Eduardo De La Vega Taboada, B.S., M.S.

RESEARCH FOCI: Global Health, Community Empowerment, Network Sciences, Adolescents

Eduardo entered the Developmental Sciences Doctoral program in Fall 2019. His major professor is Dr. Dionne Stephens. Eduardo earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering and in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. He also completed the Masters program in Process-oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies at Processwork Institute in Portland Oregon.

Eduardo's research interests include community empowerment approaches, adolescent development, familial processes, and network systems. For more information about his research,
please email Eduardo directly.

View Eduardo's MS Thesis Oral Defense

About Eduardo

Over the past decade, Eduardo have been working in both public and private contexts, leading programs to promote diversity comprehension, social change, community empowerment and collective innovation. He worked with one of the most influential national school-based conflict resolution intervention in my country (“Aulas en Paz” which translates to “Classrooms in peace”), very early in his professional career. He was the only engineer, surrounded by a group of researchers and psychologists.

Eduardo traveled across different regions of Colombia training teachers and school counselors in conflict resolution tactics and collecting data to design and test a “bottom up” program for lowering the levels of aggression in adolescents and children. From that moment on, he has been working in the psychological and social sciences professional fields, as a consultant, both with adults and youth.

Eduardo's Research Foci

Eduardo research examines the construction of safe spaces for adolescents living in contexts experiencing high levels of community and interpersonal violence. He is interested in addressing the complexity of adult influences in the construction of these safe spaces using multi-level perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches. Eduardo’s goal is to develop a program of research that integrates his engineering social dynamics methodology background to bring a deeper the understanding of the ecological dynamics that contribute to social inequalities and their correlated health determinants.

Eduardo will be travelling to Colombia in the Fall to gather data for his dissertation study. His plans include interviewing two levels of adult stakeholders identified as critical for the development of adolescent safespaces- national futbol NGO leaders and regional fotbul coaches. Further, he will be refining his dynamic systems model predicting points of intervention for addressing community level violence influencing adolescents' perceptions of safe spaces.

Eduardo's Awards & Honors

Tinker Foundation Research Grant- Latin American & Caribbean Studies (2022)
Safe Spaces & Sports in Colombia: Football Organization Leaders & Coaches' motivations to support adolescent wellbeing

Department of Psychology SEEDS Research Grant Award (2021)
Sports And Adolescent Social Development in Rural Colombia: Investigating Safe Spaces Creators (Coaches) And Exploring Gender Norm’s Through Organized Sports Activities.

Eduardo's Research Project Video

Eduardo's Recent Work


*De La Vega, E., *Rodriguez, A., *Barton, A., Stephens, D. P., Cano, M., Eaton, A., & Frazier, S. (Revise & Resubmit). Perceptions of Violence and Safe Spaces Among Adolescents in Rural Colombia. Journal of Adolescent Research

Research Conferences

**Ramierz, L. *Rodriguez, A., *De La Vega, E. & Stephens, D. P. (2021, March). Pubertal Development & Sexual Risk Taking Outcomes among adolescents in Baru, Colombia. Poster presentation for the Undergraduate Research at FIU Conference, Miami, FL. (Virtual due to Covid 19)

Stephens, D. P., *Rodriguez A. & *De Le Vega, E. (2020, June). Culturally responsive data dissemination across global contexts. Interactive Research Discussion presented for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference. Denver, CO. (Conference canceled due to Covid- 19).

** Undergraduate Student, * Graduate Student

Eduardo's Research Projects

To view research projects that Eduardo has taken a leadership role in developing and/ or implementing, please visit our Current Research and Completed Research study pages.

Current Research
Safe Spaces & Sports in Colombia

This mixed methods study will examine football organization leaders & coaches' motivations to support adolescent wellbeing. Participants will be recruited from 16 organizations across the country.

Sports And Adolescent Social Development in Rural Colombia.

The ways in which gender role norms are integrated into organized sports activities and safe space creation will be examined.

Fútbol Con Corazón & Parental Support Services

Examining factors supporting parents in resource limited communities ability to engage children through sports focused after school socio- emotional development programs in South Florida.


A mixed methods study examining the impacts of safe spaces and commuity well - being on adolescent risk taking in rural Colombia.