Jessica Dennis, Ph.D.

Jessica Dennis

Associate Professor and Director, MA in Psychology

College of Natural and Social Sciences
Department of Psychology
Office: King Hall C3063
Phone: 343-323-2276



I have been a professor at CSULA since 2005 and was a post-doctoral researcher and part-time lecturer at CSULA from 2003-2005. My research focuses on development in emerging adulthood with an emphasis 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 component and multiple reflection assignments. In addition to teaching, I also serve as a departmental advisor and the director of the M.A. in Psychology program.


My research background deals with development during adolescence and emerging adulthood in ethnic minority youth. In my research lab, the Center for Multicultural Research, we are investigating the ways in which young people maintain healthy relationships with their family while concurrently seeking to create their own identity, friendships, and romantic relationships as they enter adulthood. Through focus group interviews and surveys, we have found that young people from immigrant families may experience differences in expectations with their parents and that these differences can pose challenges to personal and family well-being. Recent projects in the lab have focused on topics such as the role of family and peers in the promotion of bicultural competence and family support for college achievement.


Michikyan, M., Dennis, J., & Subrahmanyam, K. (in press). Can you guess who I am? Real, ideal, and false self- presentation on Facebook among emerging adults. Emerging Adulthood.

Dennis, J. M., Rosen, R., & Patel, S. K. (in press). Willingness to participate in a parental training intervention to reduce neurocognitive late effects among Latino parents of childhood cancer survivors. Cancer Education. DOI: 10.1007/s13187-014-06

Michikyan, M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Dennis, J. (2015). Facebook use and academic performance among college students: A mixed-methods study with a multi-ethnic sample. Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 265-272.

Basañez, T., Dennis, J. M., Crano, W., Stacy, A., & Unger, J. B. (2014). Measuring acculturation gap conflicts among Hispanics: Implications for psychosocial and academic adjustment. Journal of Family Issues, 35, 1727-1753.

Michikyan, M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Dennis, J. (2014). Can you tell who I am? Neuroticism, extraversion, and online self-presentation among young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 33, 179-183.

Patel, S. K., Lo, T. Y., Dennis, J. M., & Bhatia, S. (2013).  Neurocognitive and behavioral outcomes in Latino childhood cancer survivors. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 60 (10), 1696-1702.

Dennis, J. M., Basañez, T., & Farahmand, A. (2010). Intergenerational conflicts among Latinos in early adulthood: Separating values conflicts with parents from acculturation conflicts. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 32, 118-135.

Dennis, J. M., Calvillo, E., & Gonzalez, A. (2008). The role of psychosocial variables in understanding achievement and retention of transfer students at an ethnically diverse urban university. Journal of College Student Development, 49 (6), 535-550.

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.

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.

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.   

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. 

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.


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