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Faculty and Staff

PIDM=370644 / itemid=44424 / getpidm=370644

Contact

Office: Breiseth Hall

Phone: 5704084567

Email: jennifer.thomas@wilkes.edu

Dr. Jennifer J Thomas

Associate Professor

Psychology

Biography

View CV
                                                                                                                                                                               
Ph.D., Purdue University, (Developmental Psychology)
M.A., Wake Forest University,  (Psychology)


I teach the following courses:  Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101), Developmental Psychology (PSY 221), Adolescent Psychology (PSY 222), the Psychology of Women and Gender (PSY 398), and the Psychology Capstone (PSY 400).  
My research program and future research interests pertain to children’s and adolescents’ peer relationships.  In particular, I am interested in how adolescents’ friendships change with the onset of romantic relationships and how adolescents successfully manage both types of relationships.  A second area of research interests relates to the processes through which peers influence one another.  Often referred to as “peer pressure,” I study how children and adolescents’ friends influence their academic, social, and psychological adjustment and their prosocial behaviors.  A final area of research interest concerns the developmental significance of adolescents’ non-romantic cross-sex friendships.  I investigate the characteristics of these relationships and how they are related to adolescents’ academic, social, and psychological adjustment.  Through this work I hope to expand on our knowledge of the developmental significance of friendships and romantic relationships and to help children and adolescents develop more satisfying peer relationships.

EDUCATION

    PURDUE UNIVERSITY
        Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, December
Dissertation: Influences of romantic relationships on same-sex friendships in adolescence: Conceptions of friendship features and their connection to adjustment
    Advisor:  Thomas J. Berndt, Ph.D.

    WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY
        M.A., Psychology,
    Thesis: Adolescent self-esteem and friendship: The effects of gender, ethnicity, and age
        Advisor:  Deborah L. Best, Ph.D.

    BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY
        B.S., Animal Behavior, Honors in Psychology,

Publications

PUBLICATIONS

Best, D. L., & Thomas, J. J. (2004).  Cultural diversity and cross-cultural perspectives.  In A. Eagly, A. Beall, & R. Sternberg (Eds.), The Psychology of Gender (pp. 296-327).  New York:  Guilford Press.

Thomas, J. J., & Daubman, K. A. (2001).  The relationship between friendship quality and self-esteem in adolescent girls and boys.  Sex Roles, 45, 53-65. 

MANUSCRIPTS UNDER REVIEW

Thomas, J. J.  Adolescents’ conceptions of the effects of romantic relationships on friendships.

Thomas, J. J.  Processes through which adolescents believe romantic relationships influence friendships.

MANUSCRIPTS IN PREPARATION

Thomas, J. J.  Relational aggression within early and late adolescents’ same- and other-sex friendships:  The importance of attitudes toward gender.

Thomas, J. J., Best, D. L., & Berndt, T. J. Changes during adolescence in same- and other-sex friendships.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Thomas, J. J., & Kozo, A. (2010, March).  Relational aggression and friendship among early and late adolescents: The importance of attitudes toward women. Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

•    A. Kozo worked on this project during her junior year at Wilkes University

Thomas, J. J., & McFadden, A. (2010, March).  Friendship and dating goals in adolescence:  The importance of gender and adjustment.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Brooklyn, New York.

•    A. McFadden worked on this project during her junior and senior years at Wilkes University

Thomas, J. J., & Cannon, M. (2009, March).  How do romantic relationships affect same-sex friendships?  An examination of international processes, friendship features, and adjustment in college students.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Pittsburgh, PA.

•    M. Cannon worked on this project during her senior year at Wilkes University

Thomas, J. J. (2008, March).  Impact of romantic relationships on friendships:  Conceptions of interactional processes, friendship features, and adjustment.  Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Chicago, Illinois. 

Thomas, J. J., & Berndt, T. J. (2007, March).  Effects of relocation to a new school on children and adolescents in military families.  Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Massachusetts.

Thomas, J. J., & Berndt, T. J. (2007, March).  Influences of romantic relationships on same-sex friendships in adolescence:   Conceptions of friendship features and adjustment.  Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Massachusetts.

Thomas, J. J., & Berndt, T. J. (2006, March).  Do friends help adolescents in military families adjust after a residential move?  Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, San Francisco, California.

Thomas, J. J., & Berndt, T. J. (2006, March).  Relations of friends’ activities to their similarity in academic adjustment.  Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, San Francisco, California.

Thomas, J. J., & Berndt, T. J. (2005, April). Friendship quality, friends' activities, and students' academic adjustment. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, Georgia.

Berndt, T. J., & Thomas, J. J. (2005, April). Parents’ perceptions of friends’ influence. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, Georgia.

Thomas, J., J., & Berndt, T. J. (2004, March). Friend’ similarity, friendship quality, and academic and psychological adjustment. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.

Thomas, J. J., & Best, D. L. (2003, August). Same- and other-sex best friendship in adolescence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

Thomas, J. J., & Best, D. L. (2003, May). Friendship quality and self-esteem in adolescence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL. 

Thomas, J. J. (2003, April). Adolescent self-esteem and friendship. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.

Thomas, J. J., & Best, D. L. (2002, April). Gender and ethnic differences in adolescent physical and global self-esteem. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, New Orleans, LA.

Thomas, J. J., & Best, D. L. (2002, April). Gender and ethnic differences in adolescent self-esteem. Poster presented at the biennial Conference on Human Development, Charlotte, NC. 

Thomas, J. J., & Best, D. L. (2002, February). Adolescent self-esteem: A comparison of African-American, European-American, and English as a second language Mexican-American students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, Santa Fe, NM.

Thomas, J. J., & Daubman, K. A. (1999, April). The relationship between friendship and self-esteem in adolescent girls and boys. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Providence, RI.  

Research

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SUPERVISION

    STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN RELATIONSHIPS RESEARCH LAB, WILKES UNIVERSITY

Decision Making and Social Relationships, Summer 2010 - Present

•    Currently incorporating Ashley Pietrowski into the process of developing and implementing a developmental psychology research project including:  literature review, survey design, participant recruitment, coding manual and database creation, data collection and entry, hypothesis generation, and data analysis

•    Data collection occurring this fall and will work with student to prepare abstract to submit for poster presentation at a conference in Spring or Summer 2011

•    Ashley is preparing to apply to graduate programs in developmental psychology for fall 2011

Connections between adolescents’ friendships, electronic activity usage, and adjustment, Fall 2009 - Present

•    Currently incorporating Brandon Hector and Chelsea Uselding into a research project where they are involved in conducting literature reviews, hypothesis generation, coding manual and database creation, data entry and analysis

•    Working with students to prepare abstracts to submit for poster presentation at Spring 2011 meeting of Eastern Psychological Association

•    Both students are juniors and plan to apply to graduate programs

An investigation of friendship, romantic relationships, and adjustment among adolescents, Summer 2008 – Spring 2010

•    Incorporated Amber Kozo and Anna McFadden into a research project including:  literature review, survey design, participant recruitment, data collection, data entry, and data analysis

•    Data presented in poster format at 2010 biennial meeting of Society for Research on Adolescents and 2010 annual meeting of Eastern Psychological Association

•    Anna McFadden awarded a National Science Foundation Summer Fellowship and currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Clemson University

•    Amber Kozo is a senior who is applying to law school

Differentiation of self: Connections with the features of adolescents’ friendships, romantic relationships, and their adjustment, Spring 2008   

•    Aided Courtney Mullen in development of project to examine connections between differentiation of self, same- and other-sex friendships, and adjustment among adolescents

•    Courtney currently enrolled in Temple University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

College students’ conceptions of the interactional processes through which romantic relationships affect friendships, Fall 2007- Spring 2008

•    Incorporated Megan Cannon into a research project including: literature reviews, survey design, participant recruitment, data collection, entry and analysis

•    Results presented at annual meeting of Eastern Psychological Association in March 2009

•    Megan currently enrolled in Clinical Ph.D. program at NOVA Southeastern University 

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SUPERVISION, FRIENDSHIP LAB, PURDUE UNVIVERSITY, SPRING 2005-SPRING 2006   

•    Mentored students who worked in Ph.D. advisor’s research laboratory.  Guided students through daily operation of lab, led weekly lab meetings, provided instruction on research methods, data coding, and data analysis.  Served as mentor by discussing graduate school options and  job opportunities; edited drafts of graduate school applications

RESEARCH INTERESTS

My research program and future research interests pertain to children’s and adolescents’ peer relationships.  In particular, I am interested in how adolescents’ friendships change with the onset of romantic relationships and how adolescents successfully manage both types of relationships.  I am also interested in the processes of peer influence, also referred to as “peer pressure,” specifically friends’ influence over children’s and adolescents’ academic, social, and psychological adjustment and prosocial behaviors.

Awards

OUTSTANDING NEW FACULTY MEMBER AWARD, WILKES UNIVERSITY, FALL 2009

“Award recognizes one tenure-track faculty member in his or her second or third year of full-time teaching who demonstrates outstanding initiatives in the classroom, excellence in teaching, advising and potential for leadership on campus”

 

 

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