Gail M. Ferguson

Gail M. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Dr. Ferguson is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Div 7, Developmental) and of the International Academy of Intercultural Research, and a former Outstanding Early Career Psychologist of the American Psychological Association (Div 52, International). She has been recognized by the Universities of Minnesota and Illinois for excellence in research (2018 Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, UIUC) and in advising (2021 Excellence in Academic Advising Award, UMN). As a faculty member in the Institute of Child Development, her interests reside at the interface of cross-cultural psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology, with a particular focus on youth in the Majority World (i.e., developing countries), especially those in and from the Caribbean.

A major aim of Dr. Ferguson’s research is to identify and target risk and protective factors in prevention programs that promote the resilience and positive development of children, adoelscents, and youth and families in globalizing societies – both non-migrants globally and U.S. immigrants and refugees. She is particularly interested in the psychological impact of 21st Century globalization (e.g., media, migration, and multiculturalism) on adolescent identity, family relations, and health.

Dr. Ferguson directs two lines of translational research resulting in two preventive interventions:

  1. JUS Media? is a multi-format food-focused media literacy program for acculturating youth and families. There is a family-based in-person format for adolescents and parents in Jamaica, and a digital school-based format for secondary school students globally.
  2. CARPE DIEM is a dual-pronged digital antiracist parenting intervention that supports White mothers in their antiracist parenting journeys.