Olga Kornienko

Olga Kornienko

Olga Kornienko

Associate Professor

Applied Developmental Psychology: Adolescent Development, Peer Relationships, Friendships, Social Network Analysis, Psychological Adjustment, Ethnic-Racial Identity Development, Intergroup Peer Relationships, Biological Processes, which Underpin Stress, Social Status, and Immunity

Dr. Olga Kornienko is an Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University. Her research examines how peer social networks promote and constrain psychological adjustment, intergroup processes, health, and the development of ethnically diverse and immigrant youth.

Dr. Kornienko is considering applications from prospective graduate students to join the lab for the 2024-25 academic year. For more information, please see Peer Networks & Development Lab website.

Dr. Kornienko approaches her research from an interdisciplinary perspective drawing on theories and methods from developmental psychology, human development and family science, sociology, network science, and behavioral endocrinology. She employs longitudinal research designs, social network analysis, and advanced statistical modeling approaches to understand how social dynamics shape developmental, psychosocial, and physiological outcomes. She uses multi-method assessment tools including self- and peer reports, salivary measurement of hormones related to stress and social status, and immune system biomarkers to capture youth development in naturalistic settings (e.g., schools, organizations).

Before joining Mason, she has been an Assistant Research Professor (non-tenure track) at Arizona State University (Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, and Department of Psychology). Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health. She serves on the editorial boards of Developmental Psychology and Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Current Research

Dr. Kornienko's current research projects focus on understanding the role of peer ethnic-racial socialization as well as the benefits and challenges of intergroup connections (i.e., across race and ethnicity) in the networks of diverse youth. She also investigates the role of cultural assets (e.g., ethnic-racial identity development) and social network resources for adolescent development and health as they transition into and navigate college.

Selected Publications

Kornienko, O., Rambaran, J.A., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2022). Interpersonal racism and peer relationships: An integrative framework and directions for research. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 80, 101414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2022.101414 Special Issue on Understudied Social Issues in Peer Relationship Research: A Call to Action 

Kornienko, O., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2022). Adolescent intergroup connections and their developmental benefits: Exploring contributions from social network analysis. Social Development, 31, 9-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12572

Kornienko, O., Riis, J., Davila, M., White, N., & Garner, P.W. (2022). Preliminary insights into associations between C-reactive protein and social network dynamics. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 139, 105690. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105690

Kornienko, O., Schaefer, D. R., Ha, T., & Granger, D. A. (2020). Loneliness and cortisol are associated with social network regulation. Social Neuroscience. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2019.1709540.

Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Kornienko, O., McDermott, E., & Motti-Stefanidi, F. (2019). National identity development and friendship network dynamics among immigrant and non-immigrant youth. Journal of Youth & Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01181-1.

Kornienko, O., Davila, M., & Santos, C. E. (2019). Friendship network dynamics of aggressive and rule-breaking antisocial behaviors in adolescence. Journal of Youth & Adolescence. doi: 10.1007/s10964-019-01109-9

Kornienko O., Ha, T., & Dishion, T. J. (2019). Dynamic pathways between rejection and antisocial behavior in peer networks: Update and test of confluence model. Development and Psychopathology. doi:10.1017/S0954579418001645 

Cheng, J.T., Kornienko, O., & Granger, D. A. (2018). Prestige in a large-scale social group predicts longitudinal changes in testosterone. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,114, 924-944.  doi:10.1037/pspi0000126.

Kornienko, O., Agadjanian, V., Menjivar, C., & Zotova, N. (2017). Financial and emotional support in close personal ties among Central Asian migrant women in Russia. Social Networks. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2017.04.006

Santos, C. E., Kornienko, O., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2017). Peer influence on ethnic-racial identity development: A multi-site investigation. Child Development, 88, 725-742. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12789.

Kornienko, O., Santos, C. E., Martin, C. L., & Granger, K. L. (2016). Peer influence on gender identity development in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 52, 1578-1592. doi: 10.1037/dev0000200.

Kornienko, O., Schaefer, D. R., Weren, S., Hill, G., & Granger, D. A. (2016). Cortisol and testosterone associations with social network dynamics. Hormones & Behavior, 80, 92-102. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.01013

Kornienko, O., Santos, C. E., & Updegraff, K. (2015). Friendship networks and ethnic identity development: Contributions from social network analysis. In C. E. Santos & A. Umaña-Taylor (Eds.), Studying ethnic identity: Methodological advances and considerations for future research (pp.177-202). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/14618-008

Martin, C. L.,* Kornienko, O.,* Schaefer, D. R., Hanish, L. D., Fabes, R. A., & Goble, P. (2013). The role of sex of peers and gender-typed activities in young children’s peer affiliative networks: A longitudinal analysis of selection and influence. Child Development, 84, 921-937. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12032. *Equal contributions


Grants and Fellowships

2021-2023. National Endowment for the Arts. Role: Co-Investigator. (PI: T. Goldstein, CO-I: D. Young). To support a study examining the longitudinal positive effects of marching arts on feelings of belongingness, social bonding, and inclusivity for minority students. 

2021-2023. Spencer Foundation, The Racial Equity Special Research Grant (Grant# 202100291). Role: Co-Investigator (PI: T. Ha; Co-I: Hernández, M., Rogers, A.). Re-imagining Latinx adolescents’ academic success: How cultural assets and social relationships protect against the effects of discrimination. 

2016-2018. Loan Repayment Award. National Institute of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Clinical Research (L30 DA042448)

2014-2017. Role: Co-Investigator. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH. Behavioral and institutional barriers to HIV prevention among migrant women. (1R21HD078201)

Courses Taught

PSYC 301 Research Methods (face-to-face, online)

PSYC 314 Adolescent Development (face-to-face, online)

PSYC 461/592/892 Adolescence: Development, Peers, and Health 

PSYC 654 Naturalistic Research Methods in Psychology

PSYC 651 Social Networks Research in Psychological Science



Ph.D., Family and Human Development, The Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University. 2010

M.S., Family and Human Development, The Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University. 2007 

B.S., Psychology, Bellevue University. 2002

B.S. (equiv.), Psychology, Concentration: Physiological Psychology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia). 2002

Recent Presentations

Young, D., Goldstein, T. R., & Kornienko, O. (2022, May). Critical collective: The role of friendship networks in development of critical consciousness among HBCU students. Paper presented at the SRCD 2022 Special Topic Meeting: Construction of the 'Other': Development, Consequences, and Applied Implications of Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination.

Kornienko, O., White, N.S., & Davila, M. (2022, May). Peers and discrimination: A systematic review and next steps with social network analysis. Paper presented at the SRCD 2022 Special Topic Meeting: Construction of the 'Other': Development, Consequences, and Applied Implications of Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination.

Dissertations Supervised

Marissa Davila, Peer Selection Dynamics in Friendship and Antipathy Networks: Contributions from Peer Stress and Gender (2022)