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Michael D. Eisner College of Education

College of Education

Personnel Directory

Tovah Sands

Tovah  Sands
Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling
Office:ED 2236
Phone:818 677 3197



Ph.D., Counselor Education, University of Florida, 1999; M.S., Counselor Education, University of Florida, 1995.

Licenses and Credentials

Nationally Certified Counselor; California Pupil Personnel Services Credential.

Teaching Interests

Group counseling, fieldwork, counseling, professional Identity, children & adolescents.

Research Interests

Counseling-outcome research; resiliency among at-risk youth, children & adolescent issues.


Click each research item to view details on it.

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Behnke, A. O., Plunkett, S. W., Sands, T., & Bámaca, M. Y. (2011). Latino adolescents’ perceptions of discrimination, neighborhood risk, and parenting on their own feelings of self-esteem and depression. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42, 1179-1197. doi:10.1177/0022022110383424


Guided by Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological framework, this study examined the roles of Latino adolescents’ reports of discrimination, neighborhood risk, parent-child conflict over culture, and parental support in relation to their self-esteem and depression. Analysis of self-report data from 383 ninth grade, Latino students from one Los Angeles high school was used to validate a Multigroup Structural Equation Model of self-esteem and depressive symptoms for boys and girls. As expected, self-esteem was negatively and significantly related to depressive symptoms, yet the influence of other factors were less clear. Five paths marked the influence of mothers’ and fathers’ interactions on youths’ outcomes, demonstrating a strong path from fathers’ support to adolescent self-esteem and differing paths from cultural conflict with mother and father to youth outcomes. Neighborhood risks were significantly related to boys’ and girls’ self esteem and depressive symptoms, especially for boys. Societal discrimination was significantly related to youths’ reports of depressive symptoms yet not significantly related to self-esteem. Results are discussed in terms of applications for both practice and future research.

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