Nora D. Dunbar, PhD

Nora D. Dunbar Senior Lecturer & Associate Chair
Northern Arizona University
Blg 60 Rm #339
Phone: 928-523-7241

PhD Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, 2003
MS Developmental Psychology, University of California Santa Cruz, 1997
BA Psychology, Sonoma State University, 1992

Professional interests

Dr. Dunbar's general research interests are in developmental and family psychology. Her most recent research concerns development during emerging adulthood, adoptive families, identity formation (e.g., adoptive, ethnic, sexual), educational pathways of foster youth, the teaching of psychology and health and well-being of individuals in dual-military marriages.

Recent publications 

  • Grotevant, H.D., Dunbar, N., Kohler, J.K., & Esau, A.L. (2007). Adoptive identity: How contexts within and beyond the family shape developmental pathways. In R.A. Javier, A.L. Baden, R.A. Biafora, & A. Comacho-Gingerich (Eds.), Handbook of adoption. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 
  • Dunbar, N., van Dulmen, M.H.M., Ayers-Lopez, S., Berge, J.M., Christian, C., Gossman, G., Henney, S.M., Mendenhall, T.J., Grotevant, H.D., & McRoy, R.G. (2006). Processes linked to contact changes in adoptive kinship networks. Family Process, 45, 449-464.
  • Grotevant, H.D., van Dulmen, M., Dunbar, N., Nelson-Christinedaughter, J., Christensen, M., Fan, X., & Miller, B.C. (2006). Antisocial Behavior of Adoptees and Nonadoptees: Prediction from Early History and Adolescent Relationships. Journal of Research on Adolescence 16(1), 105-131.
  • Denner, J., Cooper, C., Dunbar, N., & Lopez, E. (2005). Access to opportunity: How Latino students in a college outreach program think about obstacles and resources. Journal of Latinos and Education, 4(1), 21-41.
  • Dunbar, N., & Grotevant, H.D. (2004). Adoption narratives: The construction of adoptive identity during adolescence. In M.W. Pratt & B.H. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the life course: Across time and generations. (pp. 135 - 161). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 
  • Denner, J., & Dunbar, N. (2004). Negotiating femininity: Power and strategies of Mexican American girls. Sex Roles, 50(5-6), 301-314.
  • Fan, X., Miller, B.C., Christensen, M., Bayley, B., Park, K., Grotevant, H.D., van Dulmen, M.H.M, & Dunbar, N. (2002). Questionnaire and interview inconsistencies exaggerated differences between adopted and non-adopted adolescents in a national sample. Adoption Quarterly, 6(2), 7-27.
  • Van Dulmen, M.H.M., Grotevant, H.D., Dunbar, N., Miller, B.C., Bailey, B., Christensen, M, Fan, X. (2002). Connecting national survey data with DSM-IV criteria. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31 (6), 475 - 481. 
  • Miller, B.C., Fan, X., Bayley, B., Christensen, M., Coyle, D., Grotevant, H.D., van Dulmen, M., & Dunbar, N. (2001). Who is adopted: Measuring adoption status using national survey data. Adoption Quarterly, 5 (1), 23-44.
  • Grotevant, H.G., Dunbar, N., Kohler, J.K., & Esau, A.L. (2000). Adoptive identity: How contexts within and beyond the family shape developmental pathways. Family Relations, 49, 379-387.
  • Denner, J., Cooper, C.R., Lopez, E.M., & Dunbar, N. (1999). Beyond “Giving Science Away”: How University Partnerships Inform Youth Programs, Research, and Policy. Social Policy Report: Society for Research in Child Development, XIII, 1.


Dr. Dunbar regularly teaches undergraduate courses in statistics and research methods, and involves students in her research through the department’s undergraduate research program. In addition she teaches developmental psychology and a capstone class in professional development. At the graduate level she teaches intermediate and multivariate statistics.