Biography


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Lene Arnett Jensen received her Ph.D. from the Committee on Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago in 1996, and did a year of postdoctoral work in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2005-06, she was a Research Fellow with the Academy for Migration Studies in Denmark. She joined the Department of Psychology at Clark University in 2006, and held the Oliver and Dorothy Hayden Junior Faculty Fellowship from 2008-09. In 2010-11, she held the Nehru Distinguished Chair at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India.

The aim of Dr. Jensen’s scholarship and professional collaborations is to move research on human development toward a focus on both what is universal and what is cultural. Globalization means that the next decades will continue to see increasing interactions between peoples and cultures across the world. Almost all future population growth is projected to occur in developing countries, with the United States being the rare exception among developed countries. These facts and future projections speak to a need for a “cultural-developmental approach” to human psychology. The central idea is that infants everywhere start out with the same set of psychological tendencies. In the course of development, children learn and respond to the ways of their culture or cultures, and become participants in shaping the culture’s future. Dr. Jensen and her students have conducted research with diverse religious, ethnic, and socio-economic groups in countries such as Denmark, India, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States.

Dr. Jensen’s current research projects address moral development and cultural identity formation in the contexts of:

  • Culture war tensions between liberal and conservative religious groups
  • Migration
  • Globalization

Her publications include the Oxford Handbook of Human Development and Culture (2015 & 2016, Oxford University Press), Moral Development in a Global World: Research from a Cultural-Developmental Perspective (2015, Cambridge University Press), Bridging Cultural and Developmental Psychology: New Syntheses for Theory, Research and Policy (2012, Oxford University Press), Immigrant Civic Engagement: New Translations (2008, with Constance Flanagan, Taylor-Francis), and New Horizons in Developmental Theory and Research (2005, with Reed Larson, Wiley).

From 2004 to 2015, Dr. Jensen was Editor-in-Chief of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. She chaired the 2012 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence in Vancouver, Canada. Currently, she is on the editorial board of Journal of Adolescent Research.

A native of Denmark, Dr. Jensen has also resided in Belgium, India, and France. She speaks Danish, English and French. She lives in Massachusetts, USA with her husband and twin adolescents.