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Lisa M. Dinella, Ph.D.


Principal Investigator of the Gender Development Laboratory

Director of Program in Gender and Intersectionality Studies (PGIS)

Howard Hall 126
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Lisa M. Dinella, Ph.D.

Dr. Dinella’s interest in psychology and gender studies started as an undergraduate at The College of New Jersey.  Her training in conducting school-based empirical research began at the School of Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, where she received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Family Science, with concentrations in Marriage and Family Therapy and Child Development. Additionally, she was an American Psychological Association/Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Education Research Training Fellow. Dr. Dinella currently serves as Principal Investigator of the Gender Development Laboratory.

She investigates the relations between gender, academic achievement, and career development. She studies children’s toy play and media exposure and how gendered experiences shape academic and career pursuits across the lifespan. Her school-based research endeavors led to her edited book Conducting Science-Based Psychology Research in Schools and co-edited book Gender typing of Children’s Toys. She has addressed the White House, Washington, D.C. on gender disparities in children’s toys and media. She also works with global toy companies and children’s media corporations, helping them apply cutting-edge research on gender and play.


Ph.D., Arizona State University

M.S., Arizona State University

B.A., The College of New Jersey

Research Interests

Lisa M. Dinella, Ph.D., is a research scientist who investigates the relations between gender identity, academic achievement, and career development.  Her research program is housed at the Gender Development Laboratory at Monmouth University, where she studies the social and interpersonal factors that influence individuals’ academic and career pursuits.  In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin and Washington and Lee University, she researches the factors that are linked to young adults’ academic paths, with the intention of isolating variables that often lead to disparities between men and women’s levels of financial independence. Her research has led her to create partnerships with school stakeholders in settings ranging from preschools to universities.



Dinella, L. M.  (Ed.). (2009). Conducting science-based psychology research in schools. Washington D.C.:  APA Books.

Scholarly Articles

Ciarocco, N. J., Dinella, L. M., Hatchard, C. Y., & Valosin, J. (2016). Integrating professional development across the curriculum: An effectiveness study. Teaching of Psychology, 43, 91-98, doi: 10.1177/0098628316636217

Fulcher, M., Dinella, L. M., & Weisgram, E. (2015). Constructing a feminist reformation of the heterosexual breadwinner/caregiver family model: College students’ plans for their own future families. Sex Roles,  doi: 10.1007/s11199-015-0487-8

Weisgram, E., Fulcher, M., & Dinella L. (2014). Pink gives girls permission: Gender-typed colors and labels affect children’s toy interests. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 35, 401-409.

Dinella, L. M., Fulcher, M., & Weisgram, E. (2014).  Sex-typed personality traits and gender identity as predictors of young adults’ career interests.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 493-504. doi:10.1007/s10508-013-0234-6

Martin, C. L. & Dinella, L. M. (2011). Congruence between gender stereotypes and activity preference in self-identified tomboys and non-tomboys.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9786-5.

Dinella, L.M. & Lewandowski, G. W. (2011). It’s all in the family: A comparison of Bella’s and Edward’s family structure. In L. Wilson (Ed.), Psychology of Twilight. Dallas, TX: Smart Pop BenBella Press.

Weisgram, E., Dinella, L.M., & Fulcher, M. (2011). The role of masculinity/femininity, values, and occupational value affordances in shaping young men’s and women’s occupational choices. Sex Roles, doi 10.1007/s11199-011-9998-0.

Ciarocco, N. J., Dinella, L. M., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2011). Strategies for making psychology self-relevant in and out of the classroom.In R. Miller & B. Rycek (Eds.), Promoting student engagement: Volume I: Programs, techniques and opportunities [E-book]. Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

Martin, C., Fabes, R., Hanish, L., Leonard, S. & Dinella, L. M. (2011).  Experienced and expected similarity to same-gender peers: Moving toward a comprehensive model of gender segregation. Sex Roles, 65, 421-434.

Dinella, L. M., & Ladd, G. (2009).  Building and maintaining relationships with school stakeholders. In L. M. Dinella (Ed.), Conducting science-based psychology research in schools (pp. 9-31). Washington D.C.:  APA Books.

Popular Articles

Dinella, L. M. (October 29, 2015). Wishing to be a mommy to a (girl) mummy this Halloween. The Washington Post., Retrieved from

Presentations/Invited Talks

Invited address at the White House, Washington D.C. entitled “Gender Disparities in Children’s Toys” (April, 2016).

Dinella, L.M., Weisgram, E. & Fulcher, M. (2015). “Is it pink? Does it have wheels?”: Examining the factors that contribute to children’s gender schemata of toys. Symposium presented at the meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia.

Dinella, L.M., Levinson*, J. & Acri*, L. (2015). Can a princess be powerful?: An experimental study manipulating children’s perceptions of princesses and the self. Symposium presented at the meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia

Dinella, L.M., Pierce*, J. & Lewandowski, G. (2013, June). Internalization of princess culture: Gender messages, early childhood and young adulthood. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle.

Dinella, L.M., Peranteau, J., & Rochette, A. (June 2013). Sea Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My! Creating Applied Learning Opportunities via Creative Collaborations. Presented at the biennial meetings of the Eastern Teaching of Psychology Conference, Staunton.

Dinella, L.M., *Pierce, J. & Lewandowski, G. (2013, April). Internalization of princess culture: Gender messages, early childhood and young adulthood. Paper symposium presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle,WA.

Fulcher, M., Weisgram, E., & Dinella, L.M. (2013, April). The effects of implicit and explicit gender labels on children’s interest in novel toys. Presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

Professional Associations

  • American Psychological Association
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • American Educational Research Association
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology
  • American Association of University Women


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