Perla A. Vargas is an associate professor of psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at ASU's New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Dr. Vargas received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Arizona in 1995 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 1998. She earned an M.S. in psychology from U of A in 1989 and a B.A. in the subject from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico City) in 1983. Before joining the ASU New College faculty in 2007, Dr. Vargas worked in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where she was part of a team studying allergic diseases in children.
Dr. Vargas is the co-director of the Research Education and Training Core on Health Disparities at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center.
Among her research and scholarly interest are health-related decision-making, health disparities, development of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) programs, and the implementation of evidence-based interventions in community settings. Additionally, Dr. Vargas is interested in investigating behavioral processes involved in the management of children's oral health, asthma, food allergy and obesity, and in developing effective methods to improve management of these conditions among high-risk, underserved children in community settings. She has established research opportunities for students, who can register for 1-6 credits of supervised research or independent study.
Dr. Vargas, who is an advisor to the Arizona Department of Education is widely published and her work has appeared in such peer-reviewed and professional journals as the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis; Pediatric Pulmonology, and Behavioural Processes. She has presented at conferences for national and international organizations such as the International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Diseases, Pediatric Academic Societies, National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, and the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior.
At ASU's West campus, Dr. Vargas teaches research methods in psychology, environmental psychology, and health psychology and also directs supervised and action research and individualized instruction.