Amado M. Padilla was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 19, 1942. After graduating in 1960 from St. Mary High School,
where he was active in sports and earned average grades, Padilla entered New Mexico Highlands University. There he became
a serious student and aspired toward an academic career; he was also active in Psi Chi, the national honorary society in psychology.
He received a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology in 1964, and was selected to appear in the 1963-4 editon of Who’s Who Among
Students in American Colleges and Universities. He began his graduate work at Oklahoma State University, received his M.S.
in Experimental Psychology in 1966, and went to The University of New Mexico, where he received his Ph.D. in Experimental
Psychology in 1969.
Padilla’s first academic appointment was at the State University of New York, College at Potsdam, where he was the Assistant
Professor of Psychology from 1969-71. He relocated to The University of California, Santa Barbara in 1971, serving as Assistant
Professor of Psychology until 1974. In 1974 Padilla accepted an appointment with tenure at the University of California, Los
Angeles, where he was an Associate Professor of Psychology from 1974-78, and Professor of Psychology from 1978-88. Following
his term as Visiting Professor at the School of Education at Stanford University in 1986-87, Padilla was invited to permanently
join the Stanford faculty. He came to Stanford in 1988, and presently holds the appointment of Professor of education at the
School of Education, where he is involved in the Language, Literacy, and Culture as well as Psychological Studies Programs.
Throughout his career, Padilla has distinguished himself as a premier researcher, with an emphasis on Mexican American bilingualism
and Hispanic mental health issues. His research, scholarship, and teaching in these heretofore relatively unexplored areas
has placed him at the forefront of the field of Hispanic psychology and mental health, shedding light on critical issues affecting
the well-being of Hispanics, and pointing the way for other researchers to undertake study of them. The marked increase over
the past fifteen years in the quantity and quality of research on Hispanics psychology and mental health, is largely a consequence
of Padilla’s work in identifying the important research areas, and conducting much of the work himself and with his colleagues
Three major and one minor strand characterize Padilla’s research: language studies and education, acculturation and ethnicity,
psychosocial stress and well-being, and the history of psychology. Emphasizing Hispanics in the United States on these topics,
Padilla has employed Hispanics as respondents in almost all his studies. Padilla’s approach is multidisciplinary: he collaborates
extensively with colleagues in anthropology, applied linguistics, education, history, and sociology in his investigations
and publications. As noted earlier, he has led other Hispanics researchers (and researchers interested in Hispanics issues),
by always having the dual objective in his work of codifying knowledge while also pointing to research gaps in need of study.
Padilla has held several major administrative positions in conjunction with his academic appointments. In 1973-74, he served
as Director of the Institute for Applied Behavioral Science at The University of California, Santa Barbara; from 1976-1989
he was the Director and Principal Investigator of the Spanish Speaking Mental Health Research Center (SSMHRC) at the University
of California, Los Angeles; during 1982-85 he directed the National Center for Bilingual Research (NCBR) in Los Alamitos,
California; and in 1985-88 he acted as Director and Principal Investigator of the Center For Language, Education, and Research
(CLEAR) at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to directing these research centers, in 1978 Padilla founded
The Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, serving as Editor-in-Chief from 1978 to the present. During this time, he also
established the first Hispanics health and Mental Health Literature Data Base, a computerized data base providing researches
with published bibliographies and literature searches.
Padilla’s prolific work in the field of Hispanic psychology and mental health has earned him numerous awards, and his invitations
to sit on national panels, review boards, and commissions. In 1977 he was recognized in Who’s Who in Health Care; and in 1977-78
he was invited to be a Fulbright-Hays Senior Lecturer to the Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Peru, where
he taught statistics and environmental design and established a psychological laboratory. In 1978 he was presented with the
Academic Excellence Award by the National Coalition of Hispanic Mental Health and Human Services Organizations; in 1987 he
received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Standing Committee on the Role
of Statues of Minorities in Educational Research and development; and in 1988 he was recognized again by the American Educational
Research Association (Hispanic Research Issues Special Interest Group) as the recipient of its Award for Distinguished Research.
In addition to these awards, Padilla has been appointed to several national panels, review boards, and commissions. He was
invited to serve from 1978-81 as an elected member-at-large if the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Psychology
Section J; from 1978-79 as a member of the National Research Council/National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Evaluation
Panel (Behavioral and Social Sciences); and from 1979-81 as a member on the Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ Panel
on Selection and Placement of Students in Programs for the Mentally Retarded. In 1979 he was elected Treasurer of the Interamerican
Society of Psychology, a position he held until 1982; from 1982-84 he served as a member of the American Psychological Association’s
Education and Training Board; from 1982-83 he acted as Chairman of the National Research Council/Ford Foundation Postdoctoral
Fellowship for Minorities Program Panel in Psychology; in 1983 and 1984 he served as a member on the American Psychological
Association’s Continuing Education and Undergraduate Education Committees; and in 1984-85 as a member on the National Institute
of Drug Abuse’s Epidemiology and Prevention Subcommittee of the Epidemiology, Prevention, and Services Research Review Committee.
Padilla was elected Chairman in 1985 of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on the International Relations
in Psychology, a position he held for one year, and in which capacity he traveled to Chile in 1985 as part of the Human Rights
Delegation to Chile sponsored by the American Psychological Association and American Committee for Human Rights. Succeeding
professional appointments, some of which Padilla presently continues to hold, include the California School of Professional
Psychology’s Board of Trustees (Member, 1986); the State of California’s Commission for economic Development Task Force for
the Seriously Mentally Ill (Member; 1986); the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Dissertations Award
Committee (Chairman, 1986); the American Psychological Association’s Publication and Communication Board (Member, 1987); and
the Carnegie Corporation’s Council on Adolescent Development Task Force on the Education of Early Adolescents (Member, 1987).
Padilla’s great success and recognition in the field of Hispanic psychology and mental health, a field he has essentially
established himself, reflect his exceptional academic, professional, and personal abilities. Padilla believes that his achievements
are due to the strong belief in the value of education maintained by his parents, Manuel and Esperanza. The oldest of five
brothers, Padilla and his brothers hold a total of 10 University degrees. His mother also returned to school and at age 55
received her B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico. Padilla’s roots from both sides of the family extend back over
two hundred years in New Mexico and he acknowledges that most days he would rather be sitting on the porch of his home in
Corrales, New Mexico despite his attraction to Northern California. Padilla is married to Kathryn Lindhom who received her
Ph.D at UCLA in Psychology and who is on the faculty at San Jose State.