Yvonne Wells, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychology

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  • PhD, Clark University
  • MA, Clark University
  • BA, Indiana University
  • APA Minority Fellow

Specialty Areas

Social and developmental psychology with a special emphasis on issues in multiculturalism and cultural competence in Psychology; ethnic identity development; health-related behavior/body image; religious conflict and conflict resolution.

My interests lead me in a couple of directions. One is in the direction of critical writing about the current philosophical place of the study of race, multicultural issues and diversity in Psychology. The other is in the direction of research about how the social world influences health related behavior such as that which supports health versus obesity and access versus lack of access to mental health counseling.

Where race is more widely understood as a social construct, and not a biological reality, the African-American child may be healthier and more educationally successful when experiencing a firm historical grounding in one well-defined ethnic identity. Yet this child may be at odds with a more Postmodern and flexible view of race. Minority child-rearing that is ethnically grounded may clashes interestingly with ideas of movement toward “racelessness”, equity or merit for reward, and cultural definitions that have become less based in history and more influenced by personal choice. The notion of the value of a strong ethnic identity has been the basis of several lectures and theoretical papers which inquire into the role of culture in development and in the teaching of Psychology. The question of changes in the academic world that lead to “shifting” conversations about race and ethnicity are also areas of critical examination.

Undergraduate/graduate student research lab on social media, the emotions and the impact of social media on relationships, now underway. We are examining the impact of social media on our perceptions of emotions and our expectations for relationships. Actors, photographers, undergraduates seeking research credit and interested graduate students welcomed.


Wells, Y. V., Stark, A., Garcia-Rodriguez, I. A, Harkins, D. Tolavic, E. & Sorrentino, M. (2019, August) Anger and remorse through two Social Media lenses: Text messages versus YouTube videos. Presented at The American Psychological Association {APA} Convention, Chicago, Ill.

Wells, Y.V. & Quinones, T. (2019, October) Culture Games: Rationale for a Handbook of Sociocultural Syllabi. Individual structured discussion session presented at the Diversity Challenge conference, Boston College, Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Boston, M.A.

Wells, Y. (2013) Giroux, Still raging for humanity. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 3 (1), 63-65.

Wells, Y. & Timothy Quiñones (2012) A conversation with DeCesare: Toward practical definitions of critical thinking. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 2 (1), 1-7.

Wells, Y. (2003).  Superwomen raising super daughters Part I: Whatever happened to Black Girlhood. In Demick, J. and Andrioletti, C. (Eds.) In The Handbook of Adult Development. (pp 421-429) New York: Plenum.

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Courses Taught

  • PSYCH-341-A Sociocultural Perspectives
  • PSYCH-428-B Senior Capstone
  • PSYCH-333-A Adult Development & Aging
  • SF-1187-AE The Psychology of Nutrition
  • PSYCH-428-W1 Senior Seminar in Psychology