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Karen Bierman Ph.D.

Karen Bierman, Ph.D.

Evan Pugh Professor

Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies

Director of the Child Study Center

Pronouns: she/her/hers

251 Moore Building
Office Phone: (814) 865-3879

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Ph. D., University of Denver, 1981


Karen Bierman's Vita

Research Interests

Dr. Bierman’s research focuses on the design and evaluation of school- and community-based prevention programs that promote social-emotional learning and school readiness. She has directed several longitudinal studies evaluating the long-term impact of early school-based and family-focused preventive interventions designed to reduce aggression (Fast Track) and enhance school success (Head Start REDI). She has also developed and evaluated small-group social skill training interventions for peer-rejected children (Friendship Group). Her current research focuses on the longitudinal follow-up of the REDI classroom and parent prevention program participants (funded by NIH) and the evaluation of two new parent-focused guided play interventions to support preschool STEM and social-emotional skills (funded by NSF and IES respectively).

Recent Publications

Bierman, K.L., Welsh, J.A., Heinrichs, B.S., & Nix, R.L. (2018). Effect of preschool home visiting on school readiness and need for services in elementary school: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(8), e181029.

Loughlin-Presnal, J.E., & Bierman, K.L. (2017). How do parent expectations promote child academic achievement in early elementary school? A test of three mediators. Developmental Psychology, 53, 1694-1708

Sasser, T.R., Bierman, K.L., Heinrichs, B., & Nix, R.L. (2017). Preschool intervention can promote sustained growth in the executive function skills of children exhibiting early deficits. Psychological Science., 28, 1719-1730.

Bierman, K.L., Greenberg, M.T., Coie, J.D., Dodge, K.A., Lochman, J.E., & McMahon, R.J. (2017). Social and emotional skills training for children: The Fast Track Friendship Group Manual. New York: Guilford Press.

Bierman, K.L., Heinrichs, B.S., Welsh, J.A., Nix, R.L., & Gest, S.D. (2017). Enriching preschool classrooms and home visits with evidence-based programming: Sustained benefits for low-income children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58, 129-137.

Bierman, K.L. & Torres, M. (2016). Promoting the development of executive functions through early education and prevention programs. In J. A. Griffin, L.S. Freund, & P.McCardle (Eds.) Executive function in preschool age children: Integrating measurement, neurodevelopment and translational research. Washington, D.C.: APA

Nix, R.L., Bierman, K.L., Heinrichs, B.S., Gest, S.D., Welsh, J.A., & Domitrovich, C.E. (2016). The randomized-controlled trial of Head Start REDI: Sustained effects on developmental trajectories of social-emotional functioning.  Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 84, 310-322. 

Bierman, K.L., & Motamedi, M. (2015). Social-emotional programs for preschool children. In J Durlak, R. Weissberg, & T. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice. (pp. 135-150) New York, NY: Guilford, Press.

Bierman, K.L., Welsh, J., Heinrichs, B.S., Nix, R.L., & Mathis, E.T. (2015). Helping Head Start parents promote their children's kindergarten adjustment: The REDI parent program. Child Development, 86, 1877-1891.

Hall, C.M., & Bierman, K.L. (2015). Technology-assisted interventions for parents of young children: Emerging practices, current research, and future directions.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 33, 21-32.

CPPRG. (2015). Impact of early intervention on psychopathology, crime, and well-being at age 25. American Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 59-70.

Bierman, K.L., Nix, R.L., Heinrichs, B.S., Domitrovich, C.E., Gest, S.D., Welsh, J.A., & Gill, S. (2014). Effects of Head Start REDI on children's outcomes one year later in different kindergarten contexts. Child Development, 85, 140-159

Project Websites

Child Study Center 

TIES Predoctoral Training Program  

REDI Program  

Collaboration with Better Kid Care 

Friendship Connections Program 


Research Interests:

Clinical (Adult and Child):
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