Current Research Projects

Multicultural Competencies, Anti-Racist Attitudes, and Racialized Emotion Perception in Teachers 

The lab is examining the relationship between multicultural teaching competencies and anti-racist attitudes and behaviors in elementary and middle school teachers, while also exploring their relationship to teacher’s ability to accurately perceive emotion across race. In collaboration with Dr. Renee Garraway, this study takes a mixed-methods approach, with equal interest in both quantitative and qualitative outcomes. 

Promoting Competencies for Working with Immigrant Children and Families in Schools

This study takes a participatory culture-specific consultation approach to gather information related to these prevailing areas: school counselors efficacy in working with immigrant populations and their knowledge of policies and practices that largely effecti immigrant students and families, and the experiences of immigrant families and their needs that can be better supported by schools and school counselors. This is a multidisciplinary study, in collaboration with faculty from the Department of Counseling, Special Education and Higher Education; the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership; The Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methods, and the Department of Health Policy and Management. These findings from this research will inform an intervention that is a part of a larger study and partnership between the UMD College of Education and the Prince George’s County Public Schools that will provide a related certification for in-service school counselors and other educators. 

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. 

Resilient Refugee Education Project

Teacher Teaching Happy Student Learning Back Dr. O'Neal's resilient refugee education intervention with refugee teachers in Malaysia will now expand to include intervening with both refugee teachers and students around emotions, stress, and emotion management, in addition to classroom management. We are also examining culturally relevant ways to assess refugee student outcomes in addition to the possibility of accomodation of online and in-person refugee teacher training. 

Currently, the team is analyzing 2019 intervention data, addressing intervention effects, policy effects, and consultation implementation with refugee teachers. We are also conducting a single subject design study related to international teleconsultation with refugee teachers in Malaysia.