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Photograph of Dr. Dennis

Teaching Interests
Educational Background

Jessica Dennis

College of Natural and Social Sciences
Department of Psychology

Office: King Hall C3062
Phone: 343-323-2276
Lab website: Multicultural Research Center


I have been an assistant professor at CSULA since 2005 and was a post-doctoral researcher and part-time lecturer at CSULA from 2003-2005. My research interests have focused on development during adolescence and early adulthood with a focus on cross-cultural issues in family and peer relationships and the ways in which these relationships impact academic and psychosocial outcomes.



My teaching interests include developmental psychology, multicultural psychology, methodology, and statistics. I try to incorporate cross-cultural issues and emphasize diversity in psychological processes within each course that I teach. In my classes, I like to emphasize active learning processes by encouraging discussion and critical thinking. Most of my courses contain a research or observation component.



My research background deals with development during adolescence and emerging adulthood in ethnic minority youth. In my research project, the Family Relationships Project, we are investigating the ways in which ethnic minority adolescents maintain healthy relationships with their family while concurrently seeking to create their own identity, friendships, and romantic relationships as they enter adulthood. We are currently examining the acculturation gap among college students which involves differences between the expectations and values of young people who may be more acculturated than their parents.


Title Date

Ong, A. D., Phinney, J. S., & Dennis, J. M. (2006). Competence under challenge: Exploring the protective influence of parental support and ethnic identity in Latino college students. Journal of Adolescence, 6, 961-980.

Phinney, J., Dennis, J. M., & Osorio, N. T. (2006). Motivations to attend college among mong ethnically diverse college students. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12, 347-366. 2006
Phinney, J., Dennis, J. M., & Gutierrez, D. (2005). College orientation profiles of Latino students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds: A cluster analytic approach. Journal of Hispanic Behavioral Sciences, 27, 1-22. 2005
Dennis, J. M., Phinney, J., & Chuateco, L. I. (2005). The role of motivation, parental support, and peer support in the academic success of ethnic minority first-generation college students. Journal of College Student Development, 46, 223-236. 2005
Parke, R. D., Coltrane, S., Borthwick-Duffy, S., Buriel, R., Dennis, J. M., Powers, J., French, S., & Widaman, K. F. (2004). Economic stress, parenting, and child adjustment in Mexican American and European American families. Child Development, 75, 1632-1656. 2004
Dennis, J.M., Parke, R.D., Coltrane, S., Blacher, J., & Borthwick-Duffy, S. (2003). Economic stress, maternal depression, and child adjustment in Latino families: An exploratory study. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 24, 183-202. 2003



Ph.D. Developmental Psychology 2003

  • University of California, Riverside
    Riverside, CA

M.A. Psychology 2000

  • University of California, Riverside
    Riverside, CA

B.A. Psychology 1998

  • University of California, Riverside
    Riverside, CA