Christia Spears Brown

  • Professor
  • Developmental
  • Social
  • Center for Equality and Social Justice
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Health, Society and Populations
  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
Kastle 207E
859-257-6827
Research Interests:
Education

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin (2003)

Research

My research, broadly speaking, examines the how children's and adolescents' academic, psychological, and social lives are shaped by the social groups they belong to. 

Specifically, my research focuses on 4 themes.  First, I examine children’s and adolescents’ perceptions of gender and racial/ethnic discrimination.  We have conducted studies about perceptions of discrimination by teachers and coaches (Brown & Bigler, 2004; Brown, 2006), and studies about sexual harassment experienced by girls (Leaper & Brown, 2008; Jewell & Brown, 2014).  I have more recently focused on discrimination faced by immigrant children and their parents, funded by the Foundation for Child Development and UK Center for Poverty Research (Brown & Chu, 2016; Brown, 2017). We also examine the sexual harassment and the sexual objectification of middle school girls. 

Second, I examine the development of gender and racial/ethnic identity.  We are especially interested in ways in which the school context affect this development (Brown, 2017; Brown et al., 2011; Manago, Brown, & Leaper, 2009; Turner & Brown, 2007).

Third, I examine the development of social group stereotypes. I have examined children’s stereotypes about immigrants (Brown, 2011), Mulsims (Brown et al., 2017), and children’s stereotypes about typical boys and girls.  As part of this focus, we also look at ways to reduce stereotypes among children (Aboud & Brown, 2011).

Finally, we examine how children understand social inequality and politics.  For example, with Prof. Rashmita Mistry, we have studied how children understand the overlap between race and poverty (Brown, Mistry, & Bigler, 2007). We are currently working on a multi-site study across the US, headed by Rebecca Bigler, looking at how children understand the impact of gender on politics and their understanding of the political process.  
 

Selected Publications: 

FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS:

  •  Brown, C. S. (2014).  Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes.  Ten Speed Press.

ACADEMIC BOOKS:

  • Brown, C. S.  (2017). Discrimination in Childhood and Adolescence: A Developmental Intergroup Approach. Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.       

 

  • Rutland, A., Nesdale, D., & Brown, C. S. (2017).  Handbook of Group Processes in Children and Adolescents. Wiley-Blackwell.

SELECTED ACADEMIC CHAPTERS AND ARTICLES:      

  • Brown, C. S. & Stone, E.* (2017). Environmental and social contributions to  children’s gender-typed toy play: The role of family, peers, and media. In Gender-Typing of Children’s Toys: Causes, Correlates, and Consequences. American Psychological Association.

  • Brown, C. S., Ali, H.*, Jewell, J. A.*, Stone, E.* (2017). U. S. children’s stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes toward Arab Muslims. Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy.

  • Brown, C. S. (2017). School context influences the ethnic identity development of immigrant children in middle childhood. Social Development.

  • Brown, C. S. & Stone, E.* (2016). Gender stereotypes and discrimination: How sexism impacts development. In Stacey Horn, Martin Ruck, Lynn Liben, editors: Equity and Justice in Developmental Science: Theoretical and Methodological Issues, Vol 50, ACDB, UK: Academic Press, 2016, pp. 105-133 

  • Stone, E.*, Brown, C. S., & Jewell, J.A.* (2015). The sexualized girl: The development of a within-gender stereotype among children. Child Development, 86, 1604-1622

  • Mistry, R. S., Brown, C. S., White, E. S.*, Chow, K. A.*, & Gillen-O’Neel, C.* (2015). Elementary school children’s reasoning about social class: A mixed-methods study. Child Development, 86, 1653-1676. **Winner of AERA Division E Distinguished Research Award

  • Jewell, J. A.* & Brown, C. S. (2014). Sexting, catcalls, and butt slaps: How perceived peer group norms and gender attitudes predict distinct types of sexual harassment perpetration. Sex Roles.
  • Jewell, J. A.* & Brown, C. S. (2013). Gender typicality in early adolescence: Relationship between atypicality, popularity, and psychosocial outcomes. Social Development.
  • Leaper, C., Brown, C. S., & Ayres, M. M*.  (2013).  Adolescent girls' reported coping strategies in response to sexual harassment. Psychology in the Schools.

  • Aboud, F. E., Tredoux, C., Tropp, L., Brown, C. S., Niens, U., & Noor, N. (2012). Interventions to reduce prejudice and enhance inclusion and respect for ethnic differences in early childhood: A systematic review.  Developmental Review.       
  • Mistry, R. S., Brown, C. S., Chow, K. A.*, & Collins, G. S.  (2012).  Increasing the complexity of young adolescents’ beliefs about poverty and inequality: Results of an 8th grade social studies curriculum intervention.   Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 704-716.
  • Brown, C. S. & Chu, H.* (2012).  Discrimination, ethnic identity, and academic outcomes of Mexican immigrant children:  The importance of school context.  Child Development.
  • Leaper, C., Farkas, T.*, & Brown, C. S. (2011). Adolescent girls' experiences and gender-related beliefs in relation to their self-concepts in math/science and English.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
  • Brown, C. S.  (2011).  Legal issues surrounding single-sex schools: Trends, court cases, and conflicting laws.  Sex Roles: A Journal of Research.
  • Brown, C. S. (2011).  Elementary school children's attitudes about immigrants, immigration, and being an American. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32, 109-117.
  • Brown, C. S., Alabi, B.*, Hyunh, V.*, & Masten, C.* (2011). Ethnicity and gender in late childhood and early adolescence: Group identity and awareness of bias. Developmental Psychology, 47,463-471.
  • Brown, C. S., & Leaper, C.  (2010).  Latina and European American girls' experiences with academic sexism and their self-concepts in mathematics and science during adolescence. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 63, 860-870.
  • Brown, C. S., Bigler, R. S., & Chu, H.*(2010).  An experimental study of the correlates and consequences of perceiving oneself to be the target of gender discrimination.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 107, 100-117.
  • Masten, C. L.*, Gillen-O’Neel, C.*, & Brown, C. S.  (2010).  Children's intergroup empathic processing: The roles of novel ingroup identification, situational distress, and social anxiety. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 106, 115-128.
  • Brown, C. S., Spatzier, A.*, & Tobin, M.* (2010).  Variability in the intergroup attitudes of White children: What we can learn from their ethnic identity labels.  Social Development, 19, 758-778.
  • Manago, A.*, Brown, C.S., & Leaper, C. (2009). Feminist identity among Latina adolescents.  Journal of Adolescent Research, 24, 750-776. 
  • Leaper, C., & Brown, C. S.  (2008).  Experiences with sexism and feminist awareness among adolescent girls.  Child Development, 79, 685-704.
  • Brown, C. S., Mistry, R. S., & Bigler, R. S.  (2007).  Hurricane Katrina: Children’s perceptions of race, class, and government involvement amid a national crisis.  Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 7, 191-208.
  • Turner, K. L.* & Brown, C. S. (2007).  The importance of gender and ethnic identities across individuals and contexts.  Social Development, 16, 700-719.
  • Pfeifer, J. H.*, Brown, C. S., & Juvonen, J. (2007).  Fifty years since Brown v. Board of Education: Lessons learned about the development and reduction of children’s prejudice.  Social Policy Report, 21 (2).  Peer-reviewed publication of Society for Research in Child Development.
  • Brown, C. S. (2006).  Bias at school: Children’s perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination.  Cognitive Development, 21, 401-419.
  • Brown, C. S., & Bigler, R. S.  (2005).  Children’s perception of discrimination: A developmental model.  Child Development, 76, 533-553.
  • Brown, C. S., & Bigler, R. S. (2004).  Children’s perceptions of gender discrimination.  Developmental Psychology, 40 (5), 714-726. 
  • Brown, C. S., & Bigler, R. S.  (2002).  Effects of minority status in the classroom on children’s intergroup attitudes.  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 83, 77-110.      
  •  Bigler, R. S., Brown, C. S., & Markell, M. (2001). When groups are not created equal: Effects of group status on the formation of intergroup attitudes in children.  Child Development, 72, 1151-1162.
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