Dr. Kneia DaCosta
Dr. Kneia DaCosta

Kneia DaCosta

I study adolescent and emerging adult experiences within their school contexts. I focus on an array of attitudes and behaviors related to these frequently mental health- and health-related phenomena.

Kneia DaCosta, Chair of the Psychology Department, received her B.A. in Psychology at Wittenberg University, a small liberal arts (Ursinus-like) college in Ohio. She later received her Ph.D. in Human Development (an interdisciplinary program housed in the Department of Psychology at the time of her attendance) and Mental Health from the University of Chicago. As part of her clinical training, she completed an internship at Miami University Student Counseling Center, followed by post-doctoral training at the Counseling and Consultation Service of The Ohio State University.

Her research has focused mainly on urban adolescents, and the ways in which they negotiate identity development in various social and cultural contexts. Her dissertation was based on a study focused on the transition to high school for early adolescents in Chicago (The Student Life in High Schools Project, part of the Consortium on Chicago School Research). Her present research is also based in a project focused on urban education: Boys are from Mars? Girls are from Venus? Can Single-sex Education Improve Middle School Outcomes? Other projects and interests include the study of body image and eating/food attitudes and habits & nutritional policy.




  • B.A., Wittenberg University
  • M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago


Introductory Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Adolescent Psychology


The Common Intellectual Experience

Research Interests

Dr. Kneia DaCosta’s most recent scholarly projects include evaluations of media literacy interventions aimed at helping adolescents to optimally interact with their media environments (e.g. critical appraisal of junk food and fashion advertising) and investigations of body ideals and objectification within emerging adult communities.