Alexandra Rush


As an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology and Human Development, my goal is to inspire a love of learning and sense of purpose in my students as they pursue their studies and career aspirations. I teach courses in the disciplines of Psychology and Human Development, and also collaborate with the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation at Montclair State University where I received my Ph.D. in Family Science and Human Development.

As a developmental scientist, I approach my work through the lens of a relational developmental systems metatheory which views human development as driven by reciprocal and dynamic person ↔ context relations over the lifespan. I’m especially interested in ecological contexts that support youth purpose and character virtue development, and how people transform adversity and traumatic experiences to create meaning in their lives.  


Purpose development; posttraumatic growth; family resilience; intergenerational trauma, including the effects of the Nazi and Soviet regimes on Poles and their descendants.


Refereed Journal Articles

Rush, A., Urban, J. B., Davis, W. J., & Linver, M. R. (2022). Exploring pathways to purpose in scouts. Journal of Adolescent Research. 1-32.

Rush, A. (2020). Exploring trauma, loss, and posttraumatic growth in Poles who survived the Nazi Era (1939-1945) and their descendants. The Polish Review, 65, 42-56.

Davis, W. J., Rush, A., Tevington, P., Urban, J. B., & Linver, M. R. (2020). Online trainings for non-formal educators: A case study of Boy Scouts of America leaders. The American Journal of Distance Education. 1-17.

Scholarship in Progress

Rush, A., Kochis, O., Belanger, B., Urban, J. B., & Linver, M. R. (2022). Navigating Unbound Spaces: Girls’ Experiences in Scouting [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Dickinson College and the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation, Department of Family Science and Human Development, Montclair State University, NJ.


  • Ph.D. in Family Science and Human Development from Montclair State University
  • M.A. in Psychology from Long Island University
  • B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers - State University of New Jersey