Professor of Applied Psychology
Phone: (212) 998-5563
More information available at niobeway.com
Niobe Way is Professor of Applied Psychology in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. She is also the co-Director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at NYU and the past President for the Society for Research on Adolescence. She received her doctorate from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and was an NIMH postdoctoral fellow in the psychology department at Yale University. Way's research focuses on the intersections of culture, context, and human development, with a particular focus on the social and emotional development of adolescents. She is interested in how schools, families, and peers as well as larger political and economic contexts influence developmental trajectories. Her work also focuses on social identities, including gender and racial/ethnic identities, and the effects of gender and racial/ethnic stereotypes on adjustment and on friendships. Way is a nationally recognized leader in the field of adolescent development and in the use of mixed methods; she has been studying the social and emotional development of girls and boys for over two decades.
Way is the author of numerous books and journal articles. Her sole authored books include: Everyday Courage: The Lives and Stories of Urban Teenagers (NYU Press, 1998); and Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection (Harvard University Press, 2011). Her co-edited or co-authored books include: Urban Girls: Resisting Stereotypes, Creating Identities (NYU press, 1996); Adolescent Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood (NYU Press, 2004). and Growing up Fast: Transitions to Adulthood among Inner City Adolescent Mothers (Erlbaum Press, 2001). The latter co-authored book (with Bonnie Leadbeater) received the Best Book Award from the Society of Research on Adolescence (2002). Her current research projects focus on the influence of families, peers, and schools on the trajectories of social and emotional development among adolescents in New York City and in Nanjing, China. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, The National Science Foundation, The William T. Grant Foundation, The Spencer Foundation, and by numerous other smaller foundations.
- EdD Harvard University
- BA University of California, Berkeley
Grants and Awards
- The Henry Murray Dissertation Award, Henry Murray Research Center, Radcliffe College, Cambridge MA.
- National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Behavioral Science Track Award (B/START)for Rapid Transition from the National Institute of Mental Health
- The William T. Grant Faculty Scholars Award
- See vitae for a complete list of awards and grants
- Parental Socialization of Academic Achievement, Ethnicity and Race, and Peer Relations in African American, Dominican, and Chinese American families
- Niobe Way and Dr Diane Hughes are collaborating on a grant funded by the William T. Grant foundation. The purpose of this multi-method study is to describe African American, Dominican, and Chinese American parents’ socialization beliefs and goals as these pertain to adolescents’ (a) academic achievement, (b) ethnic and racial experiences and attitudes, and (c) peer relations. The study uses ethnography, in-depth interviewing, and surveys to explore parents’ beliefs and goals and how these beliefs and goals change over time. Approximately 250 parents will be followed over a three-year period as their adolescent children progress through middle school (6th through 8th grade). The adolescent children will be a part of another study (see the description of the CRCDE above.)
- The Predictors, Consequences, and Experiences of Perceived School Climate among Middle School Children (Jean Rhodes, co-PI, Spencer Foundation)
- In collaboration with Dr. Ranjini Reddy and Dr. Peter Mulhall, we are exploring the effects of various aspects of school climate on middle school students’ adjustment. Within this context, we have tested conceptual models of the predictors and multiple effects of teacher support, perceived school climate, and health behavior on self-esteem, depression, and academic outcomes. Additional analyses are underway to determine whether different pathways and trajectories emerge as a function of school ecology and students’ gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The study makes use of data from a three-year longitudinal study of early adolescents from 90 middle schools across Illinois. The students were all attending sixth through eighth grade middle schools. Data were collected at multiple levels including student reports, teacher reports, standardized test scores, and school characteristics.
- Friendships among Urban Adolescents from Low-Income Families
- Niobe Way is Principal Investigator on two studies of adolescent friendships. One study focuses on high school students and the other focuses on middle school students. Both studies are longitudinal and aim to understand friendship development among urban, African American, Latino, and Asian American adolescents from low-income families.The specific aim of both studies is to understand how adolescents experience their friendships as they go through adolescence, how these friendships change over time, and how contextual influences (e.g., family relationships, school cultures, neighborhood environments) shape the development of adolescent friendships. The studies use both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative methods involve standardized questionnaires, and the qualitative methods involve indepth interviews and participant observations. The high school study (The Connections Project) involves over 150 youth who are being followed over a period of four years. The middle school study (The R.E.A.L. Project) involves approximately 120 youth who are being followed over a period of three years. The studies are funded by The National Science Foundation and The William T. Grant Foundation.
- Center for Research on Development, Culture, and Education(Catherine Tamis-Lemonda, Hiro Yoshikawa, Joshua Aronson, Diane Hughes, co-PIs) Niobe Way is a Principal Investigator on a newly funded Center for Research on Development, Culture, and Education. The aim of the Center is to understand the ways in which families, peers, schools, and the Media, influence the academic engagement and performance of New York City children and adolescents. Furthermore, the center aims to examine how these processes vary by culture (i.e., ethnicity, social class, gender, and immigrant status). The research that is being conducted as part of the center involves two cohorts who will be followed over a three year period. The first cohort will involve 18 month old infants who will be followed until they enter school at 4 years of age. The second cohort will involve 6th graders who will be followed through middle school. The methods use to assess the research questions will include standardized measures, indepth interviews, and observations. Children and their parents, as well as teachers and administrators in the schools, will be asked to provide their perspectives on these issues. The Center is funded for five years by the National Science Foundation.
- Way, N. (2011). Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.. (link)
- Way, N. & Silverman, L. (In press). Friendships during Adolescence. In P. Kerig and M. Schulz (Eds) Adolescence and Beyond. London, England, Oxford University Press
- Way, N. Santos, C., & Cordero, A. (2011). Friendships and Masculinities among Latino Boys. In P. Noguera, A. Hurtado, E. Fergus (Eds). Invisible No More: Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys. New York, NY: Routledge Press.
- Niwa, E., Way, N., Okazaki, S., & Qin, D. (2011). Hostile Hallways: Peer discrimination against Asian American Adolescents in Schools. In L. Juang, D. Qin, F. Leong, & H. Fitzgerald. (Eds). Asian American Child Psychology and Mental Health. New York, NY: Praeger Press.
- Hughes, D., Way, N., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2011). Stability and Change in Private and Public Ethnic Regard among African American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Chinese American Urban Early Adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
- See vitae for complete list of publications