Belinda Campos
Associate Professor, Chicano/Latino Studies & PRIME LC

Ph.D., Social-Personality Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 2003
culture, relationships, positive emotion, health

SST 395 | 949-824-1792 | Research Lab

Professional Bio

Belinda Campos has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. After completing her Ph.D., she held postdoctoral appointments at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Anthropology.

As part of her position in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies, Dr. Campos is also a faculty member in the Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) in the School of Medicine. In addition, she also holds an affiliation appointment in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior in the School of Social Ecology.


Relationships can bring happiness and protect health. Indeed, it is now well established that high quality relationships are associated with better health and longer life whereas poor relationships or a lack of relationships are as risky to health as cigarette smoking. What is less understood is how people arrive at high quality relationships that bring happiness and protect health. In three inter-related lines of research, Dr. Campos studies (a) factors and processes that characterize high quality relationships, (b) positive emotions and their expressive displays, and (c) whether sociocultural contexts that emphasize prioritizing others before the self shape relationships in ways that benefit psychological and physical health. The findings of her work show that sociocultural contexts that emphasize prioritizing others before the self (e.g., Latino and East Asian) can be beneficial for relationships and protective of health. These findings highlight the benefits of relationship patterns that have been understudied and/or regarded as “deficits” in a U.S. culture that prioritizes the self more than ever before.

Dr. Campos’ research has been recognized for its conceptual and methodological innovation. Her work has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and UC Mexus. If you would like to know more about her research, please visit her laboratory website:


As an instructor and mentor, Dr. Campos capitalizes on the natural interest that many students have in psychology to teach critical thinking, effective written and spoken communication, and research skills. The questions that psychology addresses about cognition, emotion, and behavior are innately interesting and widely applicable across disciplines and career goals. The lessons and assignments that Dr. Campos uses vary by class but all emphasize understanding, applying, and contributing to the knowledge generated by social and behavioral science research.

The courses that Dr. Campos regularly teaches include Chicano/Latino Social Psychology,” “Culture and Close Relationships” and “Health and the Latino Paradox” at the undergraduate level and “Cultural and Historical Precedents for Latinos and Medical Care” and “Latinos and Medical Care: Contemporary Issues” at the graduate level. Course descriptions can be found in the UCI General Catalogue.