Dr. Grolnick received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1981, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1984 and 1987, respectively. She has been at Clark since 1991.
Current Research and Teaching
Dr. Grolnick is interested in motivational development in children and adolescents. Her research focuses on how social contexts (e.g., homes, schools) facilitate children's autonomous motivation, in which they regulate their own behavior and feel agentic with respect to it. She is currently exploring how parenting, on dimensions of autonomy support to control, involvement, and structure, predicts children's autonomous motivation, competence, and adjustment. She is also focusing on factors (e.g., parent attitudes and beliefs, stress and support, evaluative environments) that help or hinder parents' abilities to provide parenting resources to their children. Another area of interest is children's emotion regulation, in which she is studying how parents and teachers help their children to modulate distress. Dr. Grolnick's work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Grolnick teaches courses in motivation, child development, and psychopathology.
(Please contact the Editorial Office for reprint inquiries)
Grolnick, W.S., Beiswenger, J., & Price, C.E. (2008). Stepping p without overstepping:
Disentangling parenting dimensions and their implications for adolescent adjustment. In M. Kerr and H. Stattin, Advances in Research on Parenting. New York: Wiley.
Grolnick, W. S., & Seal, K. (2008). Pressured parents, stressed-out kids: Dealing with the competition while raising a successful child. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Press.
Gurland, S.T., & Grolnick, W.S. (2008). Building rapport with children: Effects of adults’ expected, actual, and perceived behavior. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 27, 226-253.
Grolnick, W. S., Farkas, M. S., Sohmer, R., Michaels, J., & Valsiner, J. (2007). Facilitating motivation in young adolescents: Effects of an After-School Program. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 28, 332-334.
Grolnick, W. S., Price, C.E., Beiswenger, K., & Sauck, C. C. (2007). Evaluative pressure in parents: Effects of situation, maternal, and child characteristics on autonomy-supportive versus controlling behavior. Developmental Psychology, 43, 991-1002.
Cleveland, E. S., Reese, E., & Grolnick, W. S. (2007). Children's engagement and competence in personal recollection. Effects of parents' reminiscing goals. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 96, 131-149.
Gurland, S. T., & Grolnick, W. S. (2005). Perceived threat, controlling parenting, and children’s achievement orientations. Motivation and Emotion, 29, 103-121.
Pomerantz, E. M., Grolnick, W. S., & Price, C. E. (2005). The role of parents in how children approach achievement: A dynamic process perspective. In A. Elliot and C. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and competence. New York: Guilford.
Gurland, S. T., & Grolnick, W. S. (2003). Children's expectancies and perceptions of adults: Effects of rapport. Child Development, 74, 1212-1224.
Grolnick, W. S. (2003). The psychology of parental control: How well-meant parenting backfires. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.