Jessica McKenzie, Assistant Professor in Child and Family Science

Aimee Rickman

Office: FFS 302

Phone: 559.278.1659



Ph.D., 2014, Psychology, Clark University
M.A., 2011, Psychology, Clark University
B.A., 2006, Psychology, Miami University

Experience and Research: Jessica bridges developmental and cultural perspectives to examine how people make sense of themselves across the life course, and the role of culture and cultural change in sense-making processes. Employing qualitative and quantitative methods, Jessica has studied the beliefs (about divinity, morality, self) and practices (religious, linguistic, dietary, media) of adolescents and parents in Thailand, and of children, adolescents, and adults in the United States. Her ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in northern Thailand has contributed to the developmental science of globalization, and her work in the U.S. has contributed to the scientific understanding of the cultural nature of moral development.

Since 2015, students in her Human Development and Culture Research Lab have presented the results of their research internationally, nationally, and locally. HD&C lab members are currently investigating folk theories of success among rural and urban Thai adolescents, and perceptions and negotiations of media among urban Thai adolescent—parent dyads. More information on the research in which Jessica and her
students are engaged can be found here.