Dr. María Del Socorro Castañeda


Dr. María Del Socorro Castañeda (she/her), Research Advisory Board 

Dr. María Del Socorro Castañeda is an independent researcher and Chief Education Officer and Co-founder of Becoming Mujeres. Founded with her teenage daughter Lupita Castañeda-Liles, the organization focuses on the mental health of Latina teens and their female caregivers. They provide seminars and workshops on young women’s mental health and teach strategies to foster open and healthy communication between teen girls and their female caregivers. María, who goes by Soco, also serves as an associate editor for Perspectivas—Journal for the Hispanic Theological Initiative and as a humanities advisor for an ITVS (Independent Television Service) film project on women’s ordination. She has also consulted for The National Geographic on Mexican Catholic devotions. Her life mission is “to teach Latina teens and women how to transgress oppressive gendered cultural expectations and become the women they were meant to be.” 

Soco lives in California with her daughter and serves as caregiver to her parents. In her free time, she spends time with family, travels, and takes long walks in nature. 

Soco says that as a sociologist of religion and a mother to a teen girl, she is deeply committed to the mental health of the Gen Z population. “As a Research Advisory Board member, I aim to contribute to ongoing projects that explore the challenges of growing up in a society dominated by social media and digital technology. By investigating spirituality, social media, and mental well-being, we can understand how youth form identities, build communities, and challenge the status quo. Through collaborative research, I seek to illuminate our understanding of Gen Z’s experiences and develop interventions for resilience and well-being in today’s interconnected world.” 

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