Educational Psychology

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Research lab: LeAnne Johnson


  • Examining ways to motivate and engage adults in decision making that leads to adoption and implementation of interventions that effectively improve the quality and quantity of learning opportunities available to young children who engage in challenging behavior
  • Improving professional development systems to close the research to practice gap and speed the process of installing new innovations into effective, sustainable practices
  • Evaluating the efficacy of interventions addressing the social and communication needs of young children with Autism and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders


Project Engage

With the support of a $1.4 million grant from the Institute for Education Sciences (Award #R324A170032), the Project Engage research team is currently designing a brief, direct, technology-enhanced, cloud-based observational tool, called ENGAGE, that will help teachers, coaches, administrators, and researchers simultaneously measure and evaluate adult interaction practices (known to increase engagement) and child engagement.

Improving implementation of effective interventions by improving the professional development system

This project involves working within large professional development systems to close the research to practice gap by supporting processes and procedures that enhance adoption and sustainable implementation of effective practices across a broad array of early childhood settings.

Regulatory Focus in the context of Parenting and Program Adoption

University of Minnesota Center for Personalized Prevention Research Career Development Award, LeAnne Johnson, PI; Rich Lee, Co-PI, Alisha Wackerle-Hollman, Co-PI, and Kari Pina, Co-PI. As part of this project, we are developing a new tool for understanding how the goals parents hold for their child may influence their engagement and responsiveness to interventions and supports being offered to support parenting practices.

Advancing Social-Communication and Play (ASAP): An Intervention Program for Preschoolers with Autism

Institute of Education Sciences, #R324A110256, Brian Boyd, UNC PI/ Project Director; LeAnne Johnson, UMN PI. As part of this project, we randomized control trial of new intervention model addressing social, communication, and play skills for children with Autism in preschool classrooms across four different regions of the country.

"My research interests are intervention-oriented with a focus on improving outcomes for a range of preschool and elementary school-aged children who are at high risk given social, emotional, behavioral, and communication needs."

LeAnne Johnson headshot

LeAnne Johnson

  • Project director
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) licensure & MEd program coordinator
  • Assistant professor, special education, Department of Educational Psychology

Recent publications

Krick Oborn, K. & Johnson, L. (In Press). Coaching via electronic performance feedback to support home visitors use of caregiver coaching strategies. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35, 1-13. DOI: 10.1177/0271121415592411.

Johnson, L. & Monn. E. (In Press). Bridging behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention: Finding your inner behavior analyst. Young Exceptional Children. Published online on July 17, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/1096250614542708.

Parker-McGowen, Q., Chen, M., Reichle, J., Pandit, S., Johnson, L.,& Kreibich, S.(2014). Describing Treatment Intensity in Milieu Teaching Interventions for Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities: A Review. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 45, 351-364. DOI: 10.1044/2014_LSHSS-13-0087.

Boyd, B. A., Hume, K., McBee, M.T., Alessandri, M., Gutierrez, A., Johnson, L., Sperry, L., & Odom, S.(2014). Comparative Efficacy of LEAP, TEACCH and Non-Model-Specific Special Education Programs for Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 366-380. DOI 10.1007/s10803-013-1877-9.

Johnson, L., Wehby, J., Symons, F., Maggin, D., Partin, T., & Sutherland, K. (2014). An Analysis of Preference Relative to Teacher Implementation of Intervention. Journal of Special Education, 48, 214-224. DOI: 10.1177/0022466913475872.

Johnson, L. & McMaster, K. (2013). Adapting Research-Based Practices with Fidelity: Flexibility by Design. In Cook, B.G., Tankersly, M., & Landrum, T.J. (Eds). Advances in Learning and Behavior Disabilities, Vol. 26. (pp. 65-92). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing Group.