Professor & Department Chair, Psychology Department
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., Boston University

University of California, Santa Cruz
Department of Psychology
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Psychology Department is located in Social Sciences 2
Faculty Office: Room 355 
Department Chair Office: Room 258

Phone: 831-459-5084 (message only)


Campbell Leaper is a developmental and social psychologist who investigates gender and sexism during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood (see "Research Interests" below and Research link for more information). 

Professor Leaper's work has been featured in multiple news articles, including The New York Times [1] [2] [3], The Washington Post, USA TodaySanta Cruz SentinelNational Public RadioCBS NewsBBCKGO, Slate [1] [2], Yahoo! NewsLiveScience, ScienceDaily, EurekAlert!Psychology Today, BuzzfeedJezebel, Wired, and the American Association of University Women.


Research Interests

(See Research page for more information)

  • Social construction and socialization of gender in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood
  • Sexist attitudes and experiences with sexism
  • Gender ideologies
  • Self-concept and personal identity
  • Social identity; intersection of gender and other social identities
  • Language and social interaction
  • Peer groups, friends, families, and other social relationships
  • Gender bias in the schools
  • Girls, women, and underrepresented students in STEM
  • Academic and athletic achievement
  • Representations of gender in the media

Professor Leaper also organizes and co-chairs the biennial Gender Development Research Conference, which is held every two years in San Francisco.



Current Research Projects

(See Research page for more information.) 

  • Self-concepts, attitudes, and experiences predicting STEM persistence in underrepresented undergraduates (with Lisa Hunter, Christy Starr, and others)
  • Experiences with sexism and stereotyped beliefs in relation to girls' and women's STEM motivation and career aspirations (with Christy Starr)
  • Participation in STEM internships and clubs in relation to high school students' gender identities,  peer relations, and STEM motivation (with Christy Starr)
  • Representations of gender in television programs for preschool children (with Abigail Walsh)
  • Gender ideologies and ambivalent sexism in relation to young adults' heterosexual dating relationships (with Timea Farkas and Brenda Gutierrez)
  • Gender-related variations in parents' messages to young children about science (with Tess Haifley)
  • Family messages about gender, benevolent sexism, and romantic relationships among undergraduates from diverse ethnic backgrounds (with May Ling Halim and Brenda Gutierrez)
  • Gender and racial-ethnic identities, experiences with ingroup and intergroup discrimination, and self-esteem (with Antoinette Wilson)

For Prospective Graduate Students

Professor Leaper advises and collaborates with graduate students in the developmental psychology program. If you are interested in applying, please send an email to Professor Leaper to see if he anticipates any openings. If so, please include a brief description of your background and research interests. 

For information on current and former graduate students as well as former undergraduate students working with Professor Leaper, please go to Students page. Also, pictures of current and former students working in Professor Leaper's lab can be found at the Photo Album