Lucrecia Mena-Meléndez, PhD

Research Interests

Child health, immigrant health, social inequalities, race and ethnicity, social demography, human development, families, Latinx communities, quantitative methodologies, Latin America and the Caribbean, United States


  • 2021, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Sociology
  • 2016, M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Sociology
  • 2014, M.A., Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Development Studies
  • 2012, B.A., Elmira College, International Studies, Political Science, and Anthropology & Sociology


Lucrecia is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Purdue Puentes Project, training with Dr. Zoe Taylor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Dr. Yumary Ruiz in the Department of Public Health. Prior to joining Purdue, she completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Broadly, her research combines interdisciplinary theoretical insights with advanced quantitative methods to study fertility, sexual and reproductive health, and child health in Latin America and the Caribbean and amongst Latinx children and youth in the U.S.

As a Postdoctoral researcher for the Purdue Puentes Project—a 5-year longitudinal NIMHD-funded project—her initial responsibilities involve discovering and elucidating strengths and vulnerabilities in Latinx children in farmworker families using longitudinal mixed-method data to provide evidence-based frameworks that can guide interventions aimed at reducing health disparities in this population. Lucrecia is excited to be at Purdue University and thrilled to train and collaborate with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Ruiz.

Selected Publications

  • Mena-Meléndez, L. Rural-urban disparities in fertility in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition analysis. Under review.
  • Mena-Meléndez, L. (2022). Rural-urban differences in unintended pregnancies, contraceptive nonuse, and terminated pregnancies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Women’s Reproductive Health, 9(2), forthcoming.
  • Mena-Meléndez, L. (2020). Ethnoracial child health inequalities in Latin America: Multilevel evidence from Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru. SSM - Population Health, 12:100673.

 Lucrecia Mena-Melendez

Postdoctoral Researcher

(PhD, University of California)

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