Academic Title

Assistant Professor, Psychology

Research Interests
  • Child Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Trauma
Research Summary

My principal program of research engages with the complex relationship between social-emotional competencies and youth outcomes, particularly in relation to academic success. I study how self-efficacy, the development of social skills and emotion identification and regulation can influence differential trajectories of mental health and relate to academic achievement. In a secondary line of work, I look at universal as well as targeted preventative interventions for at-risk student populations. I frequently employ constructs of race and ethnicity to explore expectations and outcomes on both an individual and school level. Within my research program, multiple methodologies are employed, including psychological, academic and behavioral measures as well as programs of intervention.

  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University
  • B.A., Psychology, UMass Amherst
Areas of Expertise
  • Academic Achievement
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Social-Emotional Learning
Recent Publications

Bell, P. J., White, G. W., Hatchimonji, D. R., Stepney, C. T., Linsky, A. V., Vaid, E., and Elias, M. J. (2017). “Social-Normative Expectations Mediates School Climate’s Association With Academic Achievement in Latino Middle School Students.” Education and Urban Society, 1312451771997.

White, G. W., Stepney, C. T., Hatchimonji, D. R., Moceri, D. C., Linsky, A. V., Reyes-Portillo, J. A., and Elias, M. J. (2016) “The Increasing Impact of Socioeconomics and Race on Standardized Academic Test Scores Across Elementary, Middle and High School.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 86 (1), 10-23.

Aksoy, D., DeMarchena, S., Elias, M. J. Stepney, C. T., and White, G.W (2015). “Drawing Upon Successful Programs for Best Practices for Underperforming and At-Risk Students: Advancement via Individual Determination and Play It Smart.” Principal Leadership, 16 (3), 44-45.

Elias, M. J., White, G. W., and Stepney, C. T. (2014). “Surmounting the Challenges of Improving Academic Performance: Closing the Achievement Gap Through Social-Emotional and Character Development.” Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research, 10, 14-24.

Elias, M. J., Kress, J. S., and White, G. W. (2014). “Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in Adolescence.” In T. P. Gullotta, and M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion Part II. (2nd Ed.), New York, NY: Springer.

Reyes-Portillo, J. A., White, G. W., Elias, M. J., and Moceri, D. C. (2014). “Resiliency During Adolescence: Considering the Role of Schools and Culture.” In T. P. Gullotta, and M. Bloom (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion Part II. (2nd Ed.), New York, NY: Springer.

Stepney, C. T., White, G. W., Far, K., Elias, M. J. (2014). “Girls Leading Outward: A School-Based Leadership Intervention to Promote Resilience for At-Risk Middle School Girls.” In S. Prince-Embury and D. Saklofske (Eds.), “Resilience Interventions in Diverse Populations” (pp. 109-132). New York, NY: Springer.

White, G. W., Stepney, C. T., and Elias, M. J. (2013). “Girls Leading Outward,” American Educational Research Association, Advances in Social Emotional Learning SIG Newsletter, 7(1), 12-13.

Kasler, J., White, G. W., and Elias, M. J. (2012). “Evaluation of the Meaning of Life Program in Israel.” Peabody Journal of Education, 88(2), 243-260.

Murphy, J. M., Kazis, L. E., Li, N., Lee, A. F., Hinson, M. I., White, G. W., Stoddard, F. J., Palmieri, T. L., Meyer, W. J. III, Liang, M. H., Tompkins, R. G., and the Multi-Center Benchmarking Study Working Group. (2012). “Test Performance Characteristics of a Case-Finding Psychosocial Questionnaire for Children With BurnInjuries and Their Families.” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 73(3), S221-S228.

Kasler, J., Izenberg, P., White, G. W. and Elias, M.J. (2011). “Meaning in Life, Hope and Priorities for the Future.” In Leehu Zysberg (Ed.), Student Attitudes New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Stoddard, F. J. Jr., White, G. W., Kazis, L. E., Murphy, J. M., Sorrentino, E. A., Hinson, M., Stubbs, T. K., Chan, G., Sheridan, R. L., Palmieri, T., Kagan R., Herndon D., and Tompkins R. G. (2011). “Patterns of Medication Administration From 2001 to 2009 in the Treatment of Children With Acute Burn Injuries: A Multicenter Study.” Journal of Burn Care and Research, 32(5), 519-28.