UC Santa Cruz prof named American Psychological Association fellow

Margarita Azmitia, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been honored by her peers who have elected her a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA).

APA fellows are selected for their "exceptional and outstanding contributions to the research, teaching, or practice of psychology" and are recognized for the national impact of their work.

Azmitia is a developmental psychologist whose research addresses three areas. First, she explores how family, school, and peers influence the academic achievement and psychological development of children and adolescents during the transition from elementary school to junior high school and from high school to college. She is particularly interested in understanding the factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful transitions and developmental pathways of children and adolescents from different socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities.

Her second line of research investigates whether and how working collaboratively helps children and adolescents learn in the classroom. Her final research area focuses on friendship processes, especially conflict resolution, as they affect children and adolescents' self-esteem and enjoyment of school.

Azmitia received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1986 and has worked at UC Santa Cruz since 1989.

With more than 155,000 members, the APA is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. Its membership includes researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. The association works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare.