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Child and Family Science

Jessica McKenzie, Professor in Child and Family Science

Jessica McKenzie

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.

Students in Jessica’s Human Development and Culture Research Lab have published empirical articles in leading journals in the discipline and have presented the results of their research internationally, nationally, and locally. HD&C lab members have studied a range of topics, including: the transformation and maintenance of moral values in contexts of rapid sociocultural change, adolescent orientations toward religion in globalizing Northern Thailand, dyadic perspectives of media use in rural and urban Thailand, and globalization-based cultural brokerage among urban Thai adolescent—parent dyads. Additional information on the research in which Jessica and her students are engaged can be found here.