Dr. Cervantes received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Cervantes is Research Director at Behavioral Assessment, Inc. and is Senior Research fellow at the California State University, Long Beach Center for Behavioral Research and Services Department of Psychology. He served as Research Psychologist at the UCLA Spanish Speaking Mental Health Research Center (1984-89), and held a full-time faculty appointment in the USC School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences (1990-1995). He has served as Principal Investigator on numerous National Institite of Health (NIH) and foundation funded studies and has published extensively over a 25 year career span.
Dr. Cervantes has served or currently serves on a number of national level advisory groups and committees, including National Institutes of Health, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s (CSAP) Technical Expert Group for the National Cross-Site Evaluation of Substance Abuse Prevention Grants for the Minority AIDS Initiative, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Incentive Grant Evaluation Guidance Committee, and numerous other expert panels. Dr. Cervantes served as a science consultant for the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP).
He has published well over two dozen scientific journal articles as well as over a dozen book chapters relevant to Hispanic/Latino youth, family, mental health, and health issues. He is the developer of the Hispanic Stress Inventory and Familia Adelante, a family focused behavioral health promotion program. Dr. Cervantes has over 20 years of experience in the conduct of community based research and evaluation and is familiar with necessary multi-dimensional evaluation methodologies needed in community and applied settings.
Finally, Dr. Cervantes has served as an expert witness to the courts on issues related to Hispanic families, drug and alcohol abuse, cultural risk factors including immigration/acculturation stress, and juvenile gangs. He has served as an expert on over twenty death penalty cases, both in the trial/penalty phase, as well as in the appeals process.