Associate Professor 
Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
Department of Psychology

Phone: 617-573-8017
Fax: 617-367-2924
Office: Donahue Building, Rm. 636H


  • PhD, Brown University
  • BA, Cornell University

Specialty Areas

Developmental Psychology (Social & Emotional), At-risk Youth, Culture & Immigration, Identity & Mixed Methods.

How do cultural and social contexts like immigration influence youth development? How do adolescents navigate competing cultural contexts (e.g., home, school, peers) as they form their identities? How can every day social settings such as schools and peer groups promote positive development among at-risk youth? My students and I are interested in exploring person-context interactions such as these, particularly within vulnerable populations. Vulnerability can come in many forms – through poverty, discrimination from being a “minority” group member, or through legal status as an undocumented immigrant, for example. Learning about how children and adolescents from vulnerable groups thrive (or don’t thrive) is a central goal of our research. Because many of our research questions are process and context oriented in nature, our lab draws from a variety of mixed qualitative-quantitative methodological techniques. We also rely heavily on positive youth development and resiliency perspectives to inform our work. Graduate students in my lab have recently applied these methodological and theoretical orientations to dissertation topics related to adolescent female sexual identity development, health behaviors and outcomes among immigrant youth, characteristics of the college context which support ethnic minority student retention, and drug misuse patterns among ethnic minority adolescents.

Selected Publications

Conn, B. M., & Marks, A. K. (2014). Ethnic/racial group differences in peer and parent influence on adolescent prescription drug misuse. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.35(4), 257-265.

Marks, A. K., Ejesi, K., & Garcia Coll, C. (2014). The U.S. immigrant paradox in childhood and adolescence. Child Development Perspectives, 8(2), 59-64. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12071

McCullough, M., & Marks, A. K. (2014). The immigrant paradox and adolescent obesity: Examining health behaviors as potential mediators. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 35(2), 138-143.

Guarini, T. E., Marks, A. K., Patton, F., & Garcia Coll, C. (2013). Number of sexual partners, pregnancy, and the immigrant paradox: Explaining the first generation advantage for Latina adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence. DOI: 10.1111/jora.12096

Marks, A. K., & Abo-Zena, M. (2013). What we might have missed: Lessons from diverse methodologies in the study of immigrant families. Research in Human Development, 10(4), 285-288.

Courses Taught

PSYCH 334 - Adolescent Development
PSYCH 428 - Psychology Honors Seminar
PSYCH 722 - Graduate Statistics in Psychology I
PSYCH 723 - Graduate Statistics in Psychology II
PSYCH 734 - Multicultural Perspectives on Development