Faculty and Student Research
Scott Decker, Ph.D., Ball State University, Associate Professor
Neuropsychology, neuropsychology of reading and reading assessment, diagnostic decision-making, and evolutionary psychology. Dr. Decker has worked on numerous test projects including the Woodcock-Johnson Third Edition Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Tests of Achievement, the WJ III Diagnostic Supplement, Dean-Woodcock Neuropsychological Assessment System, and Stanford-Binet Fifth Edition.
Kimberly J. Hills, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Clinical Associate Professor
Prevention and intervention for at-risk youth, the middle to high school transition, adolescent well-being, teacher well-being, positive psychology, and longitudinal investigations of the interrelationships of adolescent well-being, stressful life events, psychopathological symptomatology; and life outcomes.
E. Scott Huebner, Ph.D., Indiana University, Professor
The positive psychology research lab (Drs. Huebner and Hills) is predicated on the notion that all children have strengths. Thus, the research typically focuses on the application of positive psychology and child well-being conceptualizations and measurements to school psychology and related areas (e.g., health promotion). Examples of studies include (1) examination of the interrelationships among positive well-being, behavior problems, personality, life events, and cognitive and behavioral coping strategies, (2) cross-cultural and cross-national studies of the comparability of well-being assessments and development; (3) antecedents and consequences of individual differences in school satisfaction; (4) utility of well-being measures with children with disabilities; and (5) relationships between adolescent risk behavior and psychological well-being.
Jane Roberts, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Professor
Dr. Roberts’ program of research is to examine developmental outcomes in infants and young children with neurodevelopmental disorders with a specific emphasis on early markers of autism in fragile X syndrome. Autism is a devastating and common developmental disorder and a major public health concern. Fragile X syndrome is the leading genetic cause of autism and is associated with moderate intellectual disabilities, attention problems and anxiety. Thus, the study of autism and fragile X syndrome offers the opportunity to advance our understanding of underlying biological, cognitive and behavioral mechanisms that affect these population, the general community and school systems more broadly. The majority of her work takes a family systems perspective and utilizes a prospective longitudinal design involving multiple measures from the at-risk child and family. I am very interested in measurement and employ psychophysiological, genetic, cognitive, developmental and psychiatric measures in my work. Much of Dr. Roberts’ work draws extensively from theories and methods from developmental neuroscience, and she has active collaborations with colleagues across multiple disciplines at USC and across the country including colleagues at UNC Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt University, and at the MIND Institute in Sacramento.
Mark D. Weist, Ph.D., Virginia Tech, Professor
Children, adolescents and families; school mental health; positive behavior intervention and support; quality assessment and improvement; family engagement and empowerment; evidence-based practice; cognitive behavioral therapy; trauma focused intervention; interdisciplinary and cross-systems collaboration; systems analysis and change; policy influence. Dr. Weist directed a national center for school mental health for 15 years and edits the journal, Advances in School Mental Health Promotion (www.schoolmentalhealth.co.uk). He is active in the Clinical/Community and School programs.
Dr. Stacy-Ann January, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Assistant Professor
Dr. January's research during her doctoral training focused on examining the technical characteristics of curriculum-based measures in reading for screening and monitoring students’ progress within a Response to Intervention framework. After earning her doctoral degree, she completed a 2-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln that was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). As an IES Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr. January engaged in prevention and intervention research projects aimed to improve the emotional and behavioral functioning of children and their families. She also received training in grant writing, research methodology, and advanced statistics. Dr. January is interested in prevention within multi-tiered systems of supports and/or problem-solving frameworks. More specifically, her work focuses on improving data-informed decision making in schools (e.g., screening, progress monitoring) and identifying evidence-based interventions that target children's academic and/or social/behavioral skills.
Prospective School Psychology Doctoral Students: Dr. January will be accepting students for Fall 2018. She is interesting in mentoring students who have strong interests in school-based prevention and intervention. Dr. January is committed to the recruitment and retention of students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in school psychology, such as (but not limited to) those who identify as a racial and/or ethnic minority.
Dr. Samuel McQuillin, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Assistant Professor
Dr. McQuillin studies how schools and communities can work together to promote emotional, behavioral, and academic wellness in children who are environmentally or developmentally at-risk. He is particularly interested in how theories of child development inform pragmatic prevention and intervention strategies. As part of his research he developed a youth mentoring program for early adolescent children based on practices from Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is an approach to having conversations about behavior change that is collaborative, youth centered, and goal-oriented. In my research, he is interested in learning how, why, and to what extent mentoring relationships can prevent school problems and promote positive behavior.
He encourages students who have strong academic records and interests in school-based intervention research to apply. He is particularly interested in students who have experience with youth mentoring programs, digital media development (e.g. web or software development, audio/video production), or quantitative research methods in applied settings.
An important training philosophy of the School Psychology program is providing mentoring and training opportunities for graduate students. Moreover, our program has a strong commitment to involving graduate students in the research and publication process. Recent publications with students:
Brown, C. & Cooper, S.M. (under review). Racial Socialization and the Academic Self-Esteem of African American Adolescents: Racial Private and Public Regard as Mediators?
Cooper, S.M. Brown, C., Metzger, I. & Guthrie, B. J. (2012). Racial discrimination and the psychological adjustment of African American male and female youth: Gender Variation in Family and Community Support Protective Factors. Journal of Child and Family Studies.
Cooper, S.M., Brown, C., Metzger, I., Avery, M. & Eaddy, H. (under review). African American Fathers’ Racial Socialization Practices: Racial Identity and Racial Discrimination Experiences as Correlates.
Cooper, S.M., Guthrie, B.J, Metzger, I., & Brown, C. (2011). Adolescent daily stressors and the psychological well-being of African American girls: Gender role orientation as a stress buffer? Sex Roles.
Cooper, S.M., Metzger, I. Brown, C., Avery, M., Eaddy, H., Shephard, C., &, Guthrie, B. (under review). Associations between Community Involvement and Risk Behavior Engagement among African American Adolescents: Intrapersonal Empowerment as a Mediator?
Guthrie, B.J., Cooper, S. M., Brown, C., & Metzger, I. (2012). Shades of Difference: Health Profiles among Girls of Color in the Juvenile Justice System. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved.
Huebner, E.S., Antaramian, S., & Lewis, A. (in press). Perceived quality of life research in children and youth: Empirical foundations and implications for systems of national indicators. In K. Land (Ed.), The well-being of American’s children: Developing and improving the Child and Youth Well-Being Index. New York: Springer.
Huebner, E.S., Gilman, R., & Ma, C. (2012). Subjective life satisfaction. In K. Land, J. Sirgy, & A. C. Michalos (Eds.), Handbook of social indicators and quality of life research (pp. 355-373).Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer.
Huebner, E.S., Hills, K.J., Jiang, L., Long, R., Kelly, R., & Lyons, M. (in press). Schooling and children’s subjective well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frones, & J. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
Long, R.M., Huebner, E.S., Hills, K.J., & Wedell, D. (2012). Measuring school-related subjective well-being in adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82, 50-60.
Mathews, M.R., Zullig, K.J., Ward, R.M., Horn, T., Huebner, E.S. (2012). An analysis of specific life satisfaction domains and disordered eating among college students. Social Indicators Research. 107, 55-69.
McCary, L.M., Grefer, M., Mounts, M., Robinson, A., Tonnsen, B., & Roberts, J. (2012). The importance of differential diagnosis in neurodevelopmental disorders: Implications for IDEIA.The School Psychologist., 66(2).
Roberts, J. E., Tonnsen, B. L., Robinson, A. N., & Shrinkareva, S. (2012). Heart activity and autistic behavior in toddlers with fragile X syndrome. American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 117(3), 121 – 137.
Robinson, A. N., Roberts, J. E., Brady, N., McQuillin, S., & Warren, S. F. (under review). Physiological correlates of maternal responsivity in mothers of preschoolers with fragile X syndrome.
Tonnsen, B. L, & Roberts, J.E. (under review). Heart activity as a biomarker of anxiety in young males with fragile X syndrome.
Tonnsen, B. L., Hatton, D. D., & Roberts, J. E. (in press). Early negative affect predicts anxiety, not autism, in preschool boys with fragile X syndrome, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
Wellborn, C., Huebner, E.S., & Hills, K.J. (in press). The effects of strengths-based assessment information on teachers of diverse learners. Child Indicators Research.
Weber, M., Ruch, W., & Huebner, E.S. (in press). Adaptation and validation of the German version of the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. European Journal of Psychological Assessment.
Whitley, A.M., Huebner, E.S., Hills, K.J., & Valois, R.F. (in press). Can students be too happy? The optimal level of school satisfaction. Applied Research in Quality of Life.
Lyons, M., Huebner, E.S., Hills, K.J., & Shinkareva, S. (in press). The dual-factor model of mental health: Further study of the determinants of group membership. Canadian Journal of School Psychology.
Decker, S. L., Englund, J. A., & Roberts, A. M. (2012). Higher-order factor structures for the WISC-IV: Implications for neuropsychological test interpretation. Applied Neuropsychology: Child. Manuscript accepted for publication.
Decker, S. L., Englund, J. A., & Albritton, K. (2012). Integrating multi-tiered measurement outcomes for special education eligibility with sequential decision-making methodology. Psychology in the Schools, 49(4), 368-384.
Decker, S. L., Englund, J. A., Carboni, J. A.,& Brooks, J. H. (2011). Cognitive and developmental influences in visual-motor integration skills in young children (Brief Report). Psychological Assessment, 23(4), 1010-1016.
Strait, G. G., McQuillin, S., Smith, B. H., & Englund, J. A. (2012). Using Motivational Interviewing with children and adolescents: A cognitive and neurodevelopmental perspective. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion.
Decker, S. L., Englund, J. A., & Roberts, A. M. (2011). Intellectual and neuropsychological assessment of individuals with physical and sensory disabilities and traumatic brain injury. In Flanagan, D. P., & Harrison, P. L. (Eds.) Contemporary Intellectual Assessment (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.
Decker, S. L., Carboni, J. A., & Englund, J. A. (2010). Assessing visual-spatial and construction skills in a pediatric population. In Davis, A. S. (Ed.) Handbook of Pediatric Neuropsychology. New York: Springer Publishing.
Palomares, M., Englund, J. A., & Ahlers, S. (2011). Patterns and trajectories in Williams Syndrome: the case of visual orientation discrimination. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(3), 1021-1029.
Englund, J. A., & Palomares, M. (2012). The relationship of global form and motion detection to reading fluency. Vision Research, 67, 14-21.
Englund, J. A., Decker, S. L., & Allen, R. A. (under review). Cognitive deficits in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and autism. Child Neuropsychology. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Roberts, A. M., Decker, S.L., & Englund, J. A. (under review). Cognitive predictors of rapid picture naming. Learning and Individual Differences. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Kim Hills (co-mentoring with Scott Huebner)