Nancy Genero

Associate Professor Emerita of Psychology


Interests include applied social psychology, community evaluation research, and basic and advanced statistics.

My research focuses on the social and cultural psychological issues that pertain to the lives of diverse groups of women, girls, and their families. In particular, I study the role of close relationships and their impact on identity development and psychological well being. As part of this work, I published the first validated measure of mutual psychological development through the Stone Center at Wellesley College. I am exploring statistical prediction models to assess the effects of mother-daughter mutuality, relational efficacy, cultural inter-subjectivity on family social support, and other mental health indices among working-class Hispanic and Brazilian adolescent girls. I have received support for my research from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, the Social Science Research Council, the Brachman Hoffmann Fellowship Program at Wellesley College, and the American Association of University Women. In addition, I have served as a mentor for postdoctoral scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

If you teach at Wellesley, you come to know the intrinsic rewards of teaching! Through the years, I've improved my practice as an educator, especially in the area of statistics. As a graduate student, I found my own training in statistics somewhat bewildering. Now that I teach both introductory and advanced statistics to psychology and neuroscience majors (and the occasional studio arts major...), I am convinced that learning statistics can be a meaningful and exciting process. If I can transmit my passion and enthusiasm for statistics to my students, I know I've succeeded. Teaching at Wellesley has also given me the opportunity to engage my students in my own research. Through my work with ethnic adolescent girls and evaluation research in the public schools, my students gain direct insights into complex psychological and methodological issues. Not surprisingly, many have gone on to pursue independent research projects and graduate training.

In addition to my research on psychosocial development, I am involved in community-based evaluation research. In collaboration with colleagues in South Carolina, I recently completed a large-scale evaluation of a professional development program for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. In collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Education, Wellesley College's Center for Work and Service, and the dean of students, I am embarking on an evaluation of the impact of single-gender public-school classrooms. This work is especially exciting because it will be integrated into the curriculum, making it feasible for Wellesley students to take part in this unique research opportunity.

I make no bones about how much I love my canine companions, Ruby (looks like Katherine Hepburn) and Bogie (looks like Humphrey Bogart)! We keep each other physically fit, and with them as my guides, I have learned to love walking in the snow.