Skip to main content

Melissa Witkow

Professor of Psychology

Headshot of Melissa Witkow

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Smullin 254
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
503-370-6512 (Fax)


Professor Witkow received her B.A. degree in psychology from Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UCLA. After a year as an Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University, she joined the faculty at Willamette in 2007. Professor Witkow's teaching interests are in developmental psychology, adolescent development, and statistics, and her research interests center around the intersection between peer relationships and academic motivation and achievement during adolescence. She is also interested in how adolescents from varying backgrounds negotiate the demands in their lives.

Professor Witkow is currently looking for research assistants. If you are interested in getting involved in her research program, please contact her.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Kiang, Lisa, Witkow, Melissa R., Gonzalez, Laura M., Stein, Gabriela L., and Kandace Andrews. “Changes in Academic Aspirations and Expectations among Asian American Adolescents.” Asian American Journal of Psychology 6.3 (2015): 252-262.

Bower, Andrew R., Nishina, Adrienne, Witkow, Melissa R.,and Amy Bellmore. “Nice Guys and Gals Finish Last? Not in Early Adolescence When Empathic, Accepted, and Popular Peers Are Desirable.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 44.12 (2015): 2275-2288.

Sutter, Carolyn, Nishina, Adrienne, Witkow, Melissa R. and Amy Bellmore. “Associations Between Adolescents’ Weight and Maladjustment Differ With Deviation From Weight Norms in Social Contexts.” Journal of School Health 86.9 (2016): 638-644.

Kiang, Lisa, Witkow, Melissa R., and Taylor L. Thompson. “Model Minority Stereotyping, Perceived Discrimination, and Adjustment Among Adolescents from Asian American Backgrounds.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 45.7 (2016): 1366-1379.

Thompson, Taylor L., Kiang, Lisa, and Melissa R. Witkow. “‘You’re Asian; You’re Supposed to Be Smart’: Adolescents’ Experiences with the Model Minority Stereotype and Longitudinal Links with Identity.” Asian American Journal of Psychology 7.2 (2016): 108-119.

Stevens, C., Witkow, Melissa R., Smelt, B.* “Strengthening scientific reasoning skills in Introductory Psychology: Evidence from community college and liberal arts classrooms.” Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology 2 (2016): 245-260.

Witkow, Melissa R., Rickert, N. P.*, and Cullen, L. E.* “Daily school context of adolescents’ single best friendship and academic and social adjustment.” Journal of Genetic Psychology 178.2 (2017): 119-132.

Internal Awards

Melissa Witkow (Research, Teaching and Service), 2015-2016.

External Grants and Fellowships

Melissa Witkow, Psychology. Research Subaward from University of California Davis, Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning Education Research Grant, “Daily experiences with diversity: Academic and social adjustment in high school,” (Adrienne Nishina, PI, Award No. R305A170559), U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, $230,503, May 2017

External Awards

Melissa Witkow, Psychology. AAJP 2016 Best Paper Award for the article, “You’re Asian; You’re supposed to be smart: Adolescents’ experiences with the Model Minority Stereotype and longitudinal links with identity,” (with coauthors Taylor Thompson and Lisa Kiang), Asian American Journal of Psychology, June 2016

Willamette University

Psychology Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-375-5306 voice
503-375-6512 fax