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Diane Hughes

Professor of Applied Psychology

Applied Psychology

(212) 998-7906

Diane Hughes is professor of Applied Psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Development, and Education.  Her research focuses on (a) understanding how racial/ethnic dynamics influence people's experiences at work, in classrooms, in neighborhoods, and in families, and (b) ethnic and cultural differences in parents' socialization goals, beliefs, and practices, especially as these influence children's learning. Dr. Hughes conducts school and community based studies with adolescents and their parents using multiple methods (interviews, surveys, focus groups). In her most recent work. she and her students have been continuing to analyze data from survey and interview based research with adolescents and their caregivers who were followed from the time they entered middle school through their junior year of high school to understand how varied stressors and supports influenced academic and socio-emotional development over time. Hughes received her B.A. in Psychology and African American Studies from Williams College and her Ph.D. in Community and Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is former chair of the John d. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's sub-group on Diversity in Mid-Life and co-chair of the 14 member cross-university Study Group on Race, Culture, and ethnicity. Her research has been supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Coundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Selected Publications


  • Del Toro, J. & Hughes, D.L.(2019). Trajectories of discrimination across the college years: associations with academic, psychological, and physical adjustment outcomes. Journal of youth and adolescence, 1-18.
  • Hughes, D. L., Del Toro, J.& Way, N.. (2017). Interrelations among dimensions of ethnic-racial identity during adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 53, 2139-2153. doi:10.1037/dev000040
  • Hughes, D., Del Toro, J., Harding, J. F., Way, N. & Rarick, J.R. D. (2016). Trajectories of discrimination across adolescence: Associations with academic, psychological, and behavioral outcomes. Child Development, 87, 1337-1351. doi:10.1111/cdev.12591
  • Harding, J. F, Hughes, D. L. & Way, N. (2017). Racial/ethnic differences in mothers' socialization goals for their adolescents. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 23, 281-290. doi:10.1037/cdp0000116
  • Hughes, D. L., Del Toro, J., & Rarick, J. R. (2016). Egalitarian Socialization in Ethnically Diverse Families. In L. Balter and C. Tamis LeMonda (eds). Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues, New York University Press, 401 - 430.

  • Hughes, D. L, Watford, J. A. & Del Toro, J. (2016). A transactional/ecological perspective on ethnic-racial identity, socialization, and discrimination. Horn, Stacey S [Ed], Ruck, Martin D [Ed], Liben, Lynn S [Ed]. Equity and justice in developmental science: Implications for young people, families, and communities., Vol. 2  San Diego, CA, US: Elsevier Academic Press, US; pp. 1-41. Retrieved from…

  • Hughes, D. L, McGill, R. K., Ford, K.l R. & Tubbs, C. (2011). Black youths' academic success: The contribution of racial socialization from parents, peers, and schools. Hill, Nancy E [Ed], Mann, Tammy L [Ed], Fitzgerald, Hiram E [Ed]. African American children and mental health, Vols 1 and 2: Development and context, Prevention and social policy.  Santa Barbara, CA, US: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, US; pp. 95-124. Retrieved from…

  • McGill, R. K., Hughes, D., Alicea, S. & Way, Ne. (2012). Academic adjustment across middle school: The role of public regard and parenting. Developmental Psychology, 48, 1003-1018. doi:10.1037/a0026006

  • Hughes, D., Rivas, D. Foust, M., Hagelskamp, C., Gersick, S., & Way, N. (2008). How to catch a moonbeam: A mixed-methods approach to understanding ethnic socialization in ethnically diverse families. In S. Quintana & C. McKnown (Eds.) Handbook of race, racism, and child development. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.


Psychology and Social Intervention

Prepare for a career as a social scientist, with strong quantitative training and exposure to interdisciplinary methods to examine setting-level phenomena.

Developmental Psychology

Prepare for a career as a professor, researcher, or human services professional, or a director or evaluator of mental health and health promotion programs.

Human Development and Social Intervention

The Human Development and Social Intervention program prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, and more.

Applied Psychology

The interdisciplinary Applied Psychology program develops students who can bridge psychological theory, research, and practice in a multicultural world.


Adolescent Development: Theory and Research

Examine theories & research on adolescent development with a particular focus on adolescents from diverse cultural backgrounds. Topics include: identity development; family & peer relationships; sexuality; risk-taking behavior; & the impact of family & peer relationships, schools, & neighborhoods on psycho-social adjustment. Different methodological approaches to the study of adolescent development will be examined. Implications for prevention & intervention programs for adolescent will also be discussed.
Course #
APSY-GE 2272
Fall, Spring, Summer

Community Psychology

Community psychology focuses on the application of psychological theory,
concepts and knowledge to address the needs, concerns and aspirations of

communities. Specifically, community psychology is concerned with person

environment interactions and the ways in which society impacts on

individual and community functioning. Community psychology adopts a

collectivist paradigm in understanding behaviour and in applying relevant

methods and techniques. This course will introduce students to the field of

community psychology with emphasis on theory and methods of community

psychology within the context of the psycho-social needs of the Ghanaian

society. Topics include: the history of community psychology; doing

community research; prevention and health promotion; interventions and

program evaluation; community mental health, understanding communities and

social and community change.
Course #
APSY-UE 9005
Fall, Spring

Community Psychology

Focuses on understanding people in their social contexts; integrates social action & psychological research in culturally diverse contexts; introduces community psychology & perspectives on intervention & social change; & considers how contexts are powerful in shaping a human behavior.
Course #