Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology

Clinical Faculty

Please see the program handbook for a list of recent publications for each faculty member.

David J. Bridgett

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Washington State University, 2008

Consistent with my interests and program of investigation, research within the Emotion Regulation & Temperament Laboratory at NIU focuses on identifying contributors to infant/toddler emotion regulation, such as aspects of parent emotion regulation and parenting, how parent emotion regulation affects parenting of young children, and how early individual differences in emotion regulation contribute to risk for early emerging symptoms of internalizing and externalizing problems. Furthermore, the research within the lab takes a longitudinal approach so that we are able to model how early emotion regulation changes over time as a result of parent, child, and other environmental factors.

Dr. Bridgett anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Michelle M. Lilly

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2008

My research interests focus on the exploration of mental health  outcomes following interpersonal trauma, with a particular focus on intimate partner violence.  I am particularly interested in the ways in which world views, attachment and coping affect outcome following trauma.  My future work will likely continue to focus on intimate partner violence, as well as expand to focus on interactions between violent dyads more generally.

Dr. Lilly anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Holly K. Orcutt

Ph.D., SUNY-Buffalo, 1998

My research interests are in the areas of traumatic stress and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specifically, I am interested in identifying risk factors that operate to increase individual vulnerability to PTSD following exposure to traumatic events as well as factors that mediate the link between trauma exposure and increased risk for subsequent trauma exposure. I also have related research interests in forgiveness and experiential avoidance. 

Dr. Orcutt anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Laura D. Pittman

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 1996

My research interests lie in the field of developmental psychopathology. Specifically, my research focuses on how family processes and broader contextual factors influence children’s socioemotional and cognitive functioning. I take a risk and resilience approach, focusing on protective factors that enhance the likelihood for successful trajectories through childhood and adolescence in at-risk populations. My current work considers how parenting practices and the role of extended kin influence children growing up in poverty.

Dr. Pittman anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Alan Rosenbaum

Ph.D., SUNY at Stony Brook, 1979

The primary focus of my research agenda has been on understanding and treating intimate partner violence. Specifically, my research group is studying: (1) the etiology of relationship aggression with an emphasis on biological and developmental factors, such as head injury, neuropsychological dysfunction, neuroendocrine deficits, childhood trauma and psychopathology; (2) batterers’ treatment outcome and certification standards; and (3) anger and anger management in males, females, and adolescents.

Dr. Rosenbaum does not anticipate admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Elizabeth C. Shelleby

Assistant Professor (starting August, 2015)
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2015 (anticipated)

My research is informed by a developmental psychopathology perspective and focuses on the development of child disruptive behavior problems, preventive interventions for at-risk populations, parenting practices, early child emotion regulation, and the influence of contextual stressors on child mental health.  My work on preventive interventions explores intervention moderators and mechanisms of change. One line of inquiry I have pursued in the area of contextual stressors focuses on the intersection between family economic stress and children’s behavioral development.

Ms. Shelleby anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016.

Email: TBA
Homepage: TBA

David P. Valentiner

Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 1994

My research interests include cognitive and emotional processes related to anxiety, anxiety disorders, and the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly phobic, obsessive-compulsive, and panic disorders; how anxiety disorders develop; and statistical/methodology issues in anxiety assessment and research. 

Dr. Valentiner anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Kevin Wu

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Iowa, 2004

My research program focuses on dimensional models of adult psychopathology in which symptoms generally exist on a continuum rather than as qualitatively discrete entities. Most of my work addresses several issues related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), such as its assessment and diagnosis, its relations with other phenomena (especially personality and other forms of psychopathology), and cognitive models of symptom development. During the past few years, my lab has begun to target these issues using laboratory-based behavioral tasks and experimental methods; this represents a departure from my previously exclusive focus on questionnaire methodology. Former/current lab members have conducted projects spanning social anxiety, depression and rumination, mindfulness, pathological gambling, thought-action fusion, perfectionism, and hoarding. Most recently, projects have addressed cognitive processes implicated in OCD and the equivalence of psychopathology assessment across diverse samples.

Dr. Wu anticipates admitting a new student in Fall, 2016. 


Affiliated Research Faculty

Julie Crouch

Director, Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault
Ph.D in Clinical, Northern Illinois University, 1995

My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of child physical abuse and intimate partner violence. My recent work focuses on applying social cognitive paradigms as a means of understanding why some parents physically abuse their children. Also, I am conducting research and evaluation projects examining innovative interventions designed to promote positive parenting practices.


Michelle K. Demaray

Professor, School Psychology Program, Psychology Department
Ph.D in School Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998

I have spent over a decade focused on the measurement of social support and the relations among perceived social support in youth and positive and negative outcomes. I also conduct research on bullying and victimization in schools. This research includes cyber-bullying and cyber-victimization and the role of bystanders in the bullying situation. I am also interested in both research and clinical practice issues relevant to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). More broadly, I am interested in social-emotional issues in schools, including social emotional screening.


Leslie Matuszewich

Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, Psychology Department
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Ph.D., SUNY-Buffalo, 1997

My laboratory studies the effects of psychostimulants on the brain and behavior. Our previous research found that chronic stress increases the sensitivity to illicit stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine, with females showing greater neurochemical and behavioral responses than males.  More recently, we have begun to examine the long-term effects of the stimulants when given early in development. We are interested in understanding the effects of juvenile exposure to methylphenidate on adult motivation, learning and memory. 


Nina Mounts

Professor, Psychology
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990

My research focuses on parent-child and peer relationships during adolescence across ethnically diverse groups. My lab is examining the way in which parents are involved in the peer relationships of adolescents. We are especially interested in examining the way in which parental involvement in peer relationships (i.e. harsh and supportive approaches), is related to several aspects of peer relationships including aggressive behavior, prosocial behavior, conflict resolution, and friendship quality. My research also includes a consideration of social-cognitive and physiological processes that contribute to the linkages between parenting and adolescents’ peer relationships.


Christopher Parker

Associate Professor, Social and I/O Program, Psychology Department
For research details, see:

Brad Pillow

Associate Professor, Developmental Psychology, Psychology Department
Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Stanford University, 1986

My research examines social cognitive and metacognitive development during the preschool and elementary school years. I have investigated (a) children’s ability to infer another person’s knowledge, beliefs, or visual experience, (b) children’s explanations of interpersonal events, (c) children’s understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, inference, comprehension, and memory, and (d) children’s monitoring of their own cognitive activities. Although my research emphasizes normative age-related developmental changes, individual differences in social cognitive and metacognitive abilities may be related to outcomes in both the social and academic domains. Social cognitive abilities are related to children’s social behavior and the quality of their social relationships, whereas metacognitive abilities are important for performance on many academic tasks. In addition, I also have studied young children’s reasoning about social categories. Current research focuses on children’s attribution of motives to others to explain social behavior.


Douglas G. Wallace

Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Behavior, Psychology Department
Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, Kent State University, 2000

My research uses navigational tasks in multiple species (humans and rodents) at different scales (manipulatory vs. ambulatory) to investigate the impact of neurodegenerative processes on spatial orientation. For example, I have used rodent models of Alzheimer’s Disease to understand the cue processing deficits associated with wandering behavior. This work has prompted a series of human studies that demonstrate the importance of self-movement cue processing in maintaining spatial orientation. One active line of research uses manipulatory scale tasks to investigate the impact of several factors (aging, adolescent binge drinking, and exercise) on changes in spatial orientation observed across the lifespan. Future work will examine the impact of interventions to ameliorate spatial deficits associated with a history of adolescent binge drinking.


Katja Wiemer

Associate Professor, Cognitive and Instructional Psychology Area, Psychology Department
Ph.D in School Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998

My main research focuses on mental representations and language processing.  Ongoing research projects explore our understanding of abstract concepts (like "process", "freedom" or "argument"), with research addressing the content of these concepts as well as how they relate to each other (with a focus on causal relations) and how they are categorized in memory; perceptual bases of concepts (i.e. to what extent is our knowledge grounded in perceptual experiences); scientific explanations and the ability to evaluate explanations produced by others as well as by ourselves.  I have conducted some language processing work on cognitive distortions (i.e., we developed a system that automatically identified maladaptive thoughts by analysis of linguistic features).  Apart from my active research, I have theoretical interests related to the clinical area (i.e., areas I read but do not actively conduct research in), which include health psychology, codependency, and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) symptoms related to narcissistic abuse.