Texas Tech University

Jacki Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: Jacki.Fitzpatrick@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 742-3000

Office: HS 310

Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2022

Jacki Fitzpatrick

Research Focus

Dr. Fitzpatrick has a Master's degree in marital/family therapy and Ph.D. in family studies.  She joined the Human Development & Family Sciences Department at Texas Tech University in 1994.  In collaboration with colleagues, her research interests have included marital and romantic relationships.  This research has explored individual characteristics (such as beliefs or personality traits) and interpersonal characteristics (such as communications with partners) that can contribute to relationship quality (e.g., commitment, satisfaction).  Dr. Fitzpatrick has also explored undergraduates' social adjustment to college and andragogy (which reflects the value of teaching and learning processes for college students).

Dr. Fitzpatrick is aware that romantic relationships and college adjustment exist in the context of individuals' social networks (e.g., family, friends).  Although it might be common to expect that network members might or should be supportive of individuals' choices (such as romantic partners), this expectation is not always fulfilled.  There are occasions in which network members respond aversively or attempt to interfere with individuals' choices. Some of Dr. Fitzpatrick's research has addressed social support and interference from significant others (such as family and friends).  

In addition, Dr. Fitzpatrick has some empirical interest in narrative psychology.  Narrative psychology addresses topics such as the ways in which biographies/stories reflect identity or interpersonal themes.  It also addresses the ways in which individuals can be engaged in the biographies/stories of others, such as fictional characters.  In this context, Dr. Fitzpatrick's work has included an analysis of themes within children's books about international adoption and parasocialism (connectedness to celebrities/characters).

Areas of Expertise

  • Nonmarital/marital relationships
  • Social competence/communication skills
  • Undergraduate students' social/academic experiences
  • Andragogy (teaching and learning processes with college students)
  • Social support/interference from family or friends
  • Narrative psychology (personal/social processes in biographical or fictional stories)
  • Parasocialism (individuals' connectedness to celebrities, athletes, fictional characters)

Selected Publications

Fitzpatrick, J. (In press). Alton Brown, “Good Eats” and audience engagement: Relevance of parasocial principles. In E. Newman and E. Whitsell (Eds.), Food, TV, Family and Culture: An Edited Collection on the Food Network. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishers.

Fitzpatrick, J. & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2020). The Asian-American model minority myth: Challenges and representations in children's adoption storybooks. Childhood Remixed, 7, 73-92.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2020). Service-learning: Options for student involvement. In A. Zimmerman (Eds.), Preparing students for community-engaged scholarship in higher education (pp. 187-213). New York, NY: IGI Global Publications.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). What I wish I could have learned from mentors while teaching as a graduate student. In R. Harnish K. Bridges, D. Sattler, M. Munson, S. Bridgen, F. Slack, & S. Smith (Eds.), Society for the Teaching of Psychology's Handbook on Mentorship: What I wish my mentor had told me (pp. 58-66). Society for the Teaching of Psychology: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/mentortoldme.

Reifman, A., Niehuis, S., Fitzpatrick, J., Chapman, J., Oldham, C., Scott, J., Fang, D., Yuan, S., Lieway, M., Walisky, D., & Gregersen, L. (2019). Ranking of Ph.D.- granting Human Development and Family Studies Departments via research and professional accomplishments. Family Science Review, 23, 1-21.

Reifman, A., Fitzpatrick, J., Niehuis, S., Chapman, J., Oldham, C., Scott, J., Fang, D., Yuan, S., Lieway, M., Walisky, D., & Gregersen, L. (2019). The journey of ranking Ph.D.-granting Human Development and Family Studies Departments. Family Science Review, 23, 91-97.

Fitzpatrick, J., & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2019). Utilization of a serious online game in a Human Development and Family Studies undergraduate public policy course. Family Science Review, 23, 2-23.

Busby, D., Boden, J., Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2017). Predicting partner enhancement in marital relationships: The family of origin, attachment, and social network approval. Journal of Family Issues, 38, 2178- 2199.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2017). Reverse planning a service learning activity for an undergraduate public policy course. In T. Newman & A. Schmitt (Eds.), Field- based learning in family life education: Facilitating high-impact experiences in undergraduate family science programs (pp. 143-151). New York, NY: Springer Publications.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2017). The “True Life” series: A media resource for connecting and teaching with undergraduate students. In R. Miller & T. Collette (Eds.), Teaching tips: A compendium of conference presentations on teaching, 2015-16 (pp. 260-267). Society for the Teaching of Psychology: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2016). Doing symbolic interactionism: Engaging students to foster comprehension of theoretical concepts/principles. Family Science Review, 21, 90-100.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2016). Exploring sculptures to teach family development theory: The walking tour activity. Family Science Review, 21, 71-89.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2016). Pop-up pedagogy: Sharing resources and generating teachable moments with students. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 108, 52-54.

Fitzpatrick, J., & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2016). Acknowledgement of birth country in picture storybooks about Chinese girls adopted by US families. Childhood Remixed, 5, 82-89.

Fitzpatrick, J., Kostina-Ritchey, E., & Hassanzadeh, S. (2016). The relevance of clinical/educational psychology principles to mentorship with student assistants. In M. Snipes & F. Salmone (Eds.), Passing the torch: Mentoring the next generation (pp. 63-78). Cambridge, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Fitzpatrick, J., & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2013). US families' adoption of Chinese daughters: A narrative analysis of family themes in children's books. Family Relations, 62, 58-71.

Fitzpatrick, J., & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2012). Sibling roles represented in children's books about Chinese-US family adoption. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 41, 183-197.

Fitzpatrick, J., & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2012). Emotional themes within international adoption children's books. Michigan Family Review, 16, 56-75.

Fischer, J., Fitzpatrick, J., & Cleveland, H. (2007). Linking family functioning to dating relationship quality via novelty seeking and harm avoidance personality pathways. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24, 575-590.

Sharp, E., Bermudez, M., Watson, W., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2007). Reflections from the trenches: Our development as feminist teachers. Journal of Family Issues, 28, 529-548.

Fitzpatrick, J. & Busby, D. (2006). Mentorship for HDFS graduate instructors: A model for “teaching the teachers”. Journal of Teaching in Marriage and Family: Innovations in Family Science Education, 6, 54-80.

Fischer, J., Fitzpatrick, J., Cleveland, B., Lee, J., McKnight, A., & Miller, B. (2005). Binge drinking in the context of romantic relationships. Addictive Behaviors, 30, 1496-1516.

Fitzpatrick, J. & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2015).  Representations of community involvement in children's literature about Chinese-born adopted girls.  Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 24, 148-167.

Fitzpatrick, J., Blazek, M., Kazcmierzak, M., Lewandowska-Walter, A., Pastwa-Wojciechowska,B. & Blazek, W.  (2014).  Lifestyle and close relationship trends among young adults in Poland.  Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 31, 928-937. 

Fitzpatrick, J. & Morgan, F.  (2014).  Dimensions of parasocialism and potential linkages to South American media.

A. Garcia & J. Fitzpatrick (Eds.), Romantic, marital and parasocial relationships (pp. 104-116).  Vitória, Brazil:  Federal University of Espirito Santo Press.

Fitzpatrick, J.  (2013).  The application of Kram's mentorship functions to a service learning assignment.  Journal of College and Character, 14, 185-192.

Fitzpatrick, J. & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2013).  Romantic/marital, parental and familial relationship policies in the US.  In M. Robila (Ed.), Handbook of family policies across the globe(pp. 373-388).  New York, NY:  Springer.

Fitzpatrick, J. & Kostina-Ritchey, E. (2013).  An epidemic simulation in a public policy course.Academic Exchange Quarterly, 17, 17-23.

Quek, K. & Fitzpatrick, J.  (2013).  Cultural values, self-disclosure and conflict tactics as predictors of marital satisfaction among Singaporean husbands and wives.  Family Journal:  Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 21, 208-216.

Fitzpatrick, J.  (2012).  Highlighting the cross-disciplinary relevance to students in a required course.  Family Science Review, 17, 91-101.

Fitzpatrick, J.  (2012).  Support and interference from social network members:  A conceptual framework.  In M. Paludi (Ed.), Psychology of love(pp.73-88).  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Publishers.  

Fitzpatrick, J. & Gerrity, R.  (2012).  Principles of good coaching: Implications for psychology instructors' skill development. In S. Baker & J. Holmes (Eds.), Essays from e-xcellence in teaching XII (pp. 37-42).  Washington, DC:  Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

McGaha, V. & Fitzpatrick, J.  (2010).  Employment, academic and extracurricular contributors to college aspirations.  Journal of College Admissions, 207, 22-29.

Fitzpatrick, J., Boden J. & Kostina-Ritchey, E.  (2010).  Student engagement challenges in teaching about controversial issues.  Journal of Graduate and Professional StudentDevelopment, 13, 84-102.

Fitzpatrick, J., Sharp, E. & Reifman, A.  (2009).  Midlife singles' willingness to date partners with heterogeneous characteristics.  Family Relations, 58, 121-133. 

Fitzpatrick, J., Liang, S., Feng, D., Crawford, D., Sorell, G. & Morgan-Fleming, B.  (2006).  Social values and self-disclosure:  A comparison of Chinese native, Chinese resident (in U.S.) and American spouses.  Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 37, 113-127.

Fitzpatrick, J., Feng, D. & Crawford, D.  (2006).  The role of loneliness, network support, and network interference in undergraduate women's homesickness.  In A. Garcia (Ed.), Personal relationships: International studies (pp. 33-39). Vitória, Brazil:  Federal University of Espirito Santo Press.  

McGaha, V. & Fitzpatrick, J.  (2005).  Personal and social contributors to dropout risk for undergraduate students.  College Student Journal, 39, 287-297.


Research Website

Relationships, Social Networks, and Media

Meet Jacki Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.