Kali Trzesniewski

Position Title

  • Human Development & Family Studies
1351 Hart Hall

Interests: Social-Emotional, Family, School, Health and Mental Health, Prevention Research, Research Methodology
Life Phases: Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescence, Emerging Adulthood

I am an associate specialist in cooperative extension and the associate director of research for the statewide 4-H youth development program. I received my PhD from the Department of Psychology at UC Davis in 2003, and have been back to UC Davis as a faculty member since 2010. During my time away from Davis, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, England and at Stanford University. After that, I was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario.

I study social-developmental psychology. In general, I am interested in understanding how personality and social factors influence a person’s developmental course from conception to death. I am interested in understanding how to raise children to grow up to be healthy, productive members of society; including, finding supportive relationships and having a family, supporting themselves and their family, and not bringing harm to others. As such, I am interested in the developmental origins, developmental course, and interrelations among self-esteem, achievement, and antisocial behavior.

I enjoy learning about different methods and statistical techniques and have used a wide range of research designs, such as cross-sectional, experimental, longitudinal, behavioral genetic, and the analysis of archival datasets. I also integrate a wide range of statistical procedures into my research program, such as multilevel modeling (including growth modeling), meta-analysis, quantitative genetics, and structural equation modeling.

Select Publications

Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M. B., & Lucas, R. E. (Eds.) (2010). Secondary data analysis: A guide for psychologists. Washington, DC: APA.

Orth, U., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Robins, R. W. (2010). Self-esteem development from young adulthood to old age: A cohort-sequential longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 645-658.

Trzesniewski, K. H., & Donnellan, M. B. (2010). Rethinking “Generation Me”: A Study of cohort effects from 1976-2006. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 5, 58-75. (Target Article)

Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M. B., & Robins, R. W. (2008). Do today's young people really think they are so extraordinary? An examination of secular changes in narcissism and self-enhancement. Psychological Science, 19, 181-188.

Blackwell, L. A., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Theories of intelligence and achievement across the junior high school transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention. Child Development, 78, 246-263.

Trzesniewski, K. H., Donnellan, M. B., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., Robins, R. W., & Poultin, R. (2006). Adolescent low self-esteem is a risk factor for adult poor health, criminal behavior, and limited economic prospects. Developmental Psychology, 42, 381-390.

Trzesniewski, K. H., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Taylor, A., & Maughan, B. (2006). Revisiting the association between reading ability and antisocial behavior: New evidence from a longitudinal behavior genetics study. Child Development, 77, 72-88.


Ph.D., Psychology. University of California, Davis, 2003.

Curriculum Vitae

Faculty CV