Associate Professor of Human Development
Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy
Joined Connecticut College: 2000
Ph.D., Combined Program in Education and Psychology; MA, The University of Michigan; BA, Columbia College, Columbia University
Child and family policy
Contact Jennifer Fredricks.
"Reinventing our public schools could provide an exciting opportunity to use our power to create imaginary worlds, share theories, and act out possibilities. This time not just on the playground but in all the varied public arenas in which we meet with our fellow citizens. Schools embody the dreams we have for our children. All of them. These dreams must remain public property." - Deborah Meier, The Power of Their Ideas
Contact Jennifer Fredricks.
Jennifer Fredricks' research focuses on extracurricular participation, positive youth development, school engagement, youth sports, and motivation. She is interested in how to create school and out-of-school contexts that optimize positive academic and psychological outcomes for children and adolescents living in diverse environments.
Fredricks has been involved in three larger scale longitudinal survey studies of child and adolescent development, in a large scale study of children's engagement and achievement in urban high poverty neighborhoods, and in an interview study of youth attending six local school based Boys and Girls Clubs. She has received grants from the American Educational Research Association and the Institute for Educational Studies to support this work.
Fredricks was a recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral fellowship for a research project on the academic and psychological consequences of extracurricular participation. She was also a postdoctoral fellow with the MacArthur Network for Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood, an interdisciplinary group of the leading researchers who study this age range. She serves as a consultant on school engagement for several grants and for the Southeastern Regional Educational Laboratory. She is also involved in policy efforts to increase athletic opportunities in both school and out of school time for girls and low-income youth.
Fredricks received the 2011 Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award, presented annually to a faculty member selected on the basis of outstanding scholarly or artistic accomplishments.
Fredricks has published more than 25 journal articles and book chapters in the leading adolescent and educational journals including Developmental Psychology, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Journal of Applied Developmental Science, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Gifted Child Quarterly and High Potential. She has presented her research at national and international conferences including the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, Society for Research in Child Development, Society for Research in Adolescence, and the British Psychological Society.
Fredricks serves on the editorial board of two journals, Journal of Research in Adolescence and Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Fredricks was appointed Director of the College's Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy in 2011.
Jennifer teaches the following courses: Introduction to Human Development, Adolescent Development, Child and Family Policy, Children's Rights and Public Policy and Social Policy Analysis in Urban America. In her teaching, she focuses on how to use knowledge of human development to create environments that support the needs of children and families in a diverse society. She encourages students to apply developmental theory and research to real-world problems.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two boys, Jacob and Dylan, running marathons and swimming with a local masters swim team.
Visit the human development department website.