Michelle Pasco

Research Interests

My research agenda focuses on 1) advancing methods to examine neighborhood environments, 2) how neighborhoods impact adolescent development, and 3) neighborhood and family influences on cultural processes and experiences. I use several methods including systematic social observations, quantitative and archival data, qualitative narratives, photo elicitation and photovoice to assess neighborhood environments and obtain different aspects of residents’ lives. I have a particular interest in neighborhoods that are socioeconomically, racially, and ethnically stratified and to highlight the strengths of these neighborhoods that support youth development and family processes.


Michelle Pasco received a PhD in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University and before joining the University of Minnesota was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar working on the Arizona Youth Identity Project. Originally from the Los Angeles area, Pasco received a BA in Psychology at UCLA. Pasco’s research incorporates a culturally-informed lens to understand the lived experiences of ethnic-racial minoritized youth and families situated within neighborhood contexts, and uses different methods including, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to examine how neighborhood factors influence developmental processes and experiences such as ethnic-racial identity, political identity, discrimination, and cultural socialization. Her work is interdisciplinary, informed by perspectives from psychology, sociology, justice studies, and ethnic studies. In recent work, she uses qualitative interviews and photovoice to examine youth's identity and political and civic engagement centered around the 2020 election.