Lucas Torres, Ph.D.

Torres headshot
Lucas Torres, Ph.D.Marquette University

Cramer Hall, 328K

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-5439



Dr. Torres research interests focus on issues of mental health disparities or the psychological difficulties experienced by members of underrepresented groups. He was recently awarded the Marquette University Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award and is a Faculty Diversity Fellow in the Office of the Provost and Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Marquette University. He is also the co-Director of the Latina/o Well-being Research Initiative (LWRI).

Research Lab: Mental Health Disparities Lab


Multicultural Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Multicultural Research Institute, University of Notre Dame

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University

Clinical Internship, Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology, Boston University Medical Center

Courses Taught

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Torres teaches Abnormal Psychology and General Psychology. At the graduate level, he teaches Adult Psychopathology and Multicultural Psychology.

Research Interests

Dr. Torres research interests focus on issues of mental health disparities or the psychological difficulties experienced by members of underrepresented groups. With an emphasis on community-based approaches, this research seeks to identify the mechanisms that contribute to mental health problems, namely depression, anxiety, alcohol use, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One line of research investigates the psychological consequences associated with culturally-specific stressors, such as ethnic discrimination, ethnic microaggression, and acculturative stress, and neighborhood-level factors including exposure to community violence and economic stress. Another avenue of study has been to identify the factors that reduce disparities or protect individuals from negative psychological outcomes. This work focuses on ethnic identity, cultural values, intercultural competence, resilience and thriving, social cohesion as key buffers to mental health outcomes.

Active Projects: 

Latina/o Well-being Research Initiative (LWRI)

LWRI seeks to develop equitable, mutually beneficial community-academic research partnerships with the goal of conducting innovative and impactful research within the Latino community in Milwaukee. Our main objective is to make LWRI a major research hub that directly addresses the daily lives of Latinos in Milwaukee in a way that brings systemic change and promotes healthy lifestyles. Currently, LWRI is developing a city-wide research study that examines the individual- and neighborhood-level factors that contribute to mental health in the Latino community. 

Milwaukee Trauma Outcomes Project (MTOP)

MTOP seeks to advance research and community prevention efforts pertaining to trauma and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly among racial and ethnic minorities living in Milwaukee. MTOP includes interdisciplinary scholars partnering to further understand the social and biological factors that contribute to PTSD. Currently, we are examining the role of social stressors (e.g., exposure to community violence, racial discrimination) and biologic vulnerability (e.g., gene expression, allostatic load) as they contribute to PTSD among recently-injured African American adults. This longitudinal study will help us to understand the course of symptom severity and recovery.

Intersectional Study of Mental Health Among Latina Adults

Latina women, particularly adolescents, have some of the highest rates of depressive symptoms, including suicidal thinking and attempts. Women of color, in general, experience the added stress of having to manage racial/ethnic discrimination and gendered discrimination, or sexism, that may place them at greater risk for experiencing psychological difficulties. The current project seeks to understand the how this accumulated stress burden, in the form of ethnic and gendered discrimination, contributes to depression via cognitive vulnerability among Latina women. Also, we will examine the role of gender role values, or marianismo, to better understand the unique experiences of Latina women in relation to health.

Research support:

The research projects described above as well as past research has been supported through a number of sources including the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Research and Education Program (AHW REP); Women and Girls of Color Research Initiative Grant, Marquette University; Strategic Innovation Fund, Marquette University; and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Selected Publications

  • Torres, L., Mata-Greve, F., & Harkins, A. (2017). A preliminary study of acculturative stress and diurnal cortisol among Latina women. Journal of Latina/o Psychology.
  • Torres, L., & Mata-Greve, F. (2017). Anxiety Sensitivity as a Predictor of Latino Alcohol Use: A Moderated Mediational Model. Journal Latina/o Psychology, 5, 61-75.
  • Torres, L., Hoelzle, J., & Vallejo, L. G. (2016). Dementia and Latinos. In F. R. Ferraro (Ed.) Minority and Cross-Cultural Aspects of Neuropsychological Assessment, 2nd Ed. New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • Torres, L., & Vallejo, L. G. (2015). Ethnic Discrimination and Latino Depression: The mediating role of traumatic stress symptoms and alcohol use. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21, 517-526.
  • Torres, L., & Taknint, J. (2015). Ethnic Microaggressions, Traumatic Stress Symptoms, and Latino Depression: A Moderated Mediational Model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62, 393-401.
  • Chavez-Korell, S., & Torres, L. (2014). Perceived stress and depressive symptoms among Latino adults: The moderating role of ethnic identity cluster patterns. Major Contribution in The Counseling Psychologist, 42, 230-254.
  • Driscoll, M., & Torres, L. (2013). Acculturative stress and Latino depression: The mediating role of behavioral and cognitive resources. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19, 373-382.
  • Torres, L. (2013). Initial development and validation of the Mexican Intercultural Competence Scale. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 1, 171-181.
  • Torres, L., Miller, M., & Moore, K. M. (2013). Factorial Invariance of the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) among Mexican American Adults. Psychological Assessment, 25, 300-305.
  • Torres, L., Driscoll, M., & Voell, M. (2012). Discrimination, Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Latino Psychological Distress: A Moderated-Mediational Model. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18, 17-25.
  • Torres, L., Yznaga, S., & Moore, K. M. (2011). Discrimination and Latino Psychological Distress: The Moderating Role of Ethnic Identity Exploration and Commitment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81, 498-506.
  • Torres, L., Driscoll, M., & Burrow, A. (2010). Microaggressions and Psychological Functioning Among High Achieving African-Americans: A Mixed-Methods Approach. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29, 1075-1100.
  • Torres, L., & Ong, A.D. (2010). A Daily Diary Investigation of Latino Ethnic Identity, Discrimination, and Depression. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(4), 561-568.
  • Torres, L. (2010). Predicting levels of Latino depression: Acculturation, acculturative stress, and coping. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(2), 256-263.
  • Torres, L. (2009). Latino Definitions of Success: A Cultural Model of Intercultural Competence. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 31, 576-593.

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Psychology
Cramer Hall, 317
604 N. 16th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7218

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