William F. Johnson

William F. Johnson, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Psychology & Mental Health

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Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Social Psychology (2018)
    University of Minnesota--Twin Cities (MN)

About Me

The foundation of social and developmental psychology rests on the idea that context is a powerful influence on behavior. Responsible teaching of psychology requires exposing students to the structures and situations that constrain or compel the ways people behave and develop. This means helping students understand the potency of subtle or unintended discrimination, the developmental legacy of early adversity, and the ease with which we can ignore the suffering of others. It also means developing assignments that require students to consider how social psychology can lead to a more just and equitable society.

The teaching of social development should build empathy and civic responsibility in addition to describing, predicting and explaining human social behavior.

Research Interests

My research lies at the intersection of social, developmental and health psychology. To increase beneficial relationship processes, pro-social action and healthy living, I investigate the influence of both current social environments and early experiences on behavior. My work focuses on how early experiences, in particular parenting and adversity, impact adult health and relationship functioning.


  • Johnson, W. F., Huelsnitz, C. O., Carlson, E. A., Roisman, G. I., Englund, M. M., Miller, G. E., & Simpson, J. A. (2017). Childhood abuse and neglect and physical health at midlife: Prospective, longitudinal evidence. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 1935-1946.
  • Labella, M. H., Johnson, W. F., Martin, J., Ruiz, S. K., Shankman, J. L., Englund, M. M., ... & Simpson, J. A. (2018). Multiple dimensions of childhood abuse and neglect prospectively predict poorer adult romantic functioning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 238-251.
  • Johnson, W.F., Stellmack, M.A. & Barthel, A.L. (In Press). Electronic vs. hand-written feedback in undergraduate writing: Grader habits and student outcomes. Teaching of Psychology.