Peony Fhagen

Associate Professor of Psychology Chair; Department of Psychology


Knapton Hall 306

Spring 2018: Tues/Thurs 2:00-3:30

(508) 286-3692


Main Interests

Multicultural Psychology, Social and Emotional Development, Multiracial Americans, Impact of social status (i.e., majority/minority) on behavior and social adjustment, Mixed method (coordination of qualitative and quantitative methods) research


PhD Developmental Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
MS Clinical (Child) Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
BA Psychology, Wellesley College

Research Interests

I am interested in self development across the life span with a focus on adolescents and emerging adults and the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, and gender and sexual orientation. My areas of focus include: 1) cultural identity development; 2) self portrait development; 3) the self-conscious emotion humiliation; and 4) familial socialization.

Self Development Lab (SDL)

Research Projects and Assistants:
The Self Portrait Project
2010-2011 Chloe Levine and Emily Parker
2011-2012 Laura Chung, Angela Cammack, Jessica Flori and Sarah Owen
2013-2014 Maria Rios Brache and Alicia Alvarez

2014-2015: Multicultural Psychology Textbook
Alice Mo, Alicia Alavarez, Ambar McField, Chloe Sarapas, Maria Rios Brache, and Tyler Hicks

Teaching Interests

PSY 251 Multicultural Psychology
PSY 270 Adolescent Development
PSY 315 Social and Emotional Development
PSY 344 Laboratory in Qualitative Inquiry
PSY 400 Psychology Senior Seminar


Fhagen, P. (in press). The relationship between parents’ racial identity attitudes and their adolescent children’s perception of physical appearance, racial identity and social adjustment. In J. M. Sullivan & W. E. Cross, Jr. (Eds.). Meaning making, internalized racism and African American identity. New York, NY: SUNY Press

Fhagen-Smith, P. (2015). Biracial Identity. In J. Bennett (Ed.). The SAGE encyclopedia of
intercultural competence.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Fhagen-Smith, P.E., Vandiver, B. J.,Worrell, F., & Cross, W. E. (2010). (Re) examining racial identity differences across gender, community type, and socioeconomic status among African American college students. Identity: An International Journal of Research and Theory, 10, 164-180

Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2010). Social class, racial/ethnic identity, and the psychology of “choice”. In K. Korgen (Ed.). Multiracial Americans and social class: the influence of social class on racial identity (pp. 59-70). New York: Routledge.

Worrell, F. C., Vandiver, B. J., Schaefer, B. A., Cross, W. E., & Fhagen- Smith, P. E. (2006). Cluster analyses of cross racial identity scale (CRIS) scores in three independent samples. The Counseling Psychologist, 34, 519-547.

Porche, M., Fhagen-Smith, P., Kim, J. H., Vazquez-Garcia, H., Tracy, A. J., &
Erkut, S. (2004). Complexities in researching mixed ancestry adolescents: A preliminary study. Wellesley Centers for Women Working Paper. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley Centers for Women.

Worrell, F. C., Vandiver, B. J., Cross, W. E., & Fhagen-Smith, P.E. (2004). Reliability and structural validity of the cross racial identity scale scores on a sample of African American adults. Journal of Black Psychology, 30,

Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2003). Mixed Ancestry Racial/Ethnic Identity Development(MAREID) Model. Wellesley Centers for Women Working Paper No. 413. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley Centers for Women.

Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2003). Mixed race youth between 8 and 11 years old. In M. P. P. Root & M. Kelley (Eds.). The multiracial child resource book.
Seattle, WA: MAVIN Foundation.

Vandiver, B. J., Cross, W. E., Jr., Worrell, F. C., & Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2002). Validating the Cross Racial Identity Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49, 71-85.

Vandiver, B. J., Fhagen-Smith, P. E., Cokley, K. O., Cross, W. E.,& Worrell,
F. C. (2001). Cross nigrescence model: From theory to scale to theory.
Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 29, 174-200

Cross, W. E., & Fhagen-Smith, P. (2001). A life-span developmental model of racial identity. In C. J. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson (Eds.). Reflections on racial identity development: Essays on theory, practice and discourse. NY: New York University Press


Worrell, F., Vandiver, B. J., Cross, W. E., & Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2015, January). Introducing
the Cross Scale of Social Attitudes (CSSA): assessing identities across ethnic groups. Poster presented at the 9th National Multicultural Conference & Summit, Atlanta, Georgia.

Fhagen-Smith, P. (2014, August). Intersectionality, humiliation, and vulnerabilities in the
adolescent self-system. Poster presented at the 122nd Annual American Psychological
Association Convention, Washington, D.C.

Fhagen-Smith, P. (2012, June). Teaching and mentoring social issues: SPSSI award winners
share innovative pedagogies. Symposium presented at the 9th Biennial Convention for the
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Charlotte, North Carolina

Fhagen-Smith, P. & Price, D. (2012, March) Performing at their best: Infusion, pedagogy, and students’ potential. Teaching and Learning Workshop. Wheaton College, Norton, MA.

Fhagen-Smith, P. (2008). The relationship between dimensions of self-concept during the early adolescent years: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the 16th annual National Association of African American studies conference: Placing democracy and human rights at the heart of minority issues. Baton Rouge, LO, Feburary 11-16.

Maizner, R. & Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2006). The female Muslim immigrant experience in the United States: A qualitative study. Paper presented at the 6th annual Diversity challenge: Do immigrants catch or carry race and culture? Boston College, October 20-21.

Fhagen-Smith, P. E. & Bates, K. (2005). Diversity training: Interventions and research opportunities. Workshop presented at the 5th annual Diversity challenge: Making race and culture work in the world of work. Boston College, October 21-22.

Erkut, S., & Fhagen-Smith, P.E., & Porche, M. (2004). Mixed Ancestry Experience. Symposium presented at the 109th Annual American Psychological Association Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 28 – August 1.

Fhagen-Smith, P. E., Erkut, S., & Vasquez-Garcia, H. (2003). Theoretical help still needed: What does it mean to be of mixed ancestry? Structured discussion presented at the 3rd annual diversity challenge: 30+ years of racial identity theory: What do we know and how does it help us?, Boston College, October 17-18.

Fhagen-Smith, P. E. (2003). Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS) Scores and Demographics: Does Participants Sex, Age, SES, Racial Designation and Childhood Community Make A Difference? Paper presented at the 3rd annual diversity challenge: 30+ years of racial identity theory: What do we know and how does it help us?, Boston College, October 17-18.

Fhagen-Smith, P.E., Vandiver, B. J., & Cross, W. E., Jr. (2001). Black identity and gender differences. Symposium presented at the18th Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Dealing with Gender and Social Class in Cross-cultural Psychology and Education, New York City, NY, February 23-24.

Wijeyesinghe, C. L., Fhagen-Smith, P.E. & Jones, J. (2001). Racial identity in the classroom: Models of black, white and multiracial identity development and their application to teaching, advising, & counseling. Symposium presented at the 1st annual diversity challenge: How to survive teaching courses on race and culture, Boston College, October 12-13.

Cross, W.E., Worrell, F. C., Fhagen-Smith, P.E., & Vandiver, B.J. (2000). Integrating Theory and Research: The Cross Racial Identity Scale. Symposium presented at the 108th Annual American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, D.C., August 4-8.

Student Projects

Honors Theses

Jennifer Park
Title: Adherence to Asian Values and the Use of English Names and Self-Ethnic Labels among Asian/Asian-American College Students

Lacresha Simpson
Title: The Influence of Racial Identity and Ideology on Future Neighborhood Preferences

Thomas Skiba
Title: Students With Dyslexia in Higher Education: A Grounded Theory Approach

Elizabeth Brais
Title: Preschoolers’ aggression: A study of gender schemas and gender-typed behaviors

Rose Maizner
Title: The Female Muslim Immigrant Experience in the U.S