Staff Directory

Esther S. Chang, PhD

Professor of Psychology

Director of Social and Behavioral Sciences Concentration

Phone: 949-480-4240

Fax: 949-480-4126


Faculty - Full-Time


  • Ph.D., Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California-Irvine
  • M.A. General Psychology, Columbia University
  • B.A. Politics and International Policy Analysis, Oberlin College

Positions Held

  • 2013 – Present, Associate Professor of Psychology, Soka University of America
  • 2007-2013, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Soka University of America 

Research Interests

  • Transnational Families
  • Mentoring
  • Shared Agency
  • Life Goals
  • Parenting

Selected Papers, Publications, Presentations, & Exhibits

  • Chang E.S., Chen, C., Greenberger, E., Dooley, D., & Heckhausen, J. (2006). What do they want in life?: The life goals of a multi-ethnic, multi-generational sample of high school seniors.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 321-332.
  • Chang, E.S., Heckhausen, J., Greenberger, E., & Chen, C. (2010). Shared agency with parents for educational goals: Ethnic differences and implications for college adjustment.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 1293-1304. doi:10.1007/s10964-009-9488-7.   
  • Chang, E.S., Greenberger, E., Chen, C., Heckhausen, J., & Farruggia, S.P. (2010). Non-parental adults as social resources for adolescents in the transition after high school. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20, 1065-1082. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00662.x
  • Chang, E.S. & Greenberger, E. (2012). Parenting Satisfaction at Midlife among European and Asian American Mothers with a College-Enrolled Child. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 3, 263-274. doi:10.1037/a0026555 
  • Chang, E.S. (2013). Negotiating family obligations and educational goals among college-enrolled youth on Jeju Island, Korea. Journal for Research on Adolescence, 23, 25-34. doi:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00814.x
  • Chang, E.S., Chen, C., & Kim, E. (2015). Have You Set Your Life Priorities Straight? Ethnic and Intergenerational Differences in Life Goal Priorities. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 46, 541-553.
  • Chang, E.S. (2016). Kirogi Women’s Psychological Well-Being: The Relative Contributions of Marital Quality, Mother-Child Relationship Quality, and Youth’s Educational Adjustment. Journal of Family Issues. doi: 10.1177/0192513X16632265
  • Chang, E.S. & Lee, B. (2016). Parenting goals and perceived shared and non-shared agency among kirogi mothers of a youth. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth. doi: 10.1080/02673843.2016.1245149

Courses Taught at SUA

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology
  • Psychology of Education
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Core 1
  • Core 2
  • Learning Cluster on Education
  • Learning Cluster on Educational Policy
  • Learning Cluster on Adolescence
  • Learning Cluster on Beauty