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Matthew Diemer

Chair of the Combined Program in Education and Psychology; Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Faculty Associate, Institute for Social Research


(734) 647-7369


610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Matthew Diemer is a developmental psychologist who examines how young people resist, challenge, and overcome racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and other constraints in school, college, work, and civic/ political institutions.

He is particularly interested in how marginalized people develop critical consciousness, which is a careful analysis of societal inequalities, the motivation to produce social change, and participation in social or political action. His recent work examines best practices in conceptualizing and measuring social class, the validation of a critical consciousness scale, and how family wealth contributes to intergenerational success. He received his PhD from Boston College.


Number Course Name Location Days
EDUC 737
Topics in Educational Studies

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
Explores new topics in educational studies based on the interests of faculty and students. Topics change each term. Consult the program office for the current list of offerings.

EDUC 606
Developmental and Psychological Perspectives on Education

Discusses developmental theories and psychological research and their application to educational problems at the classroom and school levels. Theories and research are presented from cognitive-developmental, cognitive science, social constructivist, and motivational perspectives.

Selected Publications

“Development and validation of the Critical Consciousness Scale.” 

Diemer, M.A., Rapa, L.J. S , Park, C. S & Perry, J.C. (2017). Youth & Society, 49 (4), 461-483.

"Critical consciousness: A developmental approach to addressing marginalization and oppression."

Diemer, M.A., Rapa, L., Voight, A. & McWhirter, E.H. (in press). Child Development Perspectives.

"Unraveling the complexity of critical consciousness, political efficacy, and political action among marginalized adolescents."

Diemer, M.A. & Rapa, L.J. (2016). Child Development, 87(1) , 221-238.

"Promotive and corrosive factors in African American students’ math beliefs and achievement."

Diemer, M.A, Marchand, A. & McKellar, S. & Malanchuk, O. (2016) Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 45(6) , 1208-1225.

"Development and validation of the Critical Consciousness Scale."

Diemer, M.A., Rapa, L.J., Park, C. & Perry, J.C. (in press). Youth & Society.

"Best practices in conceptualizing and measuring social class in psychological research."

Diemer, M.A., Mistry, R., Wadsworth, M.E., López, I. & Reimers, F. (2013). ASAP: Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 13(1) , 77-113.

"Longitudinal roles of pre-college contexts in low-income youths’ postsecondary persistence."

Diemer, M.A. & Li, C. (2012). Developmental Psychology, 48(6) , 1686-1693.

"Critical consciousness and political engagement among marginalized youth."

Diemer, M.A. & Li, C. (2011). Child Development, 82(6) , 1815-1833.

"Critical consciousness: Current status and future directions."

Watts, R. J., Diemer, M. A., & Voight, A. (2011), In C. A. Flanagan & B. D. Christens (Eds.) Youth civic development: Work at the cutting edge. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (Vol. 134, pp. 43–57).

"Sociopolitical development, work salience, and vocational expectations among low-SES African American, Latin American, and Asian American youth."

Diemer, M.A., Wang, Q., Moore, T., Gregory, S., Hatcher, K. & Voight, A.M. (2010). Developmental Psychology, 46(3) , 619-635.

"Pathways to occupational attainment among poor youth of color: The role of sociopolitical development."

Diemer, M.A. (2009). The Counseling Psychologist, 37(1) , 6-35.


The Advancing Critical Consciousness, Methods & Equity (AC2ME) lab examines how marginalized people critique, navigate, and challenge social, racial, and political inequities, or develop critical consciousness. We employ advanced methods to pursue a more equitable world.