Faculty Profiles

Dr. Sarah Kiefer

Professor and Program Coordinator, educational psychology

Kiefer headshot

Email: kiefer@usf.edu
Phone: (813) 974-0155


Dr. Sarah Kiefer earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Kiefer’s research specializes in adolescent motivation and development and focuses on supporting the adolescent learner by examining the interplay between social and academic factors at school.

Dr. Kiefer has three active and interrelated strands of research:

  • Examining adolescents’ academic and social motivation, how it develops over time, and how it relates to social, psychological, and academic adjustment
  • Identifying the role of peer relationships in adolescent development and school adjustment
  • Promoting developmentally responsive learning environments for adolescent learners.

Her main research goal is to increase researchers’ and practitioners’ understanding of motivation and development in order to best support the needs of adolescents.

Dr. Kiefer is actively involved in students’ dissertation committees. She enjoys working with Ph.D. students in her Adolescent Motivation and Development Research Lab on topics related to adolescent motivation, peer relations, and the role of teachers in supporting adolescent learners. Dr. Kiefer is currently accepting Ph.D. students.