University of Hawaii - Manoa

Department of Psychology

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Community, Cultural and Developmental Psychology

Degrees Offered: Doctorate


At A Glance

Full-time Faculty: 20

Full-time Faculty Identifying as Community Psychologists: 3

# of Students Admitted Each Year: 3

Available Student Assistantships: Research and teaching assistantships

The Program

The Community, Cultural, and Developmental Program in the Department of Psychology at UH Mānoa emphasizes understanding the development of children and adults within their social and cultural contexts. This includes the advancement of theory and social action. To achieve this, we focus on the use of strengths-based approaches that promote inclusion and social justice, and apply a developmental perspective to understand stability and change in the life course. Although our program has a similar philosophy to other community and developmental programs throughout the country, we include the systematic integration of cultural psychology in coursework and research. Consistent with this integration is the belief that the skills people develop, the interpersonal relationships they form, and the organizations and settings in which people participate are so interwoven that human behavior is best understood as part of its social and cultural fabric.

Program Alumni Information

The program focuses on training researchers. Graduates from the program are typically employed in government, education, healthcare and/or the nonprofit sector. 


Our graduate training is based on a mentorship model in which students develop research skills through close collaboration with faculty. Students are expected to engage in faculty-supervised research beginning in their first year, and to take increasing responsibility for charting the direction of that research as they progress through the program. 

Program Faculty and Research Interests

Charlene Baker - My research focuses on understanding the causes of and strategies for preventing violence against women and children. Specifically, I examine how individual, family, community, systems, and societal factors influence social problems, and in particular emphasizes the intersection of social problems; e.g., domestic violence and homelessness; dating violence and technology.

Jack Barile - My research interests include understanding the role of neighborhood stress in the formation and maintenance of health disparities, ecological assessment, quantitative methods, and program evaluation. This line of research includes the study of individual-level factors, such as socioeconomic status, age, and ethnicity, as well as contextual factors, such as housing conditions and community violence.

Ashley Maynard - I am a cultural developmental psychologist who uses mixed methods to study the ways that participation in changing activity settings shapes development. I am interested in nested levels of development: from cultural values and economics in the macrosystem to children’s microsystem interactions. As part of this, I study the ways that globalization induces changes in developmental settings and processes.