Sandra Calles, PhD

Dr. Sandra Calles is a psychologist, educator, life coach, mentor and activist. Her passion is to advocate for causes she believes in, teach about mental health topics, and guide others, so they may achieve success in their personal and career endeavors.

She has over 11 years of experience as a mental health professional having worked at various mental health facilities. Most recently she was a therapist at Los Angeles Harbor College at the Life Skills Center. While at Harbor College, she helped many students overcome emotional obstacles so they could transfer to universities and meet their career goals. She devotes her personal and professional life to political causes, and activities that promote mental health, women’s issues, the empowerment of Latinas through education, business ownership, financial literacy and political engagement. Dr. Sandra is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning both a BA in Human Services and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She earned her doctorate from Saybrook University in Psychology, where she developed a treatment modality from her research on survivors of sudden cardiac death. The treatment plan known as PROSPER, is an acronym detailing a healing plan that can be applied to survivors of various traumas and is the underpinning for the work she does with her clients..... Continue Reading

Front Page Items

Medication administration hassles for Mexican American family caregivers

In order to take their medications at home, elders rely increasingly on their family, but little is known about the factors influencing this task. This study explored the effects of acculturation and social exchange on the hassles that Mexican American (MA) family caregivers face in administering medication to their elders. A descriptive, correlational design, with a convenience sample of 239 MA adult caregivers of elders who were on a daily prescription that was recruited in Dallas, Texas and San Diego, California, USA, was used. The caregivers’ scores on the medication administration hassles scale were significantly affected by acculturation and social exchange factors that explained 36% of the variance in the scores; the social exchange block had a larger influence than did the acculturation block. Caregiving might be an outcome of dynamic family exchange relationships between the caregiving dyad. The results can help healthcare professionals to detect potentially at-risk MA families and provide them with culturally appropriate nursing interventions
Link to publication

“Hay Que Ponerse en los Zapatos del joven”: Adaptive Parenting of Adolescent Children Among Mexican-American Parents Residing in a Dangerous Neighborhood

M CRUZ‐SANTIAGO, G RAMÍREZ… – Family Process, 2011
… “Hay Que Ponerse en los Zapatos del Joven”: Adaptive Parenting of Adolescent Children
Among Mexican-American Parents Residing in a Dangerous Neighborhood. … All participants
were born in Mexico and identified as Mexican or Mexican American. …

Link to article

The Mexican American Second Generation in Census 2,000

J Perlmann – The Next Generation: Immigrant Youth in a …, 2011
… It does not follow, however, that Mexican American patterns will parallel those of the European
immigrant past—if by that we mean … widening gap between the minimally paid menial jobs that
immigrants commonly accept and the high-tech and professional occupations requiring …

Link to book

Validating the Mexican American Intergenerational Caregiving

S Escandón – The Qualitative Report, 2011
… The purpose of this study was to substantiate and further develop a previously formulated
conceptual model of Role Acceptance in Mexican American family caregivers … In addition, results
inform health professionals about the ways in which Hispanic caregivers view caregiving. …

Link to study

The Meaning of Numbers in Health: Exploring Health Numeracy in a Mexican-American Population

Marilyn M. Schapira, Kathlyn E. Fletcher, Pamela S. Ganschow, Cindy M. Walker, Bruce Tyler, Sam Del Pozo, Carrie Schauer and Elizabeth A. Jacobs
Original Research
The Meaning of Numbers in Health: Exploring Health Numeracy in a Mexican-American Population
Health numeracy can be defined as the ability to use numeric information in the context of health. The interpretation and application of numbers in health may vary across cultural groups.
To explore the construct of health numeracy among persons who identify as Mexican American.
Qualitative focus group study. Groups were stratified by preferred language and level of education. Audio-recordings were transcribed and Spanish groups (n = 3) translated to English. An analysis was conducted using principles of grounded theory.
A purposeful sample of participants from clinical and community sites in the Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas.
A theoretical framework of health numeracy was developed based upon categories and major themes that emerged from the analysis.
Six focus groups were conducted with 50 participants. Initial agreement in coding was 59–67% with 100% reached after reconciliation by the coding team. Three major themes emerged: 1) numeracy skills are applied to a broad range of communication and decision making tasks in health, 2) affective and cognitive responses to numeric information influence use of numbers in the health setting, and 3) there exists a strong desire to understand the meaning behind numbers used in health. The findings informed a theoretical framework of health numeracy.
Numbers are important across a range of skills and applications in health in a sample of an urban Mexican-American population. This study expands previous work that strives to understand the application of numeric skills to medical decision making and health behaviors
Link to abstract


Photo Collections

Selected photos England and Belgium, 2016


Selected photos Filoli Gardens, Spring 2017, Spain, England, and Belgium

You may purchase any photo from the Photos Collections for $.99 each. Please email with your order request.

“…And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while…”

T.S. Eliot
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Press Release

2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals Now Available

The 2015 Annual Report on Mexican American Professionals is now available on

News from the 2015 American Community Service shows good increases in the numbers of Mexican Americans attending college, achieving educational attainment, and holding jobs in industries including science, management, and business.

• Mexican American college enrollment increased from 18.7% to 18.9% between 2014 and 2015
• Graduate or professional degree attainment among Mexican Americans rose from 2.9% to 3.0%
• The number of Mexican Americans achieving bachelor’s degrees rose from 7.6% to 7.8% in 2015

Despite these numbers, Mexican Americans are still near the bottom of college enrollment and educational attainment by race and ethnicity.

The University of California is proactive in pushing for a greater number of underrepresented minorities. The number Chicano/Latino students attending UOC increased by 2.7% since 2014; this group now makes up 32.3% of admitted university freshmen.

In terms of occupations, the number of Mexican Americans making up part of the management, business, science, and art occupations continues to rise, from 16.6% to 17.5% from 2012 to 2015. Mexican Americans have also seen consistent numbers in the professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services occupations, keeping steady at 10.2% of all jobs in these fields held by Mexican Americans.

These numbers represent continuing gains in higher education and professional jobs for Mexican Americans. For more, visit