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Department of Psychology

Faculty and Student Research

Faculty Research

Sarah R. Edmunds, Ph.D., University of Washington, Assistant Professor

Community implementation of evidence-based interventions for the impairments that are associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including social communication, social skills, flexibility, externalizing behaviors, emotion regulation, and anxiety; Equitable community access to interventions; Implementation science; Family quality of life & ASD; Individual differences in intervention efficacy; Mechanisms of intervention efficacy. 

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 (5) relationships between adolescent risk behavior and psychological well-being.

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.

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.  She is 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 (  He is active in the Clinical/Community and School programs.


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. In 2016 and 2017, faculty averaged 11 publications each. Approximately 60% of publications are with students.


Faculty Currently Accepting Students for Fall 2020 Enrollment:

  • Scott Decker
  • Samuel McQuillin
  • Sarah R. Edmunds
  • E. Scott Huebner

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.