Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Amber Williams

Amber Williams

Assistant Professor

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A., Psychology, Rice University

Courses Taught

  • PSY 372 Multicultural Psychology

Research Interests

My broad research interests focus on the role of race in shaping youths’ self-concepts, their relationships with in- and out-group members, and their academic outcomes. Within this domain, I have two lines of research. First, I study the development of diverse children’s racial cognition, including racial essentialism, stereotyping, and prejudice. I am also interested in how these racial attitudes relate to children’s behaviors, including their willingness to engage in cross-race friendships. Second, I explore the ways in which Black children’s and adolescents’ race-related experiences and beliefs directly and indirectly impact their academic outcomes. I am specifically interested in how Black youths’ attitudes about race (racial identity) and their parents’ socialization and involvement strategies influence Black youths’ academic success. 

Selected Publications

  • Williams, A. D., Banerjee, M., Lozada, F., Lambouths, D., & Rowley, S. (in press). Black mothers’ perceptions of the role of race in children’s education. Journal of Marriage and Family. doi:10.1111/jomf.12410
  • Butler-Barnes, S., Varner, F., Williams, A., & Sellers, R. (2017). Academic identity: A longitudinal investigation of African American adolescents’ academic persistence. The Journal of Black Psychology. doi:10.1177/0095798416683170 
  • Roberts, S. O., Williams, A. D., & Gelman, S. (2017). Children’s and adults’ predictions of Black, White, and Multiracial friendship patterns. Journal of Cognition and Development. doi:10.1080/15248372.2016.1262374
  • Rowley, S. J., Ross, L., Lozada, F., Williams, A., Gale, A., Kurtz-Costes, B. (2014). Framing Black boys: Parent, teacher, and student narratives of the academic lives of Black boys. In L. Liben & R. Bigler (Eds.) Advances in Child Development and Behavior (pp. 301-332). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Publishing. doi: 10.1016/bs.acdb.2014.05.003
  • Rowley, S. J., Varner, M., Ross, L. L., Williams, A. D., & Banerjee, M. (2012). Toward a model of racial identity and parenting in African Americans. In J. Sullivan & A. Esmail (Eds.), African American racial identity: Racial and cultural dimensions of the Black experience (pp. 273-288). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher.


*denotes shared first-authorship

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