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College of Humanities & Sciences

Psychology Department

Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendy Kliewer [View Image]

Developmental Psychology
808 W Franklin, rm 304
(804) 828-8066

Professor (tenured)
Co-Leader, Culture, Race and Health Transdisciplinary iCubed Core
Associate Coordinator, Humphrey Fellowship Program

Ph.D. (1989), University of California, Irvine

Doctoral Program Affiliations

Primary: Developmental Psychology
Secondary: Health PsychologySocial Psychology, and Clinical Psychology


Research Interests

My current projects reflect a commitment to helping launch the careers of current and former students and mentees, as well as VCU faculty in the beginning stages of their careers. I am particularly committed to increasing the research capacity of individuals in low- and middle-income countries, a passion that grew out of my experience as a Fulbright Research Fellow in South Africa for six months in 2011, and my interactions with mid-career professionals coming to VCU as part of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. For the past 25 years, and especially since 2012, my research and writing has centered on the broad theme of risk and resilience, with much of my work specifically examining substance use in early, middle, or late adolescence as an outcome. Consistent with this focus, my teaching commitments at the undergraduate and graduate levels are concentrated in the areas of addiction and research methods. I am invested in growing and improving the department of psychology’s undergraduate concentration in addiction studies, as well as improving VCU students’ knowledge generally in the area of addiction, and Humphrey Fellows’ knowledge of and capacity to conduct research in the substance abuse and related health fields.

Select Publications

Wright, A.W., Salifu Yendork, J., & Kliewer, W. (2018). Patterns of Spiritual Connectedness during Adolescence: Links to Coping and Adjustment in Low-Income Urban Youth.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-018-0886-6  

Kliewer, W., & Parham, B.(2018). Resilience Against Marijuana Use Initiation in Low-Income African American Youth. Addictive Behaviors.

Wan, N., Kliewer, W., & Sosnowski, D. (2018). Sex Differences in Risk for Substance Use among High School Students in Myanmar.  International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation.    

Kliewer, W., Salifu Yendork, J., Wright, A.W., & Pillay, B.J. (2018). Adjustment Profiles of Low-Income Caregivers from the United States and South Africa: Contrasts and Commonalities. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27,522-534. DOI 10.1007/s10826-017-0907-1

Kliewer, W., Pillay, B.J., Swain, K., Rawatlal, N., Borre, A., Naidu, T., Pillay, L., Govender, T., Geils, C., Jäggi, L., Drazdowski, T.K., Wright, A.W., & Vawda, N. (2017). Cumulative Risk, Emotion Dysregulation, and Adjustment in South African Youth. Journal of Child and Family Studies,26, 1768–1779. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-017-0708-6 

Kliewer, W., & Robins, J.. (2017). Cumulative risk and physiological stress responses in African American adolescents. Biological Research for Nursing, 19, 428-439.

Recent Courses

  • Research Internship, undergraduate level
  • Developmental Research Methods, graduate level

Recent Grants

Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

Amount: $19,775,808
Role: Co-Investigator
Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse
Period: 9/1/2018 - 8/31/2023
Number: 2U54DA036105-06

Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Program

Role: Associate Coordinator
Source: United States Department of State
Period: 7/1/16 – 6/30/21

Recent Awards

  • 2017, Distinguished Mentoring Award, VCU College of Humanities and Sciences
  • 2017, Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME), VCU
  • 2016, Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) Faculty Mentor Award, VCU

News Features

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