Kristen Goessling

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
Office Phone: 610-892-1432
Office Location: Main Building, 207 C
Mailing Address:
25 Yearsely Mill Rd.
Media PA 19063

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Kristen P. Goessling received her B.A. from the University of Missouri, Columbia, her M.S. from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, and her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.  Dr. Goessling has over 15 years of field-based, professional experience as a mental health counselor, community-based therapist and social worker.  In each of these capacities, her focus was on advocacy work with families, children, and adolescents from underserved populations.  Dr. Goessling’s professional background has greatly influenced her scholarship and teaching.

Dr. Goessling’s interdisciplinary scholarship is grounded in critical and sociocultural theory and spans the fields of child and youth development, qualitative research methods and critical youth studies.  Central to all of her research is the understanding that people are active cultural producers in relation to the social practices and systems in which they are embedded.  Her work utilizes collaborative and visual research methods that seek to amplify participant voices and perspectives.

Dr. Goessling has two complimentary lines of research.  The first area draws on her research experiences with Indigenous communities on issues of equity and access to health and educational opportunities.  This research is also driven by a desire to better prepare future educators, counselors, and social workers for careers in a multicultural and global society.  Her second area of research utilizes a sociocultural perspective to investigate how participation in art and activism facilitates young people’s construction of knowledge, identities and values.  Specifically, she examines how youth cultivate personal and social change through social relationships and creative practices.  Dr. Goessling is passionate about engaging with students, communities, and young people as co-researchers.  She strives to facilitate transformative dialogue across differences both in and outside of the classroom. 

Research Interests: Critical youth studies; creativity and development; sociocultural theories of learning and development; civic engagement and activism; identity construction; youth participatory action research; and qualitative methodologies.   

Recent Publications and Presentations

Goessling, K. P. (2015, April). Re/Narrating Youth: A Critical Qualitative Study of Learning in an Urban Activist Organization. Paper presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago, IL.

Marshall, S. K., Nelson, M., Goessling, K. P., Chipman, J., & Charles, G. (2015). Counseling adolescents from an action theory perspective.  In R.A. Young, J. Domene, & L. Valach (Eds.), Counseling and action: Toward life-enhancing work, relationships and identity (pp. 197-209). New York: Springer.

McDowell, T., Goessling, K. P., & Melendez, T. (2012). Transformative learning through international immersion: Building multicultural competence in family therapy and counseling. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(2), 365-379. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2010.00209.x

Vadeboncoeur, J. A., Vellos, R. E., & Goessling, K. P. (2011). Learning as (one part) identity construction: Educational implications of a sociocultural perspective. In D. M. McInerney, R. A. Walker, & G. A. D. Liem (Eds.), Sociocultural Theories of Learning and Motivation: Looking Back, Looking Forward (pp. 223-251). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Goessling, K. P., & Doyle, C. (2009). Thru the lenz: Participatory action research, photography, creative processes in an urban high school. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 4(4), 343-365. [Invited publication]