The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Postdoctoral Scholars

Jessica Matthews

BA, Psychology, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; MA, Child Study & Human Development, Tufts University; PhD, Child Study & Human Development, Tufts University

Jessica A. K. Matthews is the post-doctoral research scholar for the Rudd Adoption Program. In addition to her own research on adoptive families, she is responsible for managing the undergraduate research laboratory, as well as working on the dissemination and translation of adoption related research for general audiences. She has begun projects surrounding adoptive sibling relationships, and birthfather relationships within the Minnesota Texas Adoption Research Project sample. Jessica received her PhD from Tufts University in Child Study and Human Development in 2017 working with Professor Ellen Pinderhughes. While attending the University of California, Berkeley as an undergraduate, Jessica majored in psychology and political science where she became interested in adoption. Jessica has been studying adoption, international adoption in particular, for the past ten years. Jessica's dissertation research concerned the maltreatment experiences of previously adopted children in the U.S. foster care system, though most of her graduate work focused on early emotion regulation, identity formation, and the ethnic-racial socialization of international and transracial adoptees. Additional research interests include the complexities of transracial adoption, special needs adoption, and the development of children who do not regularly experience parental care worldwide. Jessica is a transplant from California, and she and her husband, Jonathan, live in Northampton, Massachusetts with their three dogs.