Donna Henderson-King

Donna Henderson-King

Professor - Social Psychology/Indiv Diffs

  • B.A., Simon Fraser University
  • M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan

Pew Teaching Excellence Award 2003

Office: 2205 AuSable Hall

Phone: (616) 331-2909

Email: [email protected]



Pew Teaching Excellence Award 2003


Social Psychology

Courses Taught

PSY 360 - Social Psychology: Psychology's View

PSY 492 - Advanced General The Capstone

Research Interests

While I have also studied group/feminist consciousness and the meanings of education in students' lives, much of my research activity has been directed toward issues related to body-related concerns, attitudes, and behaviors, particularly how body-image concerns emerge within a social context. In collaboration with Eaaron Henderson-King, I have developed measures to assess individuals' acceptance of cosmetic surgery. I have also examined predictors of cosmetic surgery attitudes. For example, I have studied the role of peer and parental emphasis on physical attractiveness and their relationship to the degree to which young women would consider having cosmetic surgery themselves or accept it a way of enhancing attractiveness for intrapersonal or social reasons. Most recently, I have been examining women’s and men’s hair-related attitudes and behaviors, with an emphasis on awareness of social norms and gendered expectations regarding hair removal.

Current Research

My current research activity focuses on hair-related attitudes and behaviors among undergraduate women and men. In particular, a recent study was designed specifically to examine hair retention and hair removal. Though people may think of their own hair removal practices as based on personal choices about private grooming behavior, such practices are also shaped by normative pressures and socially based appearance anxiety. I expect findings from this study will help illuminate the gendered nature of hair removal in contemporary Western society as hair removal practices and the norms regarding such practices are undergoing change.

Presentations and Publications

Henderson-King, D., Rann, S. Affeldt, J., & Bulthuis, K. (2017, April). Hair removal among women and men: Self-reported practices and reasons. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Henderson-King, D., Ballew, B., Mathieu, S., & Rann, S. (2016). Hair removal: Behaviors and perceived norms among undergraduate women and men. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Midwestern Psychological Association Chicago, IL.

Stewart, A. J., Winter, D. G., Henderson-King, D., & Henderson-King, E. (2015). How politics become personal: Socio-historical events and their meanings in people’s lives. Journal of Social Issues, 71, 294-308.

Henderson-King, D., & Mitchell, A. (2011). Do materialism, intrinsic aspirations, and meaning in life predict students’ meanings of education? Social Psychology of Education, 14, 119-134.

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.

Page last modified October 21, 2021