Skip to Content

Department of Psychology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Samuel McQuillin

Title: Associate Professor
School Program Director
Department: Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-6725
Office: Barnwell, 462
Sam Mcquillin

Dr. McQuillin is accepting students for the 2023 admissions cycle in the School Psychology Ph.D. Concentration


I study how schools and communities can work together to promote emotional, behavioral, and academic wellness in children who are environmentally or developmentally at-risk.  My work focuses on translating theories of child development to pragmatic prevention and intervention strategies. I am particularly interested in how and why relationships between young people and adult helpers (e.g. mentors) promote positive youth development. 

In my current projects I am focused on developing, testing, and implementing training and supervision models. In this work, I'm interested in how systems (e.g. schools, mental health agencies, training programs, etc.) can prepare helpers (e.g. psychologists, mentors, or paraprofessionals, etc.) to use evidence-based practices. This work sits at the intersection of implementation science, professional development, and clinical science. I am currently involved in projects focused on preparing psychologists to work with children and families affected by the opioid epidemic, training and coaching school mental health professionals in multi-tiered systems of support, and training lay and paraprofessional helpers in evidence-based practices (e.g. Motivational Interviewing). 

As faculty in the School Psychology Ph.D. program, I help prepare future scientist-practioners who want to work with school-aged children and their caregivers. After graduating, my doctoral students have been employed in hospitals, academic research settings, private practice, and K-12 school settings. I am also affiliated with the department's Quantitative Psychology Area of Emphasis and I serve as a quantitative methodologist on a broad range of research projects. 

Representative Publications

McQuillin, S. D., Hagler, M. A., Werntz, A., & Rhodes, J. E. (2022). Paraprofessional Youth Mentoring: A Framework for Integrating Youth Mentoring with Helping Institutions and Professions. American journal of community psychology, 69(1-2), 201–220.

Hart, M. Flitner, A., Kornbluh, M. Thompson, D., Davis, A., Lanza-Gregory, J., McQuillin, S., Gonzalez, J., & Strait, G. (2021) Combining MTSS and Community-Based Mentoring Programs, School Psychology Review, DOI: 10.1080/2372966X.2021.1922937

Cavell, T. A., Spencer, R., & McQuillin, S. D. (2021). Back to the Future: Mentoring as Means and End in Promoting Child Mental Health. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 50(2), 281–299.

Hart M., Sable, R., Gupta, A., McQuillin, S. (2022) Adapting a school-based motivational interviewing mentoring program for use in India. School Psychology International.

McQuillin, S., Lyons, M. (2021). A National Study of Mentoring Program Characteristics and Premature Match Closure: The Role of Program Training and Ongoing Support. Prevention Science. 10.1007/s11121-020-01200-9

Cavell, T., Spencer, R., McQuillin, S. (2021). Back to the Future: Mentoring as Means and End in Promoting Child Mental Health. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

McQuillin, S., McDaniel, H.(2021), Pilot randomized trial of brief school‐based mentoring for middle school students with elevated disruptive behavior. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Davis, A. & McQuillin, S. (2021) Supporting autonomy in youth mentoring relationships. Journal of Community Psychology.

 Hagler, M., McQuillin, S., Rhodes, J. (2019) Ideological profiles of adults and their support for youth mentoring. Journal of Community Psychology.

Lyons, M., McQuillin, S., Henderson, L. (2019) Finding the sweet spot: Investigating the effects of relationship closeness and instrumental activities in school-based mentoring. American Journal of Community Psychology.

McQuillin, S., Lyons, M., Becker, K., Hart1, M., Cohen1, K. (2019) Strengthening and expanding child services in low resource communities: The role of task-shifting and justin- time training. American Journal of Community Psychology.

McQuillin, S., Lyons, M., Clayton, B., Anderson, J. (2018) Assessing the impact of school-based mentoring: Common problems and solutions associated with evaluating non-prescriptive youth development programs. Applied Developmental Science.

McQuillin, S., Lyons, M (2016). Brief instrumental school-based mentoring for middleschool students: theory and impact. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 9(2), 73-89.

McQuillin, S., Smith, B., Strait, G., & Ingram, A., (2015). Brief Instrumental School-Based Mentoring for First and Second Year Middle School Students: A Randomized Evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(7), 885-889.

McQuillin, S., Smith, B., McLelland, B. (2014) Using practice-based evidence to inform the development of school-based mentoring. The Community Psychologist, 47(2), 31-32.

McQuillin, S., Terry, J., Strait, G., & Smith, B. (2013). Innovation in school-based mentoring: matching the context, structure, and goals of mentoring with evidence-based practices. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 6(4), 280-294.

McQuillin, S., Smith, B., & Strait, G. (2011). Randomized evaluation of a single semester transitional mentoring program for first year middle school students: A cautionary result for brief school-based mentoring programs. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(7), 844-859.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.