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Melissa Alcaraz

Assistant Professor
Current Faculty

Research Areas

Family; migration; education.


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Brigham Young University, where I teach multiple courses on family sociology. I received my Bachelor of Science in sociology from BYU in 2016 and both my master and doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University in 2018 and 2021, respectively. My research interests lie at the intersection of family, migration, and education. My research spans both the United States and international contexts, particularly Mexico.

Selected Publications

Alcaraz, Melissa, Sarah R. Hayford, and Jennifer E. Glick. 2022. “Desired Fertility and Educational Aspirations: Adolescent Goals in Rapidly Changing Social Contexts.” Journal of Marriage and Family 84(1):7–31. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12815.

Edmunds, Chrisse, and Melissa Alcaraz. 2021. “Childhood Material Hardship and Adolescent Mental Health.” Youth & Society 0044118X211001896. doi: 10.1177/0044118X211001896.

Alcaraz, Melissa. 2020. “Beyond Financial Resources: The Role of Parents’ Education in Predicting Children’s Educational Persistence in Mexico.” International Journal of Educational Development 75:102188. doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2020.102188.

Alcaraz, Melissa, Ashley Larsen Gibby, and Nancy Luke. 2020. “Non-Parental Family Members as Brokers of Family Social Capital: Compensatory Time Use in India.” Social Sciences 9(12):217. doi: 10.3390/socsci9120217.

Downey, Douglas B., David M. Quinn, and Melissa Alcaraz. 2019. “The Distribution of School Quality: Do Schools Serving Mostly White and High-SES Children Produce the Most Learning?” Sociology of Education 92(4):386–403. doi: 10.1177/0038040719870683.

Alcaraz, Melissa. 2022. “Migration Aspirations and Adolescents’ Ideal Age at Union Formation in Western Mexico.” International Migration Review, September.