Methods and Statistics, Social Psychology, The Self and Its Relation to Social Systems
I am a social psychologist whose areas of teaching and research address in various ways two fundamental questions of human concern: "Who am I?" and "Where do I fit in?" In my research, I investigate the self-concept, its development in youth and its effects on behavior; issues of self and social integration, including the individual and community, alienation, and civility; and the personal consequences of experiencing the social structure. My most recent research includes the study of the causes and consequences of mattering, a new concept in social psychology, defined as the sense that one is a significant part of the lives of other people, institutions, one's community, or society as a whole. The overarching premise in this research is that failing to matter to others has a devastating effect on one's understanding of the self and on one's behaviors. I also investigate the role of the self-concept in intimate violence, focusing largely on child maltreatment. I teach courses in Introductory Social Psychology, Socialization, Intimate Violence, Alternatives to Violence, the Social Psychology of Poverty, Statistics, Research Methods, and Violence & Society.