Maria LaRusso

Educational Background:  

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Awarded by the American Psychological Association and the Institute of Education Sciences, University of Pennsylvania and New York University

Ph.D., Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University

M.Ed., Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University

B.S., Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University

 

Research Interests:

  • social and emotional development in childhood and adolescence
  • youth risk behaviors
  • clinical and school-based interventions
  • the influence of relationships and social contexts on development and intervention outcomes
  • integration of quantitative and qualitative methods

 

Selected Professional Accomplishments:

  • 2010-2016: Co-Investigator (with Suzanne Donovan (PI) and Catherine Snow (PI) and Co-Investigators: Stephanie Jones, James Kim, Robert Selman, Kurt Fischer, Lowry Hemphill, Paola Uccelli, Jennifer Thomson, and Jonathan Osborne.  “Catalyzing Comprehension Through Discussion and Debate.”  Institute of Education Sciences.  $19,352,384.
  • 2009-2012: Principal Investigator (with Joshua L. Brown (Co-I) and Stephanie M. Jones (Co-I)).  “Early Adolescents’ Experiences of Continuity and Discontinuity of School Micro-contexts: Implications for Place-based Treatment Effects.”  William T. Grant Foundation.  $500,000.
  • 2007: Fulbright Scholar Award, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
  • 2008: Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship, Awarded by the American Association for University Women.
  • 2006-2009: Co-Investigator (with Joshua L. Brown (PI) and Stephanie M. Jones (PI)).  “Changing Classroom Climate and Other School Micro-Contexts to Promote Children’s Social-Emotional and Academic Development: The 4Rs Setting-Level Study.”  William T. Grant Foundation.  $524,340.

 

Selected Publications:

  • LaRusso, M., Donovan, S., & Snow, C. (in press), Implementation Challenges for Tier One and Tier Two School-based Programs for Early Adolescents, New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development.
  • LaRusso, M., Kim, H. Y., Selman, R., Uccelli, P., Dawson, T., Jones, S., Donovan, S., & Snow, C. (2016). Contributions of academic language, perspective taking, and complex reasoning to deep reading comprehension. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9(2), 201-222.
  •  LaRusso, M. D., & Selman, R. L. (2011). Early adolescent health risk behaviors, conflict resolution strategies, and school climate. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32 (6) 354–362.
  •  Brown, J. L., Jones, S. M., LaRusso, M. D., & Aber, J. L. (2010). Improving classroom quality: Teacher influences and experimental impacts of the 4Rs Program, Journal of Educational Psychology, 102 (1), 153-167.
  • LaRusso, M. D., Brown, J. L., Jones, S. M., & Aber, J. L. (2009). School context and micro-contexts: The complexity of studying school settings. In L. M. Dinella (Ed.), Conducting psychology research in school-based settings:  A practical guide for researchers conducting high quality science within school environments.  Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  •  LaRusso, M. D., Romer, D., & Selman, R. L. (2008). Teachers as builders of respectful school climates:  Implications for adolescent drug use norms and depressive symptoms in high school. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37 (4) (2008): 386–398.
  •  Abadía-Barrero, C. & LaRusso, M. D. (2006). The disclosure model versus a developmental illness experience model for children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS: Findings from a study in São Paulo, Brazil. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 20 (1), pp. 36-43.
  • Schultz, L. H., Selman, R. L., & LaRusso, M. D. (2004). The assessment of psychosocial maturity in children and adolescents: Implications for the evaluation of school-based character education programs. Journal of Research in Character Education, 1 (2), pp.67-87.          
  • LaRusso, M. D. & Selman, R. L. (2003). The influence of development and school climate on adolescents’ perceptions of risk and prevention: Cynicism and skepticism. In Romer, D. (Ed.) Reducing adolescent risk: Toward an integrated strategy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

 

Selected presentations:

  • LaRusso, M. D., Kim, H. K., Jones, S. M., Brown, J. L., & Aber, J. L (2016). Early adolescent life histories and school experiences from elementary through middle school. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.
  • LaRusso, M. D., Kim, H. K., Selman, R., Jones, S. M., Donovan, S., & Snow, C.E. (2016). Developmentally supportive classrooms and social perspective taking in early adolescence. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.
  • LaRusso, M., Jones, S., Kim, H.Y., Holland, S., Miratrix, L., Snow, C.E., Donovan, S. (2015). Variation in treatment effects: A focus on implementation. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.
  • LaRusso, M. D., Jones, S. M., Brown, J. L., & Aber, J. L (2015). Understanding variation in the social climate of middle school micro-contexts: Implications for adolescent aggressive behaviors. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.
  • LaRusso, M. D. (2013). Social and emotional learning and the climate of classrooms and schools: Challenges and opportunities for intervention and evaluation. Invited talk, School of Education, University of California, Irvine.
  • LaRusso, M. D., Brown, J. L., Jones, S. M. & Raudenbush, S. (2011). Analyzing contextual variation within schools: The climate of middle school micro-contexts. Invited presentation at the William T. Grant Foundation Intervention Grantees Meeting, Washington, DC.
  • LaRusso, M. D., Brown, J. L., Jones, S. M., & Aber, J. L. (2009). Mixed method analyses in a social and emotional learning intervention study: The challenges and opportunities for addressing school micro-contexts. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting for the Society for Research on Child Development, Denver, CO.
  • LaRusso, M. D. (2009). Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods to understand child and adolescent social development in context. Invited talk, Seminar Series, Institute of Human Development and Social Change, New York University, New York.
  •  LaRusso, M. D. (2008). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for outcome evaluations of civic education programs and policies: A case example. Invited talk for the Hemispheric Course on Evaluation of Policies and Programs in Education for Democratic Citizenship (of the Organization of the American States), Antigua Guatemala.
  • LaRusso, M. D., Brown, J. L., Jones, S. M., & Aber, J. L. (2008). Aggression and problem behavior in elementary schools in the United Sates: Links to school climate, relationships, and school responses to aggression. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting for the International Society for Behavioral Development, Wuerzburg, Germany.
  • LaRusso, M. D. (2007). Social development, health risk behaviors, and conflict resolution in schools: Developmental and contextual perspectives. Poster presented at the Inter-American Collaboration Workshop of the International Society for Behavioral Development, Gramado, Brazil.
  • LaRusso, M. D. (2007). Mixed methods in the social sciences: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding children’s social development in context. Invited Fulbright talk, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
  •  LaRusso, M. D. (2006). Risk behavior, relationships, and adolescent cynicism: Developmental and contextual analyses. Paper presented at the Annual Convention for the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • LaRusso, M. D. (2006). Early adolescent social development, risk prevention, and the social context of school: Quantitative and qualitative analyses. Developmental Colloquium talk, Department of Applied Psychology, New York University.