Maria Elena Torres

Visiting Scholar

Maria Elena Torres's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 247
Phone: 781 7364836
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Behavioral health and social policy, behavioral health care workforce, racial/ethnic disparities in behavioral health treatment, and quality of behavioral health care treatment


  • Brandeis University
  • Brandeis University
  • Lesley College
  • Simmons College

Maria Elena Torres

Visiting Scholar


Maria Torres, PhD. is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Behavioral Health.
In addition to her training in behavioral health and social policy as a Doctoral student at the Heller School, Dr. Torres builds upon her experience as a Licensed Mental Health Clinician and a Program Director supervising frontline clinical and direct service staff to inform her research agenda focused on the behavioral health care workforce. Her research experience prior to coming to the Heller School includes her work as the Project Manager and Co-Investigator for the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS).

Through a research collaboration between the Institute for Behavioral Health and the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, Dr. Torres is currently the Project Manager for a CMS Health Care Innovation Award made to ValueOptions and its subsidiary, the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership.

Awards and Honors

  • The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellows, National Institute on Drug Abuse, award number F31DA030880 (2011 - 2012)


  • Reif, S., Torres, M., Horgan, C.M., Merrick, E.L.. "Characteristics of Practitioners in a Private Managed Behavioral Health Plan." BioMed Central Health Services Research 12(283). (2012).
  • Guarnaccia, P., Lewis-Fernandez, R., Martinez-Pincay, I., Shrout, P., Guo, J., Torres, M., Canino, G., & Alegria, M.. "“Ataque de Nervios” as a Marker of Social and Psychiatric Vulnerability: Results from the NLAAS." International Journal of Social Psychiatry 56(3): 298. (2010).
  • Reif, S., Horgan, C.M., Torres, M., Merrick, E.L.. "Types of practitioners and outpatient visits in a private managed behavioral health plan.." Psychiatric Services 61(11),1066. (2010).
  • Alegria, M., Shrout, P., Torres, M., Lewis-Fernandez, R., Abelson, J., Powell, M., et al.. "Lessons Learned from the Clinical Reappraisal Study of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview with Latinos." International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 18(2). (2009).
  • Alegria, M., Canino, G., Shrout, P., Woo, M., Duan, N., Vila, D., Torres, M., Chen, C. & Meng, X-L. "Prevalence of Mental Illness in Immigrant and Non-Immigrant U.S. Groups." American Journal of Psychiatry 165(3), 359-69. (2008).
  • Rivera, F., Guarnaccia, P., Mulvaney-Day, N., Lin, J., Torres, M., & Alegria, M. "Family cohesion and its relationship to psychological distress among Latino groups." Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 30(3), 357. (2008).
  • Alegria , M., Sribney, W., Woo, M., Torres, M., & Guarnaccia, P.. "Looking Beyond Nativity: The Relation of Age of Immigration, Length of Residence, and Birth Cohorts to the Risk of Onset of Psychiatric Disorders for Latinos." Research on Human Development 4(1&2), 19-47. (2007).
  • Alegria, M., Shrout, P., Woo, M., Guarnaccia, P., Sribney, W., Vila, D., Polo, A., Cao, Z., Mulvaney-Day, N., Torres, M., & Canino, G.. "Understanding Differences in Past Year Mental Health Disorders for Latinos Living in the US." Social Science & Medicine 65, 214-230. (2007).
  • Alegría, M., Mulvaney-Day, N., Torres, M., Polo, A., Cao, Z., & Canino, G.. "Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders Across Latino Subgroups in the United States." American Journal of Public Health 97, 68-75. (2007).
  • Alegría, M., Mulvaney-Day, N., Woo, M., Torres, M., Gao, S., & Oddo, V.. "Correlates of Twelve-Month Mental Health Service Use among Latinos: Results from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS)." American Journal of Public Health 97, 76-83. (2007).