You are here

Ellen Hawley McWhirter

Ellen Hawley McWhirter's picture

Contact Info

Office Location: 
261 HEDCO Education Building Eugene, OR 97403-5251
(541) 346-2443
Ann Swindells Professor in Counseling Psychology
B. A. 1983 Psychology, University of Notre Dame
M. C. 1988 Counseling, Arizona State University
Ph.D. 1992 Counseling Psychology, Arizona State University

Ellen Hawley McWhirter is the Ann Swindells Professor in Counseling Psychology. She directs the Spanish Language Psychological Services and Research Specialization.  Her current research and scholarship are focused on Latina/o adolescents and factors that influence their postsecondary plans and school engagement, including critical consciousness, experiences of discrimination, and documentation status.


Recent sample publications:

McWhirter, E.H., Garcia, E.A., & Bines, D.  (2017, in press). Discrimination and other education barriers, school connectedness, and thoughts of dropping out among Latina/o students. Journal of Career Development.

Diemer, M.A., Rapa, L.J., Voight, A.M., & McWhirter, E.H. (2016).  Critical consciousness: A developmental approach to addressing marginalization and oppression. Child Development Perspectives, 10(4), 216-221. DOI:   10.1111/cdep.12193

McWhirter, J. J., McWhirter, B. T., McWhirter, E. H., & McWhirter, A.C. (2017). At-risk youth: A comprehensive response (6th Ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Luginbuhl, P.J., McWhirter, E. H., & McWhirter, B. T. (2016). Sociopolitical development, autonomous motivation, and education outcomes among low income Latina/o adolescents. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 4(1), 43-59.

McWhirter, E.H., & McWhirter, B. T. (2016). Developing a measure of Latina/o adolescent critical consciousness. Journal of Career Assessment, 24(3), 543-558. DOI: 10.1177/1069072715599535

Diemer, M., McWhirter, E.H., Ozer, E.J., & Rapa, L. (2015). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of critical consciousness. The Urban Review, 47(5), 809-823. doi: 10.1177/1069072715599535

Dutre-Thomé, L., Koller, S. H., McWhirter, E. H., & McWhirter, B. T. (2015). Escala de Expectativas Futuras para Adolescentes: Uma Medida de Perspectivas Futuras Aplicada no Brasil (Future Expectation Scale for Adolescents: A Measure of Youth Future Prospects Applied in Brazil). Psicologia:Reflexão e Crítica, 28(2).

Hidalgo, N., McIntyre, L. L., & McWhirter, E. H. (2015). Sociodemographic differences in parental satisfaction with autism diagnosis. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. Doi: 10.3109/13668250.2014.994171

Pham, Y. K., McWhirter, E. H., & Murray, C. J. (2014). Measuring help-seeking behaviors: Factor structure, reliability, and validity among youth with disabilities. Journal of Adolescence, 37(3), 237-246.

McWhirter, E. H., Luginbuhl, P. J., & Brown, K. (2014). ¡Apóyenos! Latina/o student recommendations for high school supports. Journal of Career Development, 41(1), 3-23.

McWhirter, E. H., Valdez, M., & Caban, A. R. (2013). Latina adolescents’ plans, barriers, and supports: A focus group study. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 1(1), 35-52.

McWhirter, E. H., Ramos, K., & Medina, C. (2013). ¿Y ahora qué? Immigration status barriers and Latina/o high school students’ future expectations. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19, 288-297.

McWhirter, E. H. (2013). Vocational psychology, offenders and ex-offenders, and social justice: A critical psychology perspective. The Counseling Psychologist, 41(7), 1041-1052.

Joyce, J. A., O’Neil, M. E., Stormshak, E., McWhirter, E. H., & & Dishion, T. J. (2013). Peer associations and coping: The mediating role of ethnic identity for urban, African American adolescents. Journal of Black Psychology, 39, 431-454. 

Metheny, J., & McWhirter, E. H. (2013). Contributions of social status and family support to college students’ career decision-making self-efficacy and outcome expectations. Journal of Career Assessment, 21(3), 378–394

McWhirter, E.H. (2013). Still walking. In M. E. Gallardo (Ed.) Developing Cultural Humility: Embracing Culture: Embracing Race, Privilege, and Power. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

McWhirter, E. H., & McWhirter, B. T. (2012). Critical perspectives on vocational guidance in Chile. Journal of Career Development, 39(4), 386 - 404.



Dr. E. McWhirter's empirical research is focused on adolescent career development, with a particular focus on the educational persistence and career development of Latina/o adolescents. This work is informed by social cognitive career theory, which attends to how personal and contextual factors influence the formulation of career interests, and the translation of these interests into goals, actions, and attainments (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994; 2000).

Current projects focus on factors associated with Latina and Latino adolescents' postsecondary plans and school engagement, including critical consciousness, sociopolitical development, and experiences of discrimination. Dr. McWhirter is also interested in the constructs of perceived barriers and supports, self-efficacy expectations, and outcome expectations and their relationships with adolescent career development outcomes. She is a member of the UO Dreamers Working Group, which aims to enhance awareness, supports, and resources for undocumented and mixed-status students on campus.

A Fulbright Scholar  (Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile, 2004), her research has been recognized by the Society for Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association with the Fritz and Lynn Kuder Early Career Scientist-Practitioner award in 2001 and the John Holland Award for Outstanding Achievement in Career or Personality Research in 2008. In 2015 she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Vocational Psychology.