Faculty Listing

Dr. Jenni Menon Mariano

Title: Professor, Educational Psychology
Phone: 941-359-4731
Email: jmariano@usf.edu
Area of Interest: Moral development, positive youth development, positive psychology, purpose in life.

Jenni Menon Mariano earned her PhD in Psychological Studies in Education (Child and Adolescent Development) from Stanford University, where she conducted research at the Center on Adolescence. She completed a fellowship at the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and has worked and studied around the world.   

Dr. Mariano studies how people in diverse places, especially youth, form and develop commitments to positive life purposes and what formal and informal learning environments can do to support that. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Jenni worked in youth development programs, including collaborating with schools, government, and NGOs in a country-wide peace building program in Bosnia-Herzegovina. She teaches courses in lifespan development, the psychology of purpose and well-being, human development and learning, moral development, and classroom assessment. Dr. Mariano is actively involved in student dissertation committees and is currently accepting Ph.D. students.


Selected Research

Suldo, S., Mariano, J. M., & Gilfix. H. (2021). Positive emotions, character, and purpose. In S. M. Suldo, P. J. Lazarus, & B. Doll (Eds.), Fostering the emotional well-being of our youth: A school-based approach (pp. 282-312). Oxford University Press.

Mariano, J. M., Damiani, T., & Boyer, M. (2019). Self- and other-reported virtues of young purpose exemplars. Youth & Society, 1-20.

Tirri, K., Mariano, J. M., & Moran, S. (Eds.). (2018). Education for purposeful teaching around the world. Routledge.

Jiang, F., Lin, S., & Mariano, J. M. (2016). The influence of Chinese college teachers' competence for purpose support on students’ purpose development. Journal of Education for Teaching, 42(5), 556-581.

Mariano, J. M. (2014). Understanding paths to youth purpose: Why content and context matter. Applied Developmental Science, 18(3), 139-147.

Mariano, J. M. (Ed.). (2014). Youth purpose: Diverse content and contexts [Special issue] Applied Developmental Science, 18(3), 139-175.

Mariano, J. M., & Vaillant, G. E. (2012). Youth purpose among the “greatest generation.” Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(4), 281-293.

Mariano, J. M., & Going, J. (2011). Youth purpose and positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner, J. Lerner, & J. B. Benson (Eds.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 41) (pp. 39-68). Elsevier.

Mariano, J. M., Going, J., Schrock, K., & Sweeting, K. (2011). Youth purpose and the perception of social supports among African-American girls. Journal of Youth Studies, 14(8), 921-928.

Mariano, J. M., & Savage, J. (2009). Exploring the language of youth purpose: References to positive states and coping styles by adolescents with different kinds of purpose. Journal of Character Education, 7(1), 1-24.

Mariano, J. M., & Damon, W. (2008). The role of religious faith and spirituality in the development of purpose in adolescence. In R. M. Lerner, R. W. Roeser, and E. Phelps (Eds.), Positive youth development and spirituality: from theory to research (pp. 210-230). Templeton Foundation Press.

Damon, W., Menon, J., & Bronk, K. C. (2003). The development of purpose during adolescence. Applied Developmental Science, 7(3), 119-128