Jessica McKenzie, Assistant Professor in Child and Family Sciences

Aimee Rickman

Education: B.A. Psychology, Miami University; M.A. Developmental Psychology, Clark University; Ph.D. Developmental Psychology, Clark University 

Experience and Research: Believing that interdisciplinarity breeds innovation, Jessica bridges developmental and cultural perspectives in her work. Her primary research interests fall into two domains: moral development across cultural contexts and the psychological impact of globalization. She is particularly interested in the intersection of those domains, and has also examined related topics such as identity development, socialization, and religion. 

In her most recent research project, she examined the moral-psychological impact of globalization in northern Thailand. To do so, she conducted in-depth interviews with, and ethnographic observation of, adolescents and parents in a rural village and an urban city over the course of one year. Jessica's dissertation, a product of this multi-sited fieldwork, focused on the impact of sociocultural change on perceptions of oneself as a moral person, of societal moral values, and of the moral lenses through which one sees the world. Six years prior to her research experience there, she taught at a bilingual school in central Thailand and became an avid explorer of Southeast Asia.

Because Jessica is passionate about conducting research in diverse locations and with diverse populations, she is very excited to further her research program here in central California.