Staff Directory

Esther S. Chang, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology

Phone: 949-480-4240

Fax: 949-480-4126


Faculty - Full-Time


  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • B.A., Oberlin College

Research Interests

  • Globalization and the transition to adulthood
  • Culture, parenting and education
  • Shared agency in social relationships

Selected Papers, Publications & Lectures

  • Chang E.S., Chen, C., Greenberger, E., Dooley, D., & Heckhausen, J. (2006). What do they want in life?: The life goals of a multi-ethnic, multi-generational sample of high school seniors.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 321-332.
         *This journal currently has the highest Impact Factor (2.797) and Eigenfactors of journals devoted to the social science understanding of adolescence.
  • Germo, G., Chang, E.S., Keller, M., & Goldberg, W.A. (2007). Child sleep arrangements and family life: Perspectives from mothers and fathers.Infant and Child Development, 16, 433-456.  
  • Lench, H. & Chang, E.S. (2007). Belief in an unjust world: when beliefs in a just world fail. Journal of Personality Assessment, 89, 1-10. 
  • Chang, E. S. (2008). Ethnic differences and similarities in shared agency between older youth and parents. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Irvine, 2007. Dissertation abstracts international, 68, (7-B).
  • Heckhausen, J. & Chang, E.S. (2009). How ambition can help overcome social inequality in the transition to adulthood.Research on Human Development, 6, 235-251.
  • Chang, E.S., Heckhausen, J., Greenberger, E., & Chen, C. (2010). Shared agency with parents for educational goals: Ethnic differences and implications for college adjustment.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 1293-1304. doi:10.1007/s10964-009-9488-7.      
  • Chang, E.S., Greenberger, E., Chen, C., Heckhausen, J., & Farruggia, S.P. (2010). Non-parental adults as social resources for adolescents in the transition after high school. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20, 1065-1082. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00662.x
          *This is the official journal of the Society of Research on Adolescence.
  • Chang, E.S. & Greenberger, E. (2012). Parenting Satisfaction at Midlife among European and Asian American Mothers with a College-Enrolled Child. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 3, 263-274. doi:10.1037/a0026555 
          *This journal is a publication of the American Psychological Association.
  • Heckhausen, J., Chang E.S., Chen, C., & Greenberger, E. (2013). Striving for Educational and Career Goals During the Transition After High School: What is Beneficial? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 1385-1398. doi:10.1007/s10964-012-9812-5
  • Chang, E.S. (2013). Negotiating family obligations and educational goals among college-enrolled youth on Jeju Island, Korea. Journal for Research on Adolescence, 23, 25-34. doi:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00814.x
  • Chang, E.S. (in press). Kirogi Women’s Psychological Well-Being: The Relative Contributions of Marital Quality, Mother-Child Relationship Quality, and Youth’s Educational Adjustment. Journal of Family Issues.
  • Chang, E.S., Chen, C. & Kim, E (in press). Have You Set Your Life Priorities Straight?: Ethnic and Intergenerational Differences in Life Goal Priorities. Journal of Comparative Family Studies.

Courses Taught at SUA

  • Introduction to Psychology (Psyc 100)
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology (Psyc 350)
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology (Psyc 360)
  • Psychology of Education (Psyc 370)
  • Parenting Research and Applications (Psyc 450)
  • Core 100
  • Core 200
  • Learning Cluster