Laura Wray-Lake

Dr. Laura Wray-Lake is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. As a lifespan developmental scientist, Dr. Wray-Lake takes a positive approach to studying developmental and psychological processes and seeks to understand and promote the conditions under which children, adolescents, and young adults thrive. One line of her research is focused on the development of values and civic engagement across adolescence and young adulthood. In this work, Dr. Wray-Lake is examining longitudinal patterns of social responsibility over time and the role of contexts in predicting change in social responsibility. A second line of research investigates processes of value socialization among adolescents and their parents and the role of value content in socialization processes.

Dr. Wray-Lake earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She holds an M.S. in Psychology from Bucknell University and a B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University.


Phone: 909-607-7813

Research Interests

Values; Civic Engagement; Bidirectional Socialization Processes; Adolescent Development; Transition to Adulthood; Social Responsibility Approach to Prevention; Substance Use; Social Change

Teaching Interests

Positive Contexts; Positive Youth Development; Adolescent Development; Lifespan Development; Family Relationships; Research Methods


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Fruiht, V., & Wray-Lake, L. (2012). The role of mentor type and timing in predicting educational attainment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. doi: 10.1007/s10964-012- 9817-0

Williams, L. R., Wray-Lake, L., Loken, E., & Maggs, J. L. (2012). The effects of adolescent heavy drinking on the timing and stability of cohabitation and marriage. Families in Society, 93, 181-188. doi: 10.1606/1044-3894.4216

Wray-Lake, L., & Flanagan, C. A. (2012). Parenting practices and the development of adolescents’ social trust. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 549-560. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.09.006

Wray-Lake, L., & Hart, D. (2012). Growing social inequalities in youth civic engagement? Evidence from the National Election Study. PS: Political Science and Politics, 45, 456-461.

Wray-Lake, L., Maggs, J. L., Bachman, J., Johnston, L., O’Malley, P., & Schulenberg, J. (2012). Associations between community attachments and adolescent substance use in nationally representative samples. Journal of Adolescent Health, 51, 325-331. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.12.030

Finlay, A. K., Flanagan, C. A., & Wray-Lake, L. (2011). Civic patterns and transitions over eight years: The AmeriCorps National study. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1728-1743.  doi: 10.1037/a0025360.

Wray-Lake, L., Flanagan, C. A., & Maggs, J. L. (2011). Socialization in context: Exploring longitudinal correlates of mothers’ value messages of compassion and caution. Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0026083

Stoppa, T., Wray-Lake, L., Syvertsen, A. K., & Flanagan, C. A. (2011).  Defining a moment in history: Parent communication with adolescents about September 11th, 2001.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 1691-1704.  doi: 10.1007/s10964-011-9676-0.

Syvertsen, A. K., Wray-Lake, L., Flanagan, C. A., Briddell, L., & Osgood, D. W. (2011). Thirty-year trends in U.S. adolescents’ civic engagement: A story of changing participation and educational differences. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 586-594.  DOI: 10.1111/J. 1532-7795.2010.00706.x

Wray-Lake, L., Syvertsen, A. K., Briddell, L., Osgood, D. W., & Flanagan, C. A. (2010). Exploring the changing meaning of work for American high school seniors from 1976 to 2005. Youth & Society, 43, 1110-1135 doi: 10.1177/0044118x10381367.

Patrick, M. E., Wray-Lake, L., Finlay, A. K., & Maggs, J. L. (2010). The long arm of expectancies: Adolescent alcohol expectancies predict adult alcohol use. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 45, 17-24.

Wray-Lake, L., Crouter, A. C., & McHale, S. M. (2010). Developmental patterns in decision-making autonomy across middle childhood and adolescence: European American parents' perspectives. Child Development, 81, 636-651.

Wray-Lake, L., Flanagan, C. A., & Osgood, D. W. (2010). Examining trends in adolescent environmental attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors across three decades. Environment and Behavior, 42, 61-85.

Wray-Lake, L., Syvertsen, A. K., & Flanagan, C. A. (2008). Contested citizenship and social exclusion: Adolescent Arab-American immigrants’ views of the social contract. Applied Developmental Science Special Issue: Civic
Engagement and Immigrants, 12
, 84-92.

Wray, L. D., & Stone, E. R. (2005). The role of self-esteem and anxiety on decision making for self versus others in relationships. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 18, 125-144.

Book Chapters

Wray-Lake, L., Gniewosz, B., & Benavides, C. M. (in press). The development of youth civic development: Exploring micro- and macro-social processes. In M. Csikszentmihalyi (Ed.), Education outside of the classroom. New York: Springer Publishing.

Maggs, J. L., Wray-Lake, L., & Schulenberg, J. E. (in press). Developmental risk taking and the natural history of alcohol and drug use among youth. In P. Miller (Ed.), Encyclopedia of addictive behaviors. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press.

Wray-Lake, L., & Christens, B. (forthcoming). Community values. In A.C. Michalos (Ed.), International encyclopedia of quality of life research. New York: Springer.

Wray-Lake, L., & Syvertsen, A. (2011). The developmental roots of social responsibility in childhood and adolescence. In C. Flanagan & B. Christens (Volume Eds.) & L. Jensen & R. Larson (Series Eds.), New directions for child and adolescent development, 134, 11-25. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Flanagan, C. A., & Wray-Lake, L. (2011). Civic and political engagement. In B. Brown & M. Prinstein (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Vol 2 (pp. 35-43). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Finlay, A. K., Wray-Lake, L., & Flanagan, C. A. (2010). Civic engagement during the transition to adulthood: Developmental opportunities and social policies at a critical juncture. In L. Sherrod, J. Torney-Purta, & C. Flanagan (Eds.), Handbook of research on civic engagement in youth (pp. 277-305). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Dorius, C. R., & Wray-Lake, L. (2008). Expanding the horizon: New directions for the study of intergenerational care and exchange. In A. Booth, A. C. Crouter, S. Bianchi, & J. A. Seltzer (Eds.), Intergenerational caregiving (pp. 351-382). Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Flanagan, C. A., Syvertsen, A. K., & Wray-Lake, L. (2007). Youth political activism: Sources of public hope in the context of globalization. In R. Lerner & R. Silbereisen (Eds.), Approaches to positive youth development (pp. 243-256). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Wharton-Michael, P., Janke, E. M., Karim, R., Syvertsen, A. K., & Wray, L. D. (2006). Explicating the construct of public scholarship. In R. Eberly & J. Cohen (Eds.), A Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy, pp. 63-72. New York: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Outreach Publications

Wray-Lake, L., Gallay, E., & Flanagan, C. A. (2007). What high school students think of conservation. Environmental Education in America (A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publication) (pp.11-12)

Wray, L., & Flanagan, C. A. (2006, September 11). An Inconvenient Truth about Youth. The Washington Post, p. A16.

Wray, L. D., & Flanagan, C. A. (2005, Fall). Value development and civic engagement. American Psychological
Association Children, Youth, and Families Committee News
. Retrieved March 22, 2007 from