Kathryn Caldwell

Associate Professor, Psychology
Phone: 607-274-1371
Office: Williams Hall 115C, Ithaca, NY 14850
Speciality: Developmental Psychology & Conservation Psychology


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, Human Development
  • M.A., Louisiana State University, Developmental Psychology
  • B.A., Clemson University, Psychology

I have taught in the Psychology department of Ithaca College since 2005. Previously, I worked as a Research Associate for Casey Family Programs in Seattle, and as a Research Associate for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Childcare at the University of Washington.

Research Interests:

My current research involves the application of psychology, including Community-Based Social Marketing approaches, to understanding and promoting the antecedents of sustainable behavior choices. I have a 3-year contract with NYSERDA to study the effects of social marketing techniques in the private home retrofit sector for promoting homeowner energy conservation behaviors. I am also engaged in a collaborative intervention research project focused on promoting healthy, sustainable food systems and behaviors on campus. 

Teaching Interests:

In my teaching, I emphasize the relevance of psychology to the lives of students, encouraging them to become critical, “systems” thinkers and self-aware, caring citizens. I integrate issues of sustainability in my teaching, challenging students to consider what motivates conservation behavior, how the natural world impacts well-being, and the impact of vocational and lifestyle choices on the community and environment. 

Current Courses:

  • Healthy Psyches, Healthy Planet (Ithaca Seminar)
  • Conservation Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Introduction to Developmental Psychology

Selected Publications:

Lapp, J. & Caldwell, K. (2012). Using food ethnographies to promote systems thinking and intergenerational engagement among college undergraduates. Journal of Food, Culture, and Society, 15, 491-509.

Krout, J. A., Bergman, E., Bianconi, P., Caldwell, K. , Dorsey, J., Durnford, S., Erikson, M.A., Lapp, J., Monroe, J. E., Pogorzala, C., Taves, J.V. (2010). Intergenerational Service-Learning with Elders: Multidisciplinary Activities and Outcomes. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 31, 55-74.

Wentzel, K. R., Barry, C. M., & Caldwell, K. A. (2004). Friendships in middle school: Influences on motivation and school adjustment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 195-203.

Downs, C. & Caldwell, K. (2003). Foster care, adolescence. In T. P. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion (pp. 498-503). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.

Kelly, J. F., Buehlman, K., & Caldwell, K. (2000). Training personnel to promote quality parent-child interaction in families who are homeless. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20, 174-185.

Wentzel, K. R. & Caldwell, K. (1997). Friendships, peer acceptance, and network membership: Relations to achievement in middle school. Child Development, 68, 1198-1209