Jessica Dennis, Ph.D.

Jessica Dennis

Professor of Psychology

College of Natural and Social Sciences
Department of Psychology
Office: King Hall C3062
Phone: 343-323-2276



I have been a professor at Cal State LA since 2005. Although I am still a professor in the psychology department, I am currently serving as the Chair of the Child and Family Studies Department. My research focuses on development in emerging adulthood with an emphasis on cultural issues relating to identity and adjustment.


My teaching interests include developmental psychology, multicultural psychology, methodology, and statistics. I try to incorporate cross-cultural issues within each course that I teach and I encourage active learning through discussion and critical thinking activities. Most of my courses contain a research component and multiple reflection assignments.


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 intersection of gender, sexual, cultural, and racial identity, the role of family and peers in the promotion of bicultural competence, and family support for college achievement.


Zhang, J., Dennis, J. M., & Houseman, C. (2018). The role of family and community bicultural socialization in the bilingual proficiency of immigrant young adults. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 67, 44-57.

Wynants, S. A., & Dennis, J. M., (2018). Professional development in an online context: Opportunities and challenges from the voices of college faculty. Journal of Educators Online, 15, 15-28.

Shen, J., & Dennis, J. M. (2017). Language brokering among Latino young adults: The role of communication and parental control. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1-22.   

Wynants, S. A., & Dennis, J. M. (2017). Embracing diversity and accessibility: A mixed methods study of the impact of an online disability awareness program. Journal of Post-secondary Education and Disability, 30, 33-48.

Dennis, J. M., Fonseca, A., Gutierrez, G., Shen, J., & Salazar, S. (2016). Bicultural competence and the Latino 2.5 generation: The acculturative advantages and challenges of having one foreign born and one U.S. born parent. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 38, 341-359.

Liu, W., Dennis, J. M., & Edwards, C. P. (2015). Chinese parents’ involvement in sexuality education for adolescents. International Journal of Sexual Health, 27, 485-507

Michikyan, M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Dennis, J. (2015). A picture is worth a thousand words: A mixed methods study of online self-presentation in a multi-ethnic sample of emerging adults. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 15, 287-308.

Michikyan, M., Dennis, J., & Subrahmanyam, K. (2015). Can you guess who I am? Real, ideal, and false self- presentation on Facebook among emerging adults. Emerging Adulthood, 3, 55-64.

Dennis, J. M., Rosen, R., & Patel, S. K. (2015). Willingness to participate in a parental training intervention to reduce neurocognitive late effects among Latino parents of childhood cancer survivors. Cancer Education, 30, 37-44.

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.


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