People

José Pedro Espada, PhD

Director of the research group
Full Professor

JOSE PEDROAfter studying Psychology at the University of Murcia, he worked for a few years as a clinical psychologist in the care of families affected by HIV. He continues his pre-doctoral training with research stays at the City University of New York, Montclair State University and Stony Brook University. He joined the Miguel Hernández University of Elche in 2002 after a period of training at the Institute of Prevention Research at Cornell University in New York. In 2003 he defended his doctoral thesis, which evaluated the effectiveness of a preventive program for alcohol and other substance abuse in adolescents, receiving the extraordinary doctoral award. His research interests have focused on the evaluation of drug abuse prevention programs and adolescent sexual risk behaviours. Since 2011, he has directed the University Clinic, a care transfer centre of the UMH that serves more than 200 families. He is director and founder of the Journal of Clinical Psychology with Children and Adolescents, a scientific journal dedicated to the research of psychological problems in childhood. Author of over 200 scientific publications and twelve books, including: “Addictive behaviours in adolescents” (Síntesis), “Health Programme: Prevention of alcohol abuse in adolescents” (Pirámide) and “Psychological therapy with children and adolescents” (Pirámide).


Mireia Orgilés, PhD

Professor

MIREIAGraduated in Psychology at the University of Murcia, she obtained a university teacher training grant from the Ministry of Education and Science. She completed her pre-doctoral training at Montclair State University in New Jersey and the City University of New York. In 2003 she defended his doctoral thesis, which evaluates the efficacy of a treatment for phobia of darkness in childhood, receiving the extraordinary doctoral prize. A year later, she joined the Miguel Hernández University of Elche as an associate professor, combining her teaching work with her professional work as a psychologist in the private sector. Since 2007 she has been fully dedicated to teaching and university research and has been working as a child therapist at the University’s Centre for Applied Psychology. From 2008 to 2011 she was a visiting researcher at the University of Connecticut and the University of Southern California in the United States. She has been a University Professor in the area of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment since 2009. She receives the 2010 Young Researcher Award from the Social Council of the UMH, which recognizes her relevant career as a young researcher. Her research interests have focused on the evaluation and treatment of emotional problems in children and young people, especially anxiety disorders in childhood. In recognition of her teaching work, she has received on several occasions the Outstanding Teacher Award granted by the students of the degree in Psychology. Since its inception, she has directed the University Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents.


José Antonio Piqueras, PhD

Professor

PIQUERAS

He graduated in Psychology in 2000 at the University of Murcia, where he received a grant to train university teachers. In his predoctoral phase, he is trained at Montclair State University and the Maryland Center for Anxiety Disorders at the University of Maryland. In 2005 he defended his doctoral thesis, which evaluates a treatment for social phobia in adolescents, obtaining the extraordinary doctoral prize. In 2006 he joined the University of Alicante and one year later the Department of Health Psychology at the Miguel Hernández University. At the research level, his interest is focused on the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the childhood-youth population and on the application of new technologies for the evaluation and intervention of adolescent problems. Within the framework of this last line of research, he is carrying out a training stay in 2010 at the Virje University in Amsterdam with Professor Cujpers. He teaches Psychological Evaluation in his degree in Psychology and teaches the Master in Psychological Therapy with children and adolescents, receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2011. He has been Professor of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment at the University since 2012.


Alexandra Morales, PhD

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. in Psychology in 2015 with an extraordinary award. Graduated from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche with an extraordinary degree award. From 2010 to 2011 she is studying the Master in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents, which she combines with a research grant from the Fundación para la Investigación y la Prevención del Sida in Spain. From 2012 to 2015 she is a VALi+d predoctoral grant holder of the Conselleria de Educación, Formación y Empleo de la Comunidad Valenciana. For two years she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California San Francisco. Her research interest is focused on the study of sexual risk behaviors in adolescents and the evaluation of affective-sexual health promotion programs in schools. In 2017, she was awarded the Early Career Prize for her research profile by the European Society of Prevention Research.


María T. Gonzálvez, PhD

Associate professor

Maria Teresa Gonzálvez

Ph.D. in Psychology in 2017. Graduated at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche with an extraordinary degree award. In 2012, she completed her Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents, while at the same time carrying out her research as a contracted researcher assigned to a project of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Her research focuses on the analysis of risk factors for substance use and the treatment of addictions in adolescents. Since 2016 she has been an associate professor in the area of Psychological Evaluation and Treatment at the Miguel Hernández University. In addition, she combines her teaching work as a translational research staff at the University Clinic of the UMH. Her clinical activity focuses on the area of child behavior therapy, including the evaluation and treatment of emotional, behavioral and learning problems.


Victoria Soto, PhD

Associate professor

Graduated in Psychology at the Miguel Hernández University in 2014, receiving the recognition of 5 Star University. In 2016 she completed her academic training with a Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology. During both periods she began her collaboration as a researcher in the Department of Health Psychology through the Ministry of Education Collaboration Grant (2014-2015) and the UMH Grant. She also received grants for internships in research promotion activities in the Departments and University Institutes of the Miguel Hernández University (2015-2016, 1st and 2nd Period) and in 2017 through a research contract from the Miguel Hernández University. This collaboration focuses on the study of psychological factors related to mental health and suicide in university students.


María Rivera, MSc

Associate professor

MARIAShe obtained her degree in Psychology from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche in 2013, receiving the recognition as a 5 Star University student. Afterwards, she studied the University Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents while she started her research as a scholarship holder through the Research Promotion Grants in the University Departments and Institutes of the UMH (2013) organised by the Vice-rectorate for Students and Sports, and the Research Initiation Grants (2013 and 2014) of the Vice-rectorate for Research and Innovation of the UMH. In 2014 she begins her PhD in Health Psychology. Since 2015 she is a research staff of the VALi+d programme of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of the Valencian Community. Her scope of work includes the adaptation and validation of psychometric tests and the evaluation of programs to promote psychosocial well-being in the child and adolescent population.


Ornela Mateu, PhD

Associate professor

She began her research activity in 2010 after graduating in Psychology from the University Miguel Hernández of Elche (UMH) and extending her studies with a Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents. In her professional career, she moved to Mexico where she taught for several years in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the South in Cancun. After returning to Spain in 2017, she completed her Ph.D. in Psychology, with an Extraordinary Award, conducting studies on the design and implementation of an emotional intelligence program for children. She currently combines her work as a psychologist in the private field with teaching and research work as an Associate Professor in the Area of Evolutionary Psychology and Education of the Department of Health Psychology at the UMH and as an academic and professional tutor of undergraduate and graduate interns. She is also a professor in the Faculty of Education of the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) and in the Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences of the Cardenal Herrera University (CEU), as director of the Master’s Degree Project and a member of the Tribunals for postgraduate studies. She was awarded the Medio Sprint Prize of the 5th UMH Business Creation Marathon (2015), and the Prize of the XIII Certamen Innova-Emprende in the Promu-EBT category of the Occupational Observatory (2016) and is a Mentor in the Mentoring Program of the Occupational Observatory of the UMH.


Iván Fernández, PhD

Associate professor 

IVAN

In 2012 he begins his collaboration with the Aitana Research Group, obtaining a collaboration grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. After graduating in Psychology from the University Miguel Hernández with an Extraordinary Award, he completes his training with a Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology, for which he receives an Extraordinary Award. During this time he continues developing his research training by means of a research promotion grant from the Vice-rectorate of Students and Sports of the University Miguel Hernández. Between 2015 and 2019 he is a pre-doctoral researcher of the University Teacher Training Program (FPU) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. During this period he carries out several research stays at the University of Roehampton in London (United Kingdom).In 2019 he presents his doctoral thesis that evaluates a preventive transdiagnostic protocol aimed at children with emotional problems (Super Skills for Life), obtaining a mention “cum laude” and “International Doctorate”. Since 2019 he combines teaching and research work at the University Miguel Hernández. Her research interest is focused on the evaluation and treatment of emotional problems in children and young people, especially in anxiety disorders.


Silvia Melero, MSc

Research fellow FPU Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

Silvia Melero

Graduated in Psychology from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche in 2015, she was awarded an Extraordinary Degree Award. Due to her vocation for child and adolescent psychology, she later completed the Official Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents, for which she also received the Extraordinary Master’s Degree. Combining her academic training with clinical practice and collaboration in various projects aimed at children in a humanitarian institution, she began her research work through the Research Initiation Grant (2016) called by the Vice-rectorate for Research and Innovation of the Miguel Hernández University. Since 2017 she has been a pre-doctoral researcher, initially through the Support for the Training of Research Personnel, granted by the Vice-rectorate for Research and Innovation of the Miguel Hernández University and currently through the University Teacher Training Programme (FPU) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Her research work covers the area of evaluation and treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents.


Miriam Rodríguez, MSc

Research fellow FPU Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport

Miriam Rodríguez

Graduated in Psychology at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche in 2014, obtained the recognition as a 5-star University student. Afterwards, she studied a Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents at the same university, and a Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology at the National University of Distance Education. During this period she combined her studies with psychological intervention in the child and adolescent population. Since 2017 she has been a pre-doctoral researcher for the University Teacher Training Programme (FPU) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Her field of study is directed to the evaluation and treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders in the infantile-juvenile population.


Raquel Falcó

Research fellow Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of the Generalitat Valenciana

RAQUELGraduated in Psychology at the Miguel Hernández University (2016). She completed her postgraduate training with a Master’s Degree in Psychological Therapy with Children and Adolescents and a Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology from the same institution. Since the beginning of her university studies, her interest and extracurricular activity has been focused on the child and adolescent population in both clinical and research practice. In 2015 she began her collaboration with the AITANA Group and was later hired to coordinate and develop the Covitality Project (MINECO, R+D+i Projects 2017). During the course of this project, she is awarded a pre-doctoral grant ACIF/2019 from the Ministry of Education, Research, Culture and Sport of GVA. In line with previous lines of research, his doctoral thesis project aims to determine the extent to which socio-emotional skills, described from the Covitality Model, modulate the emotional impact of psychosocial stressors on two-dimensional mental health and the suicide spectrum in adolescents. At the same time, its trajectory in the applied field includes the design, administration, and analysis of protocols and instruments of neuropsychological evaluation, as well as the writing and issuing of forensic psychological reports.   

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