Educational Psychology

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College of Education and Human Development wordmark.
Department of Educational Psychology wordmark.

Research lab: Amanda Sullivan


  • Education and health disparities affecting students with special needs
  • Special education policy and services
  • Psychoeducational services for diverse learners


Special Needs and Early Intervention Receipt among Young Children of Immigrants

This project examines prevalence of special needs among children from immigrant families, as well as participation in early intervention and special education, using large-scale, nationally-representative datasets.

Patterns and Determinants of Disparities in Autism Treatment among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children

In this project, large-scale, nationally-representative datasets are used to examine sociodemographic differences in autism identification and treatment.

When the Shield Becomes a Sword: Racial Bias in Special Education Identification

This project applies experimental methods to ascertain whether racial bias affects referral and eligibility decisions for special education, and the relations of those decisions to clinician characteristics.

Can ECSE Make a Difference for Children with Developmental Delays and Disabilities?

This project seeks to identify the specific elements of ECSE settings and services that promote positive kindergarten outcomes among young children with special needs

"We use national datasets and other methods to understand disparities in the treatment and outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students with and at-risk for disabilities and to identify malleable related factors in order to inform policy and practice to better support students’ educational needs. My students are involved in all aspects of the research and dissemination processes."

Amanda Sullivan headshot

Amanda Sullivan

  • Lab director
  • Program coordinator, school psychology
  • Associate professor, school psychology program, Department of Educational Psychology

Research group

Elyse M. Farnsworth headshot

Elyse M. Farnsworth PhD graduate student, school psychology

Elyse M. Farnsworth has been a graduate research assistant in Dr. Amanda Sullivan's lab since August 2014. In this role, she assists with data analysis and interpretation as well as paper and research presentation preparation. Her research interests center around prevention and early intervention of delays and disabilities with a focus on policy change and program effectiveness.

Alaa Houri headshot

Alaa Houri PhD graduate student, school psychology

Alaa’s research interests include exploring the socioemotional and educational needs of immigrant and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in various academic settings and expand our knowledge on how best to support them through appropriate intervention and supports. She would also like to explore the issue of racial disproportionality that exists in special education in order to provide students with the most optimal and appropriate educational services and supports.

Recent publications

Sullivan, A. L., Kohli, N., & *Farnsworth, E. M.,* Jones, L., & *Sadeh, S. (in press). Longitudinal models of reading achievement of students with LD and without disabilities. School Psychology Quarterly.

Sullivan, A. L., *Houri, A., & *Sadeh, S. (2016). Demography and early academic skills of students from immigrant families: The kindergarten class of 2011. School Psychology Quarterly, 31, 149-62.

Sullivan, A. L. & *Sadeh, S. S. (2015). Psychopharmacological treatment among adolescents with disabilities: Prevalence and predictors in a nationally representative sample. School Psychology Quarterly, 30, 443-455.

Sullivan, A. L. (2013). School-based autism identification: Prevalence, racial disparities, and systemic correlates. School Psychology Review, 42, 298-316.

Sullivan, A. L., & Field, S. (2013). Do preschool special education services make a difference in kindergarten reading and mathematics skills?: A propensity score weighting analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 51, 243-260.

Sullivan, A. L. & *Sadeh, S. S. (2014). Differentiating social maladjustment from emotional disturbance: An analysis of case law. School Psychology Review, 43, 250-271.

Sullivan, A. L., *Van Norman, E., & *Klingbeil, D. (2014). Exclusionary discipline of students with disabilities: Student and school characteristics predicting suspension. Remedial and Special Education, 35, 199-210.

*student author