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California State University, Long Beach
Department Of Human Development
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Katherine Van Giffen, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Email:
  • Phone: 562.985.5290
  • Office: PSY—126

Research Interests

Dr. Van Giffen’s research projects are wide-ranging but all focus on influences in decision making. She has published work on infant perception as well as humor appreciation. She was a grant recipient from the DARE program for research on the effects of the full program, and she is currently conducting research on the mentoring experience as well as the role of religion and spirituality on decision making.

Dr. Van Giffen has served as chair and a committee member on theses in Educational Psychology, and as a committee member on theses from Psychology as well as Anthropology and Recreation and Leisure Studies. She sponsors student research which is presented at the annual meetings of the Western Psychological Association. She is also a mentor with the Partners for Success program, and was a co-founder of the Learning Alliance at CSULB. In 2007 Dr. Van Giffen was awarded the University Distinguished Teaching Award.


M.A (1973) and Ph.D. (1980) in Developmental Psychology from the University of Denver.


HDEV/CLA 250 :

Introductory Statistics

HDEV 402 :

The Development of Thought

HDEV 307I :

Approaches to Childhood and Adolescence

EDP 302 :

Adolescent Development in Educational Psychology

University 100, and a variety of other related special topics courses