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Marisa Franco

Assistant Professor    

Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, 2017
Internship at the University of Maryland Counseling Center, APA Accredited, 2016-2017
Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, 2013
Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology, Minor in Sociology, New York University, 2011


Racial discrimination, identity, health disparities, multiracial people , assessment


Marisa Franco is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services. Her research focuses on the health effects of the invalidation of multiracial individuals’ identities. She also focuses on racial group boundaries between monoracial and multiracial groups.

Franco has received the Ethnic Minority Achievement Award and the Flagship and ALL STAR fellowships from her alma matter, the University of Maryland. She is passionate about mentoring students in research and in particular, students of color.


Franco, M. G., and O’Brien, K. M. (2017, June 26). “Racial identity invalidation with multiracial individuals: An instrument development study.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication.

Franco, M. G., Judith, M. J., and Douyon, D. (in press). “The participatory action research paradigm in Haiti.” Caribbean Journal of Social Work.

Franco, M. G., and Smith-Bynum, M. S. (2016). “The relationship between racial identity and perceived significance of the election of President Barack Obama among African American mothers.” Identity, 16, 182-189. doi: 10.1080/15283488.2016.1190728

Franco, M. G., and Louis Holmes, O. (2016). “Biracial group membership scale.” Journal of Black Psychology. 1-16. doi:

Smith Bynum, M., Davis, B., Anderson, R., Franco, M. G., and English, D. (2016). “Observed racial socialization and maternal warmth in African American mother-adolescent dyadic discussions about racial discrimination.” Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12562