Karlyn Adams-Wiggins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Applied Developmental Psychology


Department of Psychology

317 Cramer Hall

Portland State University

1721 SW Broadway

Portland, OR 97207-0751


Email: karlyn@pdx.edu

Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Karlyn_Adams-Wiggins

Dr. Adams-Wiggins is currently accepting doctoral students and may be accepting undergraduate research assistants. Please contact Dr. Adams-Wiggins with questions.


Karlyn Adams-Wiggins is an Assistant Professor of Applied Development Psychology at Portland State University. They are currently the Communications Coordinator (formerly historian) of the Scholarly Consortium for Innovative Psychology in Education (SCIPIE) and the program chair of the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Adolescence & Youth Development SIG. Adams-Wiggins earned a PhD in Education (Concentration: Learning, Cognition, Instruction, & Development) from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education in 2015. Prior to joining Portland State’s Psychology Department in 2017, they were an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Tyler’s School of Education for 2 years. 


Dr. Adams-Wiggins’ research program focuses on the intersection of academic achievement motivation and adolescent development by attending to how early adolescents’ identities are negotiated in social interactions. Their work thus far has taken place in STEM education collaborative learning contexts. They employ a sociocultural psychology lens in service of addressing social inequality and social justice aims: marginal identities can be understood as reflective of power relations in the local social context as well as in broader social systems, thus Adams-Wiggins’ work places a high value on sociohistorical context for psychological phenomena and heavily employs qualitative methods, including video-recorded observations, field work, and interviews. 
Dr. Adams-Wiggins’ current work addresses social interaction and identity construction through three research themes. The first area addresses social interactions and identities among adolescents in the U.S.’s African diaspora as they relate to participation in after-school programs; this work explores the role of positive youth development and sociopolitical context in adolescents’ experiences of marginality. The second area addresses achievement motivation in middle school by theorizing a situated framework for achievement goal theory and examining achievement goals within the context of inquiry science collaborative learning. The third area addresses motivation and inclusion for both underrepresented racial minorities (URM) and low-income first-generation (LIFG) students generally as well as in undergraduate engineering education specifically. The second strand, situated achievement goal theory, is represented a recently funded co-authored Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant with colleague, Dr. Toni Rogat (Purdue University).

Courses Taught

PSY 431U Psychology of Adolescence and Early Maturity

PSY 5/610 Development and Education of African American Children and Youth

Selected Publications

Battey, D., Neal., R, Leyva, L., & Adams-Wiggins, K.R. (2016). The interconnectedness of relational and content dimensions of quality instruction: Supportive teacher-student relationships in urban elementary mathematics classrooms. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 42, 1-19. [Full Text Link] 
Sinha, S., Rogat, T.K., Adams-Wiggins, K.R., & Hmelo-Silver, C.E. (2015). Collaborative group engagement in a computer-supported inquiry learning environment. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 10, 273-307. [Full Text Link] 
Rogat, T.K. & Adams-Wiggins, K.R. (2015). Facilitative versus directive other-regulation in collaborative groups: Implications for socioemotional interactions. Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 589-600. [Full Text Link] 
Rogat, T.K., & Adams-Wiggins, K.R. (2014). Other-regulation in collaborative groups: Implications for regulation quality. Instructional Science, 42(6), 879-904. [Full Text Link] 
Adams-Wiggins, K.R. & Rogat, T.K. (2013). Variation in other-regulation and the implications for competence negotiation. In Proceedings of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference (CSCL 2013) - Volume 1, (pp. 18-25). Madison, WI: ISLS. [Full Text Link] 
Sinha, S., Adams, K., Rogat, T. K., & Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2012). The role of technologies in facilitating collaborative engagement. In Proceedings ICLS 2012. The future of learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) – Volume 2, (pp. 489-490). Sydney, Australia: ISLS. [Full Text Link]