Maria Pagan-Rivera

Picture of Maria    Pagan-Rivera

Associate Professor
Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice


Office: S-633F

Office Hours:

Phone: +1 (212) 220-1246

Maria Pagan Rivera, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is a licensed clinical social worker and developmental evaluator specializing in working with children and families. Growing up in Washington Heights, New York City, she was the first member of her family to attend college and was motivated by her desire to help her community. Prior to joining BMCC, she was an adjunct lecturer at New York University (NYU), served as a consultant for the NYC Early Intervention Program and was a social worker for the NYC Department of Education.

Professor Pagan Rivera is committed to continuing her work with children with learning disabilities and with immigrant families. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on parental factors as mediators of alcohol use and depression among Mexican American adolescents, and reflects her strong interest in continuing to study adolescent, immigrant, and Latino mental health issues. She recently presented a paper at the International Psycho-historical Society Conference sponsored at NYU where she discussed the types of trauma undocumented immigrants face during the migration process and the effects of this trauma on second generation youth. She is an advocate and firm believer in the importance of passing legislation such as the Dream Act to allow undocumented immigrant students to further their education and have the opportunity to reach their highest potential while remaining in the United States.


Direct Social Work Skills, Children with Special Needs, Children in Poverty


  • B.A. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Forensic Psychology,
  • M.S. New York University, MSW Clinical Social Work,
  • Ph.D. New York University, Social Work,

Courses Taught

Research and Projects


Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • Family Support and Parental Monitoring as Protective Factors in Preventing Depression and Alcohol Use among Mexican American Adolescents.

    Paper presented was selected as one of seven dissertations honored at the conference as part of a national call for papers of dissertation research abstracts. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, March, 2013.

Additional Information

Pagan Rivera, M.S., DePaulo, D. (2013). The Role of Family Support and Parental Monitoring as Mediators in Mexican American Adolescent Drinking. Substance Use and Misuse. Posted online on July 3, 2013. (doi:10.3109/10826084.2013.808220). Available online:

Pagan Rivera, M.S. (2013). Family Support and Parental Monitoring as Protective Factors in
Preventing Depression and Alcohol Use among Mexican American Adolescents. The Ohio State University Knowledge Bank: 25th National Symposium on Doctoral Research in Social Work. Available online:

Pagan Rivera, M.S. (2014). Using Integrative Short-Term Treatment in Addressing the Social-Emotional Needs of Immigrant Students: Implications for School Social Work Practice. Journal of School Social Work, 38(2), 61-75.

Pagan Rivera, M.S. (2015). Risk and Protective Factors for Depression in Mexican American Youth: The impact of Generational Status, Family, and Parental Influences. Social Work in Mental Health, 13(3), 252-271.

Professional Credentials:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
PhD in Social Work
Certified EMDR Therapist
Early Intervention Specialist
Certified Bilingual School Social Worker