Graduate Program in School Psychology

Current School Psychology Research

The School Psychology faculty have active research labs that are investigating theoretical and practical issues of importance to infants, children, and adolescents.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is the best way to assess children for ADHD? How well trained are school psycholgists to assess and treat children with ADHD? What social support do children with ADHD perceive from significant sources in their lives? These are the types of questions Dr. Demaray has researched or published papers on regarding ADHD. Specifically, Dr. Demaray and her graduate students have published papers on current assessment methods of ADHD, and critiqued specific rating scales commonly used to assess ADHD. Dr. Demaray is also interested in the perceived social support of children with ADHD and teacher's judgments regarding these children.

Communicative Skills and Parent-Child Interactive Behaviors

How do young children develop the communicative and language abilities that provide a foundation for pre-literacy skills? How might young children's cognitive development and the interactions they share with their parents facilitate their acquisition of these communicative and language abilities? Dr. Masur and her graduate students are examining infants' and young children's development of verbal and action imitation and symbolic play and their mothers' provision of responsive and directive speech and behaviors to address these questions.

Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM)

CBM is a method of assessing students' academic skills that is gaining popularity in the schools and in the practice of school psychology.  Dr. Malecki and her graduate students are investigating issues related to CBM such as using CBM-Written Language probes as an intervention, developmental and gender differences in CBM-Written Language scores, and DIBELS (early literacy CBM) scores and the assessment of early literacy for students with Spanish as their primary language.

Peer Relationships and Applied Social Cognition

How do children think about their social worlds,  how does their thinking develop with age, and how does their social cognition affect their adjustment? Dr. Waas and his students have investigated the social problem solving of children who exhibit poor peer relationships. They have also examined how children form social evaluations about peers who exhibit adjustment problems. Most recently, they have investigated children’s perceptions of how peers attempt to cope with bullying behaviors and adolescents’ perceptions of suicide symptomatology. All of these projects share a focus on the way in which children form judgments about their social world and how these judgments impact their perceptions, emotions, and behavior.

Social Support

Several of the School Psychology faculty are studying issues surrounding the measurement of and importance of social support in the lives of children and adolescents. For example, Drs. Demaray and Malecki have a measure of social support, the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS, 2000) and use it to investigate how social support relates to adjustment for children and adolescents.  Furthermore, Drs. Demaray and Malecki are investigating how social support is related to bullying behavior in schools, and they are working with colleagues to develop ways educators can support the victims of bullying behavior as a crucial intervening and preventative factor in the bullying cycle.