John Houser headshot

John Houser

Teaching Assistant Professor & Academic Advisor


John Houser received his graduate training in experimental psychology with an emphasis in developmental psychology at the University of Oklahoma. His mentor was Lara Mayeux who worked with him on peer relations research in areas of peer status and aggressive behaviors.

He then spent five years at Northern Arizona University as a lecturer teaching life-span development, research methods, and a senior capstone on psychology, law, and public policy. Additionally, he mentored undergraduate students in conducting psychological research.

Dr. Houser joined the department in the summer of 2016 as a Lecturer and Academic Advisor.

Research Interests

While not currently active in research, his area of expertise is in adolescent peer relationships focused on peer status and aggression. Researchers have identified two forms of status: Preference (being well-liked) and Popularity (being high status and visible). As individuals move into middle school these two constructs become less correlated over time. We also start to see popular adolescents become more likely to use aggressive behaviors (particularly social manipulation techniques) and his research investigated the effects this has on their social relationships. Additionally, popularity research has not been explored much after the high school years and looked at this as well.

  • Peer Status & Popularity
  • Aggressive Behaviors (especially Relational/Social Aggression) 
  • Risk-Taking Behaviors
  • Friendships and Mutual Antipathies/Enemies
  • Fraternities and Sororities 

Courses taught

  • PSY 234 - Psychology of Adolescence
  • PSY 485 - Psychology, Comics, and Visual Language
  • PSY 486 - Psychology, Law, and Public Policy


  • Ph.D., Experimental Psychology with emphasis in Development, University of Oklahoma, 2011
  • M.S., Experimental Psychology with emphasis in Development, University of Oklahoma, 2008
  • B.A., Psychology, State University of New York at Albany, 2005

Selected publications

  • Bies-Hernandez, N. J., Dunbar, N. D., Anderson, M. D., Busath, G. L., & Houser. J. J. (2016). Redesign of a Research Methods Course in Psychology: A Model for Teaching and Integrating Undergraduate Research. CURQ on the Web, 37(2).
  • Houser, J. J., Mayeux, L., & Cross, C. (2015). Peer status and aggression as predictors of dating popularity in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(3), 683-695.
  • Mayeux, L., Houser, J. J., & Dyches, K. D. (2011). Social acceptance and popularity: Distinct constructs with different correlates. In Cillessen, Schwartz, & Mayeux (Eds.), Popularity in the peer system. Guilford Press.