Juan Sebastian Castillo Perez, B.S., M.S.

RESEARCH FOCI: Latino Emerging adults Masculinity, healthy relationships & wellbeing, Health Policy

Juan Sebastian entered the Applied Social and Cultural Psychology Doctoral program in the Fall of 2021 after earning her B.S. in psychology from Universidad de la Sabana, Bogota, and a graduate certificate as a specialist in forensic psychology from Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla. Juan Sebastian is currently a teaching assistant for the department's Psychology of Women course and is supervising undergraduate research assistants in the CCHI Research Lab.

View Juan's Digital Portfolio

About Juan

Juan Sebastian has been working in both public and private contexts, leading programs to promote healthy relationships, social change, community empowerment, and collective innovation. Over the past decade of teaching, research, and professional practice in Colombia, Juan Sebastian has combined counseling and research approaches to focus on well-being and its relationship with familiar, cultural, and social environments, precisely in interventions targeting different forms of violence across contexts, such as IPV, domestic violence and community violence. Specifically, he has focused on the intersections between mental health, socioeconomic status, and culture and how they inform the risk of different criminal forms of violence, including victimization. He has worked predominantly in socio-economically vulnerable populations, such as (ex)combatants of the Colombian internal war and their families; internally displaced people; homeless adolescents; pregnant teenagers; and (physically and sexually) victimized children and youth, both in rural and urban contexts of Colombia. These experiences with diverse youth have allowed him to observe how systemic forces can strongly inform individual developmental outcomes, such as national war, economic poverty, food insecurity, community norms, or migration.

Among his professional background, Juan Sebastian worked in an intervention-action-investigation Grant titled "Laboratorios Vivos de Innovación y cultura". Through this initiative, rural and socially vulnerable youth and their families were engaged with cultural and innovation programs, such as an after-school program of digital and artistic creation, to facilitate social change through culture and sustainability of the communities. One of the biggest ever conducted in Colombia to promote culture and technology, this project was awarded nationally for its outstanding results. Currently Juan Sebastian is collaborating with the Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Team ascribed to the Research and Evaluation Branch of the Division of Violence Prevention of the Centers for disease and control prevention in a project titled “Identifying Prevention and Intervention Strategies to Disrupt the Developmental Pathways Toward Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)”. Specifically, he is conducting a systematic review within the policy component of the project that aims to assess the gap between current research on IPV and public policy implementation

Juan's Research Foci

Juan Sebastian’s research centers on Hispanic/Latino Men Social Systems and Intimate Partner relationships from a developmental approach to help-seeking behaviors and healthy relationship building. Specifically, through his master’s project, he will be exploring the meaning that Latino undergraduate men attending a large HIS in the Southeastern region of the United States (U.S.). have of key foundational concepts such as sex, sex education, and sexual empowerment. Additionally, he will collect data from Latino samples located in the United States, Colombia and Peru to understand the dynamic between gender, culture, and well-being. For more information about her research, please email Juan Sebastian directly.

Juan's Research Project Video

Juan's Recent Work


Cardona, P., Castillo, J & Perez, L., (2016). El abordaje psicosocial de la conducta suicida como un problema de salud pública (ENG: Psychosocial approach to suicide as a public health issue). Aula psicológica: aproximaciones de la psicología social a los debates actuales de las ciencias humanas. Universidad del Bosque: Bogotá, Colombia.

Mendoza, L., Castillo, J., (2017). Vivir, pensar y sentir desde los laboratorios vivos: una caracterización socioeconómica y psicosocial de los participantes (ENG. Live, think and feel from the living laboratories: a psychosocial and socioeconomic characterization of the participants). Tecnologías simbólicas y culturas creativas: la experiencia regional de los laboratorios vivos de innovación y cultural. Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Seccional Caribe: Cartagena, Colombia.

Research Conferences

Castillo, J.S., & Stephens, (2022, June). Hispanic college men perceptions of sexuality: Examining Cross Cultural Values. Poster presentation for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Annual Conference. Puerto Rico, US.

** Undergraduate Student, * Graduate Student

Juan's Research Projects

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

Current Research

Drawing from samples both in the United States and Latin America, this quanitative study gathers information about men's perceptions of mental health values and help seeking behaviors using a cultural lens.


This content analysis examines the meanings over 250 college Latino's give to the concepts of sex, sexual health education and sexual empowerment. Particular attention is being paid to culturally specific influences shaping these perceptions