Yvonne Victoria Wells, PhD

Associate Professor
Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising
Department of Psychology

Phone: 617-573-8515
Fax: 617-367-2924
Email: ywells@suffolk.edu
Office: Donahue Building, Rm. 612

Education

  • PhD, Clark University
  • MA, Clark University
  • BA, Indiana University

APA Minority Fellow

Specialty Areas

Social and developmental psychology with a special emphasis on issues in multiculturalism and cultural competence in Psychology; ethnic identity development; health-related behavior/body image; religious conflict and conflict resolution.

My interests lead me in a couple of directions. One is in the direction of critical writing about the current philosophical place of the study of race, multicultural issues and diversity in Psychology. The other is in the direction of research about how the social world influences health related behavior such as that which supports health versus obesity and access versus lack of access to mental health counseling.

Where race is more widely understood as a social construct, and not a biological reality, the African-American child may be healthier and more educationally successful when experiencing a firm historical grounding in one well-defined ethnic identity. Yet this child may be at odds with a more Postmodern and flexible view of race. Minority child-rearing that is ethnically grounded may clashes interestingly with ideas of movement toward “racelessness”, equity or merit for reward, and cultural definitions that have become less based in history and more influenced by personal choice. The notion of the value of a strong ethnic identity has been the basis of several lectures and theoretical papers which inquire into the role of culture in development and in the teaching of Psychology. The question of changes in the academic world that lead to “shifting” conversations about race and ethnicity are also areas of critical examination.

Undergraduate/graduate student research lab on social media, the emotions and the impact of social media on relationships, now underway.  We are examining the impact of social media on our perceptions of emotions and our expectations for relationships. Actors, photographers, undergraduates seeking research credit and interested graduate students welcomed. 

Selected Publications

Ray, J. & Wells, Y. (June, 2013). Secondary and vicarious trauma and self-care practices among social workers. Poster presented at the 19th annual Black Graduate Conference in Psychology, Chapel Hill, NC.

Quiñones, T., Wells, Y., & Swenson, L. (January, 2013) Political perspectives, social desirability, and multicultural competencies: Intersecting variables in multicultural education. Poster presented at the National Multicultural Summit, Houston, TX.

Wells, Y. & Quinones, T. (2012) A conversation with DeCesare: Towards practical definitions of critical thinking. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 1(2) 1-7.

Mizock, L., & Wells, Y. (2010) Sexual health counselor preferences of African American and European American Women: A brief report. Sexuality and Culture, 14, 144-156.

Harkins, D., & Wells, Y. (2009) Critical and discursive teaching in psychology. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 1(1), 38-49.

Courses Taught

PSYCH 241 - Social Psychology
PSYCH 333 - Adult Development and Aging
PSYCH 341 - Sociocultural Perspectives on Behavior and Experience
PSYCH 732 - Social Bases of Behavior and Experience