Emotions and stress as risk and resilience processes among underserved, U.S. minority students, school-based promotion of emotional health and prevention of mental health problems, prevention among international refugee students and teachers.

Colleen R. O'Neal is an assistant professor of School Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park (Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education). Her primary research goals are to identify risk and resilience processes among minority students with a focus on emotions and stress. She conducts research asking: (1) HOW stress impacts ethnic minority student mental health and academic functioning, (2) WHAT socioemotional learning (e.g., emotion engagement), motivation (e.g., grit), emotion regulation and relationship-based protective factors prevent the negative impact of stress on academic functioning, and (3) WHO resilience processes affect most. See her lab's website at https://education.umd.edu/research-college/labs/emotions-equity-educati…

Dr. O'Neal is currently conducting the following studies:

  1. Dr. O’Neal’s team is examining risk and resilience processes of stress, grit, emotions, social support on literacy and academic performance among ethnic minority students in elementary school. See recent publications on dual language learner grit on her lab's publication webpage - https://education.umd.edu/research-college/labs/emotions-equity-educati…
  2. A refugee teacher training and consultation intervention study with largely Burmese refugees in Malaysia with the goal of improving refugee teacher classroom management of refugee student behavior, attention, and emotions in addition to promoting healthy stress management. Click http://resilientrefugeesmalaysia.blogspot.com/ to view the project blog. Download the University of Maryland's International Research Newsletter for a description of the refugee project. See recent publications on the refugee teacher intervention on her lab's publication webpage - https://education.umd.edu/research-college/labs/emotions-equity-educati…
  3. Dr. Michelle Espino and Dr. O'Neal have studied emotions, stress, and academic functioning in addition to institutional supports among undocumented students taking advantage of the Maryland Dream Act, which permits them to pay in-state tuition rates at University of Maryland campuses. Download the Research@Maryland Newsletter for a description of the proposed Dream Act study. See recent publications on undocumented and documented Latina/o first generation college students' risk and resilience processes and academic functioning on her lab's publication webpage - https://education.umd.edu/research-college/labs/emotions-equity-educati…
  4. We have recently started examining an existing dataset a study with immigrant and non-immigrant African and African American youth from Prince Georges county regarding their resilience moderated mediation processes involving discrimination, discrimination-related stress, mental health, engagement, motivation, and academic outcomes.

Dr. O'Neal earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University in 2000 with NIMH predoctoral fellowship support studying emotions among minority youth facing community violence. She then completed an NIMH postdoctorate in Mental Health Statistics at NYU focused on multilevel, longitudinal analyses of change and psychometrics. She received her B.A. in Psychology at Cornell University and a master's degree in Child and Family Studies at Auburn University. Her work has been published in venues such as Child Development, Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, and Development and Psychopathology. She completed minority stress and emotions research supported by a Brain and Behavior Foundation Young Investigator Award, a Fulbright Scholar Award, a Fulbright New Leaders Group Award, a Fulbright Alumni Engagement and Innovation Fund Award, and multiple UMD seed grants in addition to a UMD-NSF Advance Interdisciplinary and Engaged Research award.


2014                UMD College of Education GATE International Research and Teaching Fellow [$1500]

2013                Health Equity Leadership Institute Scholar, University of Maryland, College Park and University of Wisconsin, Madison    

2006                NIHM Child Intervention, Prevention, and Services (CHIPS) Fellowship

2000-2003       NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship (T32), National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grant, Mental Health Statistics at NYU

1999                NIMH Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31), National Research Service Award, Long Island University


2017                UMD College of Education, Excellence in Graduate Mentoring award (Pre-Tenure Faculty)

2016-17           UMD Alumnus gift, PI. Refugee student and teacher mental health and achievement prevention research in Malaysia. [$8500]

2014                Seed grant award, UMD-NSF ADVANCE Program Interdisciplinary and Engaged Research award, PI. Stress, grit, emotional engagement, and later literacy achievement among immigrant, dual language and non-dual language learners. [$20,000]

2013                Seed grant award, University of Maryland, College Park, College of Education Support Program for Advancing Research and Collaboration (SPARC) pre-tenure faculty award, PI. A longitudinal study of ethnic minority immigrant student motivation, emotion engagement, stress, and literacy [$15,000]

2013                Seed grant award, University of Maryland, College Park, Vice President for Research, Co-PI. The Maryland Dream Act in-state tuition policy impact on undocumented students’ stress, emotions, motivation, and academic experiences. [$45,000]

2012-13           Fulbright New Leaders Group Award, PI. Refugee child mental health clinic and refugee teacher intervention research in Malaysia. [$5000]

2010-11           Fulbright Scholar Award, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. School-based prevention of mental health problems among urban refugee children in Malaysia

2008-2010       Brain and Behavior Foundation (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award, PI. Early biopsychological factors leading to minority youth depression. [$75,000]

1999                Scholarly Achievement Award, Academic Division, NY State Psych. Assoc.

1998                Dissertation Topic Proposal Award, Clinical Psychology, Long Island University

1994                Kappa Omicron Nu Honors Society, Human Sciences, Auburn University

1990                Honors Project, European Studies Minor, Cornell University

1989                Western Societies Program Research Award, Cornell University


*Graduate students in my lab; ^Articles published with funding support

^O’Neal, C. R. (2017). Influence of individual versus peer grit on later individual literacy achievement among dual language learners. School Psychology Quarterly. http://dx.doi.org

^O’Neal, C. R., Weston, L. C.*, He, X., Huang, K. Y., Pine, D. S., Kamboukos, D., & Brotman, L. M. (2017). Change in depression from preadolescence to adolescence: The role of early anger socialization and child anger among low-income, ethnic minority families. Journal of Adolescence, 59, 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.05.011

O’Neal, C. R., Weston, L. C.*, Brooks-Gunn, J., Berlin, L. J., & Atapattu, R.* (2017). Maternal responsivity to infants in the “High Chair” assessment: Longitudinal relations with toddler outcomes in a diverse, low-income sample. Infant Behavior and Development, 47, 125-137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2017.04.002 [Five year impact factor: 2.07]

^O’Neal, C. R., Gosnell, R.*, Ng, W. S., Ong, E.*, & Clement, J.* (2017). Global consultation processes: Lessons learned from refugee teacher consultation research in Malaysia. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation. Invited paper.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10474412.2017.1293544

^O’Neal, C. R., Gosnell, R.*, Ng, W. S., & Ong, E.* (2017). Refugee teacher preventive intervention research promoting refugee student behavior, attention, and emotions and teacher self-care. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10474412.2017.1287576

Muenks, K., Wigfield, A., Yang, J. S., & O’Neal, C. R. (2016). How true is grit? Assessing its relations to high school and college students’ personality characteristics, self-regulation, engagement, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000153

^O’Neal, C. R., Atapattu, R.*, Jegathesan, A., Ong, E.*, Clement, J.*, & Ganesan, A.* (2016). Classroom management and socioemotional functioning of Burmese refugee students in Malaysia. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10474412.2016.1193740

^O’Neal, C. R., Espino, M., Goldthrite, A.*, Morin, M.*, Weston, L.*, Hernandez, H.*, & Fuhrmann, A. (2016). Grit under duress: Stress, strengths, and academic success among non-citizen and citizen Latina/o first-generation college students. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 38(4), 446-466.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0739986316660775

^O’Neal, C. R., Brotman, L., Huang, K., Gouley, K. K., Kamboukos, D., Calzada, E., & Pine, D. (2010). Understanding relations among early family environment, cortisol response, and child aggression via a prevention experiment. Child Development, 81(1), 290-305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01395.x

Brotman, L., O’Neal, C. R., Huang, K., Gouley, K. K., Rosenfelt, A., & Shrout, P. (2009). An experimental test of parenting practices as a mediator of early childhood physical aggression. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 50(3), 235-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01929.x

Brotman, L., Gouley, K. K., Huang, K., Rosenfelt, A., O’Neal, C. R., Klein, R., & Shrout, P. (2008). Preventive intervention for preschoolers at high risk for antisocial behavior: Long-term effects on child physical aggression and parenting practices. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 386-396. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374410801955813

^O'Neal, C. R., & Magai, C. (2005). Do parents respond in different ways when children feel different emotions? The emotional context of parenting. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 467-487. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579405050224

Calzada, E., Caldwell, M., Miller Brotman, L., Brown, E., Wallace, S., McQuaid, J., Rojas-Flores, L., and O'Neal, C. (2005). Training community members to serve as paraprofessionals in an evidence-based, prevention program for parents of preschoolers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14 (3), 387-402. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10826-005-6851-5

Magai, C., Consedine, N., Gillespie, M., O'Neal, C. R., & Vilker, R. (2004). The differential roles of early emotion socialization and adult attachment in adult emotional experience: Testing a mediator hypothesis. Attachment and Human Development, 6(4), 389-417. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1461673042000303118

Bost, K. K, Vaughn, B. E., Boston, A. L., Kazura, K. L., & O'Neal, C. (2004). Social support networks of African-American children attending Head Start: A longitudinal investigation of structural and supportive network characteristics. Social Development, 13(3), 393-412. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2004.00274.x

Brotman, L. M., Gouley, K. K., O’Neal, C. R., & Klein, R. G. (2004). Preschool-aged siblings of adjudicated youths: Multiple risk factors for conduct problems. Early Education and Development, 15(4), 387-406. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15566935eed1504_3

Berlin, L. J., O'Neal, C. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1998). Understanding intervention processes in early interventions: A proposed framework. Zero to Three, 18, 4-15.


Berlin, L. J., O'Neal, C. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). Early child development in the 21st century: Profiles of current research initiatives. In J. Brooks-Gunn, A. S. Fuligni, & L. J. Berlin (Eds.), Early childhood intervention research initiatives. NY: Teachers College Press.


^*Clement, J., *Lim, F., Ng, W. S., & O’Neal, C. R. (2013). Refugee education in Malaysia: An opinion-documentary (op-doc) video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez7EmbKqN_k


^O’Neal, C. R., & Ng, W. S. (2012-2013). Blog: Resilient Refugee Children and Teachers in Malaysia: A Fulbright Alumni Project: http://resilientrefugeesmalaysia.blogspot.com/

^*Hernandez, P., co-edited by Espino, M. & O’Neal, C. R. (2013). Blog: Latino College Student Experiences in the State of Maryland: http://latinocollegestudentstudy.blogspot.com/

O’Neal, C. R. (2012). Don’t forget the children in Burma. The Diplomat. http://the-diplomat.com/2012/01/14/don%E2%80%99t-forget-the-children-in-burma/?all=true

2016                Kellogg Foundation research funding, co-PI, Subcontract: Collective impact and Black male socioemotional functioning and literacy in elementary school. [Funded subcontract for $53,000]

2012-2013       Fulbright Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund, Resilient Refugee Teacher and Student Preventive Intervention [Funded for $25,000]

Foundations of Collaboration and Consultation

School Consultation

Therapy with Children

Introduction to School Psychology and Ethics