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Vanessa K. Johnson

Contact Psychology  


Wayne Hall
125 West Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383

Undergraduate Office: 5th Floor Room 502
Phone: 610-436-2945
Undergraduate Email:

Graduate Office: 5th Floor Room 506
Phone: 610-436-2532
Graduate Email:

Vanessa K. Johnson

Vanessa K. Johnson
  • Assistant Department Chair
  • Professor of Psychology
  • B.S., University of Washington
  • M.A., Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Office Hours Spring 2018

  • Tuesday: 11:30am - 3:30pm
  • Wednesday: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Thursday: 11:30am - 2:00pm

Appointments are strongly encouraged!

Courses Typically Taught

  • PSY120 Multicultural Psychology
  • PSY246 Research Methods
  • PSY375 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY382 Developmental Psychology of Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence
  • PSY410 Research in Psychology
  • PSY517 Adult Psychopathology
  • PSY519 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • PSY559 Psychotherapy
  • PSY615 Clinical Practicum
  • PSY616 Clinical Internship

Brief Description of Research Interests

My research interests focus on the ways in which family relationships may influence social, emotional, and academic wellbeing across the developmental trajectory. Currently, in collaboration with Dr. Gans, I am studying how family environment is related to one's ability to manage difficult emotions during the transition to college.

Representative Publications

  • Johnson, V. K. (2010). From Early Childhood to Adolescence: Linking Family Functioning and School Behavior. Family Relations, 59, 313-325.
  • Johnson, V. K., Gans, S. E., Kerr, S., & LaValle, W. (2010). Managing the Transition to College: Family Functioning, Emotion Coping, and Adjustment in Emerging Adulthood. Journal of College Student Development, 51, 607-621.
  • Johnson, V. K., Kerr, S., Gans, S. E., & Bierschwale, D. (2009). Adjustment to college before and after September 11, 2001. Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 21, 93-112.
  • Johnson, V. K., Kerr, S., Gans, S. E., & Deegan, K. (2008). Managing the Transition to College: the Role of Family Cohesion and Adolescents' Emotional Coping Strategies. Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 15, 29-46.
  • Johnson, V. K. & Lieberman, A. (2007). Variations in young children's behavioral responses to domestic violence: the role of mothers' involvement in children's emotional experiences. Journal of Family Violence, 22, 297-308.
  • Cowan, P.A., Cowan, C. P., Ablow, J., Johnson, V. K., & Measelle, J. (Eds.), (2005)a. The family context of parenting in children's adaptation to elementary school. Monographs in Parenting.Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; NJ.
  • Johnson, V. K. (2005). Family level processes in children's adaptation to kindergarten. In P. A. Cowan, C. P. Cowan, J. Ablow, V. K. Johnson, and J. Measelle (Eds), The family context of parenting in children's adaptation to elementary school. Monographs in Parenting. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; NJ. (pp. 225-276)
  • Kerr, S., Johnson, V. K., Gans, S. E. & Krumine, J. (2004). Predicting adjustment during the transition to college: Alexithymia, perceived stress, and psychological symptoms. Journal of College Student Development, 45, 593-611.
  • Johnson, V. K. (2003). Linking changes in whole family functioning and children's externalizing behavior across the elementary school years. Journal of Family Psychology, 17. 499-509.
  • Johnson, V. K. (2001). Marital interaction, family organization, and differences in parenting behavior: Explaining variations across family interaction contexts. Family Process, 40, 333-342.
  • Johnson, V. K., Cowan, P. A., & Cowan, C. P. (1999). Children's Classroom Behavior: The Unique Contribution of Family Organization. Journal of Family Psychology, 13, 355-371.
  • Gottman, J. M., Kahen, V. J., & Goldstein, D. (1995). The Rapid Couples Interaction Scoring System (RCISS), in J. M. Gottman (Ed.), What predicts divorce? The measures. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, NJ.
  • Kahen, V. J., Katz, L. F., & Gottman, J. M. (1994). Linkages between parent-child interaction and conversations of friends. Social Development, 3, 238-254.