A collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Adolescent Research Collaborative, Common Sense Education, and Innova Schools in Perú, Transitions is focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating school-based curricula to foster responsible and positive use of digital media.

Our Goals

• Characterize patterns of technology use and wellbeing in children and adolescents in Latin América
• Understand the perceived risks and opportunities surrounding technology use among children and adolescents in Perú and México
• Develop a culturally and developmentally informed school curriculum that fosters digital citizenship and healthy digital habits (in partnership with Common Sense Education) for Innova Schools students (urban schools for an emerging middle class in Perú and México)
• Test the hypothesis that promoting healthy tech use in early adolescence may be an effective strategy to prevent vulnerabilities that emerge in mid-to-late adolescence
• Highlight unique cultural perspectives

The Team

Dr. Lucía Magis Weinberg

Lead Researcher

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Estelle Berger

Estelle Berger is the lab manager for the Adolescent Research Collaborative at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in 2016 where she majored in Urban Studies. After working in various industries, she completed the Psychology Post-Baccalaureate Program at UC Berkeley in December 2019. During her time at Berkeley, she has become committed to studying adolescent development and the connections between digital media use, social context, and mental health. In the fall, she will be starting as a clinical psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon.

Daniela Muñoz Lopez

Daniela Muñoz Lopez is a third-year student at UC Berkeley where she is majoring in Psychology and has a minor in Early Development and Learning Sciences.  Daniela is interested in understanding mental illnesses, specifically how social media usage could be a potential risk factor for the onset of psychopathologies such as depression. She is also interested in studying the possible relationship between impulsive traits and reinforcement learning. Through this project, Daniela hopes to further understand how social media and technology usage may affect adolescents to provide further insight into the topic.

Josh Leskar

Josh Leskar is a former digital marketer looking to transition into the world of psychology in order to study emotional intelligence and empathy in adolescent males. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, whereafter he has worked in non-profits and startups in the education and finance industries.

Karina Valdespino

Karina Valdespino is a fourth year student at UC Berkeley, graduating Summer 2020 with a BA in Integrative Biology with a minor in Early Development and Learning Science. Aside from her involvement in this project, her career goals ultimately lie in pursuing an MD/MSW dual degree and become a doctor of some sort. Karina is interested in understanding the possible relationship between the intensity and frequency of social media usage to the onset of anxiety in adolescents. Through her involvement in this project, Karina hopes to understand the possible impacts of social media and technology usage on adolescents and the further implications on their well being.

Christopher Gys

Christopher Gys is a first-year post-baccalaureate student in psychology. He received a B.A. in Hispanic Studies from Bowdoin College. For the next two years, he worked as an English teacher in Ishikawa, Japan. Chris is interested in the influences of technology, age, and culture on socio-emotional development in adolescents. He hopes to better understand the relationship between digital media use and wellbeing.

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