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Cynthia Fraga headshot

Associate Professor, School of Social Work, UNC-CH
John A. Tate Early Career Scholar

Dr. Fraga Rizo is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). She was the recipient of the 2017 Linda Saltzman New Investigator Award given by Futures Without Violence and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She was also a mentee on a CDC-funded project (McBee) focused on evaluating campus sexual assault services and developing the next generation of intimate partner violence researchers. Her research focuses on interpersonal violence, including intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. More specifically, my research focuses on developing, enhancing, and evaluating interventions and service delivery for survivors of interpersonal violence.

Dr. Fraga Rizo has one ongoing project in the Galapagos, “Youth Perceptions of Living in the Galapagos: Relationships, Health, and the Future.” The project description is below.

Although youth in the Galapagos face many of the same social and health problems that young people face on Ecuador’s mainland and elsewhere in Latin America, the unique environmental and social context of the archipelago creates additional challenges in addressing these issues. In Ecuador addressing intimate partner violence (IPV), alcohol use, and adolescent pregnancy are critical to improve the life chances of young people. These pressing social and health issues are consistent with findings from a 2019 field visit to the Galapagos by researchers from UNC School of Social Work. Guided by Positive Youth Development, the proposed exploratory study seeks to use Photovoice to understand life in the Galapagos from the youths’ perspective and to use youth’s knowledge of their context to arrive at solutions that are consistent with local realities and culture (N = 20). The central research questions include: (1) How do youth in the Galapagos perceive their relationships with family and intimate partners? (2) What is the meaning behind alcohol use in the islands? (3) How do youth in the Galapagos perceive their physical, mental, and reproductive health? (4) How do youth conceptualize their identity as Galapaganians and their hopes for the future? The objectives of the project are to identify areas of strength as well as opportunities to foster positive outcomes for youth in the Galapagos.

Research Projects

  • Youth Perceptions of Living in the Galapagos: Relationships, Health, and the Future