Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Peony Fhagen-Smith

Peony Fhagen-Smith

Associate Professor of Psychology
Associate Professor of Psychology and AAADS

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

Main Interests

I am interested in the social and emotional development of children, adolescence, and emerging adults with a particular interest in cultural identity development and the process of forming identities for race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion and the impact of these identities on psychosocial functioning.  I am also interested in the impact of stereotypes, discrimination, "isms", and privilege on the psychosocial functioning of majority and minority populations in multicultural societies.

Research Interests

Self-Portrait Development

Multicultural Psychology



Teaching Interests

PSY 203 Child Development
PSY 251 Multicultural Psychology
PSY 270 Adolescent Development
PSY 315 Social and Emotional Development
PSY 345 Labortory in Child Development


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



SPSSI (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring, 2011.



Fhagen-Smith, P. (2011). Teaching social issues through a lens of psychological science inquiry to undergraduates.  Symposium presented at the 9th biennial convention of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Charlotte, NC, June 21-24.

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