Donna Henderson-King

Donna Henderson-King

B.A., Simon Fraser University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan
Office: 2205 AuSable Hall
Phone: (616) 331-2909

Office Hours


Social / Personality Psychology and Women's Studies

Courses Taught

PSY 101 - Introductory Psychology

PSY 360 - Social Psychology: Psychology's View

PSY 367 - Health Psychology

PSY 380 - Psychology and the Female Body

WGS 300 - Perspectives on Gender

WGS 360 - Contemporary Feminist Theory

WGS 300 - Research Methods in Women and Gender Studies

Research Interests

My primary research interests fall within three areas: 1) group, especially feminist, consciousness; 2) body-image, socialization, and attitudes about cosmetic surgery; and 3) the meaning of university education. I currently have ongoing projects in the two latter areas.

I am interested in body-image and in attitudes about cosmetic surgery among the general population and have been conducting research on some of the factors that influence such attitudes. Because cosmetic surgery is highly gendered and women make up the vast majority of cosmetic surgery patients, some of my research in this area focuses specifically on women. In a recent paper, Kelly Brooks, a Grand Valley graduate, and I described a study conducted with undergraduate women. We found that materialism and the internalization of sociocultural messages about attractiveness were predictors of young women’s acceptance of cosmetic surgery and their desire for cosmetic surgical procedures (Henderson-King & Brooks, 2009).

I am also interested in students’ experience of their undergraduate education and, in particular, in the meaning they make of the university experience. I have conducted interviews and survey studies with undergraduate students to examine the meaning of education in their lives and to explore whether such meanings are related to their academic motivation and their values. Findings from two of these studies are presented in a paper I wrote with another Grand Valley graduate, Michelle Smith (Henderson-King & Smith, 2006).

Representative Publications

Body-image/Attitudes about cosmetic surgery:

Henderson-King, D., & Brooks, K. D. (2009). Materialism, Sociocultural Appearance Messages, and Paternal Attitudes Predict College Women’s Attitudes about Cosmetic Surgery. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 133-142.  pdf

Henderson-King, D., & Henderson-King, E. (2005). Acceptance of cosmetic surgery: Scale development and validation. Body Image: An International Journal of Research, 2, 137-149.  pdf

Henderson-King, D., Henderson-King, E. I., & Hoffmann, L. L. (2001). Media images and women’s self-evaluations: Social context and importance of attractiveness as moderators. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1407-1416.

Meaning of education:

Henderson-King, D., & Smith, M. N. (2006). Meanings of education for university students: Academic motivation and personal values as predictors. Social Psychology of Education, 9, 195-221pdf

Group/feminist consciousness:

Henderson-King, D., & Kaleta, A. (2000).  Learning about social diversity: The undergraduate experience and intergroup tolerance.  Journal of Higher Education, 71, 142-164. pdf

Henderson-King, D., & Stewart, A. J. (1999).  Educational experiences and shifts in group consciousness: Studying women. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 390-399. pdf

Henderson-King, D., & Stewart, A. J. (1997). Feminist consciousness: Perspectives on women's experience. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 415-426. 

Page last modified April 27, 2018