly in a Multicultural Society

Yamada, A. & Barrio, C. (2002). Evaluation of the Cultural Relevancy of a Spanish Language Schizophrenia Education Class for Middle Aged and Older Caregivers.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Hough, R.L., Baquero, B., Garcia, P. & Amenson, C. (2002). Evaluation of the Cultural Relevance of a Spanish Language Schizophrennia Education Class for Middle Aged and Older Caregivers.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Hough, R.L., Yamada, S.Y. & Amenson, C. (2002). San Diego County Mental Health Services Cultural Competence System-Wide Assessment.

Barrio, C., Atuel, H., Omoto, A.M., Yamada, A. & Hough, R.L. (2002). Who's crazy? Importance of mental illness in the self concept. Am Psychol Assn. Chicago, III.

Barrio, C., Yamada, A., Lindamer, L.A., Dixon, L., Jeste, J.V. & Baguso, G. (2002). Schizophrenia Education Class Evaluation : NAMI's Family to Family Program for VA Families.

Barrio, C., Atuel, H., Yamada, A., Hough, R.L., Omoto, A.M. & Weir, J. (2002). Moving beyond the crazy label: Personal identity among persons with schizophrenia. Western Psychological Association. Irvine CA.

Barrio, C., Atuel, H., Hough, R.L., Yee, S., Berthot, B., Russo, P. & Yamada, A. (2002). Cross-Cultural Examination of Symptom Expression : A Tri-Ethnic Analysis of the PANSS. Society for Social Work Research Conference.