Emotions, Equity, & Education Lab

Completed Research Projects

Social-Emotional Learning and Achievement 

Dr. O'Neal's team is examining the impact of grit, stress, emotions, anger regulation, growth mindset, and social support on literacy and academic performance among ethnic minority students in elementary school. The team's long-term objective is to develop classroom-based interventions, in conjunction with two local public elementary schools. The team has performed a follow-up study with the elementary school students in higher grades. Dr. O'Neal's team has developed a grit intervention consultation manual and tested a pilot of this intervention in the schools as part of this research program. The team has also developed an anger regulation measure. The team is currently conducting multiple analyses and dissemination of the results of this study. 

Promoting Grit in Elementary School Students Through Culturally-Proficient Practices: Intervention and Evaluation

This study aimed to encourage culturally relevant teaching practices and help close the achievement gap through teacher training and consultation. Consultation focused on integrating grit promotion and cultural responsiveness into teachers’ Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). SLO’s involved the teachers identifying goals, developing individual interventions, and progress monitoring for individual students in need of improvement.   The study had three parts: focus group, training, and consultation.

The project was initiated by a request from school administrators after receiving the results of our previous study in their school; they wanted to immediately follow up with an intervention.  The project was developed in close collaboration with school staff, administrative leadership, and the school county’s Equity Initiatives Unit to ensure that it focused on the issues of greatest importance to the school and county as a whole.

Refugee Intervention Study

As a Fulbright Scholar, Coleen O’Neal completed a refugee teacher training and consultation intervention study in Malaysia. The goal of the study was to improve refugee teacher classroom management of refugee student behavior, attention, and emotions, and to promote healthy stress management. This study was done in collaboration with Fulbright alumni, NGO's, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia. Emphasizing classroom management and self-care, the project used a train-the-trainer model with the goal that the 124 participating teachers will train peers in their local schools. Find out more by viewing the Resilient Refugees Blog or by watching a short video on the project here.

Undocumented Latino/a Study

Dr. Michelle Espino and Dr. O'Neal studied emotions, stress, and academic functioning in addition to institutional supports among undocumented students taking advantage of the Maryland Dream Act, which permit them to pay in-state tuition rates at University of Maryland campuses. Check out the Dream Act Study Blog

Early Head Start

Dr. O'Neal and her collaborators recently completed analyzing data on mother-child interactions within the Early Head Start program.