Judith R. Harrison

Associate Professor of Special Education
Educational Psychology
GSE Room 317

Judith Harrison holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Special Education and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD) from Texas A&M University. Through her 20 years of experience as a counselor and teaching special education, she has primarily worked with children with ADHD and Behavioral Disorders. Harrison’s dissertation allowed her to use large databases to look at children with ADHD and see exactly which behaviors were perceived as discriminatory. Through her work, she discovered that for young children there was an atypicality and for older children in high school it was academic problems. As a result, she began to focus her research on middle school-aged children with ADHD.

Harrison’s most recent research looks closely at comparing the effectiveness of interventions and accommodations for children with behavioral disabilities. She discovered that when implementing an intervention you have the opportunity to teach the child a skill, whereas accommodation does not allow for this. She explains that accommodation is the most common application that happens for children with behavioral disabilities, and there is not a lot of research supporting it. Further, Harrison co-published the article “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders and Classroom-Based Interventions,” which goes into depth about her research on the effectiveness and value of learning interventions.

Harrison’s work can be viewed as social justice, as she tries to bring light to the fact of rather than teaching children with behavioral disabilities the skills they need to function in society, we are giving them accommodations which hurts them in the long run. She believes it is crucial that children with ADHD and behavioral disabilities are not taught a “watered down” version for the learning material. Her main focus is finding an effective way to teach children with ADHD and behavioral disabilities the everyday skills they need to succeed in life.

Additionally, Harrison is on the GSE teacher education committee where she helps build the five-year program and focuses primarily on the special education component. She is eager to make sure students get everything they need before going into the classroom, whether it is general education classes or self-contained environments.

• Ph.D. Educational Psychology, Special Education Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas,
• M.A. Counseling: Community and Special Education Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
• B.S. Elementary Education Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
• Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
• Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD)
• Association for Positive Behavior Support

  • Expertise & Research Interest

    Special Education

    Services for youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

  • Recent & Selected Publications

    State, T., Harrison, J. R., Kern, L., & Lewis, T. J. (accepted). Feasibility and acceptability of classroom-based interventions for students with emotional/behavioral challenges at the high school level. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions

    Spiel, C. F., Mixon, C. S., Holdaway, A. S., Evans, S. W., Harrison, J. R., Zoromski, A. K., & Sadler, J. M. (in press). The effect of reading tests aloud on the performance of youth with and without ADHD. Remedial and Special Education

    Harrison, J. R., State, T. M., Evans, S. W., & Schamberg, T. (2015 online first). Construct and predictive validity of social acceptability: Scores from high school teacher ratings on the School Intervention Rating Form. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions

    Kelley, M., Harrison, J. R., Green, A., & Schaughency, E. (2014). Building relationships with stakeholders: A recommended focus for research in school mental health. School Mental Health, , 6, 112 – 124.

    Harrison, J. R., Vannest, K. J., & Reynolds, C.R. (2013). Social acceptability of five screening instruments for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Behavioral Disorders, 38(3), 171-189.

    Harrison, J. R., Bunford, N., Evans, & S. W., Owens, J. (2013). Educational accommodations for students with behavioral challenges: A systematic review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 83(4), 551 – 597. doi: 10.1007/s12310-014-9121-0

    Evans, S. W., Brady, C. E., Harrison, J. R., Bunford, N., Kern, L., State, T. & Andrews, C. (2013). Measuring ADHD and ODD symptoms and impairment using high school teachers’ ratings. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(2), 197-207. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2012.738456

    Harrison, J. R., Vannest, K. J., Davis, J. L., & Reynolds, C. R. (2012). Common problem behaviors of children and adolescents in general education classrooms in the United States. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 20(1), 55-64. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2012.738456

    Vannest, K. J., Harrison, J. R., Temple-Harvey, K., Ramsey, L., & Parker, R. I. (2011). Improvement rate differences of academic interventions for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, Remedial and Special Education, (32)6, 521-534.

    Harrison, J. R., Vannest, K. J., & Reynolds, C. R. (2011). Behaviors that discriminate ADHD: Primary symptoms, symptoms of comorbid conditions, or functional impairment? Journal of Attention Disorders¸ 15(2), 147-160. doi: 10.1177/1087054709356170

    Vannest, K. J., Soares, D. A., Harrison, J. R., Brown, L., & Parker, R. I. (2009). Changing teacher time use. Preventing School Failure, 54(2), 86-98.

    Harrison, J. R., Thompson, B., & Vannest, K. J. (2009). Reading and understanding the evidence for effective interventions to increase academic performance in students with ADHD: The relevance of the statistical significance controversy. Review of Educational Research.79, 740-775.
    Reprinted (2010) Mensa Research Journal, 41(3), 59 – 77.

    Soares, D. A., Vannest, K. J., & Harrison, J.R. (2009). Computer aided self-monitoring to increase academic production and reduce self-injurious behavior in a child with autism. Behavioral Interventions, 24(3), 171-183. doi: 10.1002/bin.283

    Harrison, J. R. & Vannest, K. J. (2008). Educators supporting families in times of crisis: Military reserve deployments. Preventing School Failure, 52(4), 17-23. doi: 10.3200/PSFL.52.4.17-24

  • Honors & Awards

    Harrison, J. R. (7/1/15 – 5/1/16). Classroom Based Services for Young Adolescents with ADHD. University Research Council Grant Program. $2550.00

    Harrison, J. R. (9/1/15 – 8/31/18). Increasing Opportunities and Lessening Inequality: Classroom Based Services for Young Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Spencer Small Research Grant, $49.926.00.

    Harrison, J. R. (7/1/15 – 7/1/16). Evaluation of Services for IEPsof Youth with ADHD. Society for the Study of School Psychology: Early Career Research Award, $19,833.00.

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