B.A., Pomona College
Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Catherine R. Cooper
Psychology Department
377 Social Sciences II
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Professor of Psychology and Education

Cooper's work focuses on how youth forge their personal identities by coordinating cultural and family traditions with those of their schools, communities, and work.  She developed the Bridging Multiple Worlds theory to trace how youth bridge across their worlds in ways that reflect individuality and connectedness in their identities, relationships, and achievements.  With colleagues and students, she conducts parallel studies of this theory across cultural communities, working with youth of African, Chinese, Filipino, Latino, European, Japanese, and Vietnamese descent as well as Japanese youth.  To benefit children, families, schools, and community programs as well as science, policy, and practice, her team builds university-community partnerships to strengthen diversity along the "academic pipeline" from kindergarten through college.

Four research projects are under way. The Family-School Learning Project, a collaboration with M. Azmitia, examines links across family, school, peer, and community worlds and academic achievement among low-income Mexican American and European American students. The Bridging Project (with J. F. Jackson and M. Azmitia) examines the experiences of African American and Latino students in university academic outreach programs designed to strengthen links across students' families, schooling, and career development. The Pacific Rim Project (with P. Gjerde, H. Azuma, K. Kashiwagi, Y. Kosawa, H. Shimizu, and O. Suzuki) investigates links across families, peers, and school in the development of self and identity among Japanese, Japanese American, and European American students. The California Childhoods Project (with B. Thorne) is a comparative study of childhoods in three ethnically diverse communities in California.

Selected Publications | BMWA Toolkit