Sandra Simpkins

School of Education

Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2000, Developmental Psychology

Phone: (949) 824-3202

University of California, Irvine
2094 Education
Mail Code: 5500
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Sandra  Simpkins

Organized After-School Activities, Motivation, Family Influences, Diversity & Equity, Immigration & Culture, STEM
URLs Simpkins Lab Website
Simpkins' CV
Outstanding Faculty Mentor of an Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Sanford School, Arizona State University (2014)
National Science Foundation CAREER Award Recipient (2011-2016)
William T. Grant Young Scholar (2007-2012)
American Psychological Association Advanced Training Institute Award (2006)
American Psychological Association Dissertation Award (2000)
Through my research, I examine how youth development unfolds over time and how the contexts in which youth are embedded influence their development. Generally, my work has focused on how families, friendships, and social position factors (such as, ethnicity and culture) shape adolescents' academic achievement, motivation, and organized after-school activities. Funded by two career awards, I addresses these issues for Latino adolescents. My work strives to understand the unique role of SES, immigration, ethnicity, and culture in family functioning and youth development. My mixed-methods work integrates sophisticated quantitative analyses with the rich insights garnered from qualitative data. In addition to my scholarly publications, I have participated in policy and practitioner oriented forums and authored several practitioner oriented papers.
Publications Simpkins, S. D., Liu, Y., & Dawes, N. P. (in press). 15 Years After “Community Programs to Promote Youth Development” In H. J. Malone (Ed.). The growing out-of-school time field: Past, present, and future.
  Simpkins, S. D., Fredricks, J. A., & Lin, A. R. (in press). Families and engagement in afterschool programs. In B. H. Fiese (Series Ed.). APA Handbook of contemporary family psychology: Vol. 2. Applications of contemporary family psychology.
  Lin, A. R., Simpkins, S. D., Gaskin, E., & Menjivar, C. (in press). Cultural values and other perceived benefits of organized activities: A qualitative analysis of Mexican-origin parents’ perspectives in Arizona. Applied Developmental Science.
  Kang, H., Bowers, J., Munoz, L., Raffaelli, M., & Simpkins, S. D. (in press). Parental participation in the process of youth joining a program: Perspectives from adolescents and parents. Family Relations.
  Ettekal, A. E., Simpkins, S. D., & Schaefer, D. R. (in press). Obesity and social marginalization: When do organized activities facilitate or hinder peer relationships? Applied Developmental Science.
  Price, C., Simpkins, S. D., & Menjívar, C. (2017). Sibling behaviors and Mexican-origin adolescents’ after-school activities. Journal of Adolescent Research, 32, 127-154.
  Simpkins, S. D., Riggs, N. R., Ngo, B., Ettekal, A. E., & Okamoto, D. (2017). Designing culturally responsive organized after-school activities. Journal of Adolescent Research, 32, 11 - 36.
  Lin, A. R., Menjivar, C., Ettekal, A. E., Simpkins, S. D., Gaskin, E., & Pesch, A. (2016). “They will post a law about playing soccer” and other ethnic/racial microaggressions in organized activities experienced by Mexican-origin families. Journal of Adolescent Research, 31, 557 - 581.
  Delgado, M., Ettekal, A. E., Simpkins, S. D., & Schaefer, D. (2016). How do my friends matter? Examining Latino adolescents’ friendships, school belonging, and academic achievement. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1110 – 1125.
  Ettekal, A. E., Gaskin, E., Lin, A. R., & Simpkins, S. D. (2015). “You gotta respect” Mexican-origin adolescents’ perspectives on respect in organized activities. Journal of Youth Development, 10, 74 – 87.
  Simpkins, S. D., Fredricks, J. A., & Eccles, J. S. (2015). Families, schools, and developing achievement-related motivations and engagement. In J. E. Grusec, & P. H. Hasting (Eds.). Handbook of socialization: Theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 614 – 636). New York: Guilford Press.
  Simpkins, S. D. (2015). Guest Editorial: When and how does participating in an organized after-school activity matter? Applied Developmental Science, 19, 121 – 126.
  Wigfield, A., Eccles, J. S., Fredricks, J., Simpkins, S. D., Roeser, R., & Schiefele, U. (2015). Development of achievement motivation and engagement. In R. M. Lerner (Series Ed.) & M. Lamb (Volume Eds.). Handbook of child psychology and developmental science: Vol. 3. Social and emotional development (7th ed., pp. 657 – 700). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  Simpkins, S. D., Fredricks, J., & Eccles, J. S. (2015). Parent beliefs to youth choices: Mapping the sequence of predictors from childhood to adolescence. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 80(2), 1 – 151.
  Simpkins, S. D., Price, C. & Garcia, K. (2015). Parental support and high school students’ motivation in biology, chemistry, and physics: Understanding differences among Latino and Caucasian boys and girls. Journal for Research in Science Teaching.
  Simpkins, S. D., & Riggs, N. R. (2014). Cultural competence in after-school programs. New Directions for Youth Development, 114, 105-117.
  Schaefer, D., & Simpkins, S. D. (2014). Using social network analysis to clarify the role of obesity in adolescent friend selection. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1223-1229.
  Dawes, N. P., Vest, A. E., & Simpkins, S. D. (2014). Youth participation in organized and informal sports activities across childhood and adolescence: Exploring the relationships of motivational beliefs, developmental stage and gender. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 1374-1388
  Fredricks, J. A. & Simpkins, S. D. (2013). Organized out-of-school activities: Peers and adolescent development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 140, 1 - 17.
  Simpkins, S. D., Delgado, M., Price, C., Quach, A., & Starbuck, E. (2013). Socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, and immigration: Examining the potential mechanisms underlying Mexican-origin adolescents’ organized activities. Developmental Psychology, 49, 706 - 721.
  Simpkins, S. D., Schaefer, D., Price, C., & Vest, A. E. (2013). Adolescent friendships, BMI, and physical activity: Untangling selection and influence through longitudinal social network analysis. Journal for Research on Adolescence: Special issue on social network analysis. 23, 537 – 549.
  Vest, A. E., Mahoney, J. L., & Simpkins, S. D. (2013). Patterns of out-of-school time around the world: Do the help to explain international differences in mathematics and science achievement? International Journal of Research on Extended Education, 2, 88-113.
  Vest, A. E. & Simpkins, S. D. (2013). Do some athletes drink alcohol more than others? The importance of peer relationships and gender. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 140, 37 - 55.
Grants Simpkins, S. D. (Principal Investigator). The determinants of Mexican-origin adolescents' participation in organized activities: The role of culture, settings and the individual, William T. Grant Foundation, July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2012.
Simpkins, S. D. (Principal Investigator, subcontract from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). 7936 Development of self-direction in youth-programs-family interaction systems: Latino and non-Latino adolescents, William T. Grant Foundation, October 2013 – June 2014.
Schaefer, D. (Principal Investigator), & Simpkins, S. D. (co-Principal Investigator). 1R21-HD071885 Exploring new mechanisms to explain how adolescent health shapes friend selection, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, June 4, 2012 – May 31, 2015.
Simpkins, S. D. (Principal Investigator). DRL-1054798 CAREER: How families motivate Mexican-origin adolescents to pursue physical science in high school, National Science Foundation, March 15, 2011 – March 15, 2016.
Simpkins, S. D. (Principal Investigator), Menjivar, C., & Millsap, R. 181735 Distal Factors and Proximal Settings as Predictors of Latino Adolescents' Activities: Insights from Mixed Methods, William T. Grant Foundation, 2013-2016.
Other Experience
Latino Resilience Enterprise, Arizona State University 2011—2015

Associate Professor
T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University 2011—2015

Honors Faculty
Barrett - The Honors College, Arizona State University 2008—2015

Assistant Professor
School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University 2005—2011

Certificate in Afterschool and Summer Education, University of California, Irvine 2015—pres

Associate Professor
UCI School of Education 2015—2015

Link to this profile
Last updated 09/15/2017