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Erin O'Connor

Professor of Education

Teaching and Learning

212 992 9473

Erin O'Connor received her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2005. She is currently an Associate Professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. O'Connor leads a research program examining relationships with mothers and teachers and the impacts of these relationships on children's development in early and middle childhood. This research focuses on three specific areas. The first is on the influences of the school and family environments, and teacher and child characteristics on the quality of teacher-child relationships in early and middle childhood. The second is on the effect of mother-child and teacher-child relationships on children's academic achievement and social development in pre-kindergarten. The third is on the developmental/ longitudinal trajectories of children's relationships with teachers across the elementary school years, and the influence of these trajectories on children's social development and academic achievement. O'Connor also conducts randomized control trials of relationship-building interventions on the language and social development of pre-kindergarten children from low-income families and neighborhoods. Her research has implications for teaching and learning and applied developmental science as well as educational practitioners and policy-makers. O'Connor has published in educational and psychology journals including the American Educational Research JournalJournal of Educational Psychology, and Journal of Applied Psychology. Her work is supported by grants from several institutions including the Institute for Education Sciences. O'Connor is a member of the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and the Society for Research in Child Development.

Selected Publications

  • Han, J., O’Connor, E.E., & McCormick, M.P. (in press). The relation of Pre-K process quality to children's academic achievement trajectories throughout middle childhood. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
  • McCormick, M.P., White, H.I., Horn, E.P., Lacks, R., O’Connor, E.E., Cappella, E., & McClowry, S. (2018). Instructional support and academic skills: Impacts of INSIGHTS in classrooms with shy children. Early Education & Development, 29(5), 691-715.
  • Han, J., O’Connor, E.E., McCormick, M.P., & McClowry, S.G. (2017). Child temperament and home- based parent involvement at the transition to kindergarten: Evidence from a low-income, urban sample. Early Education and Development, 28(5), 590 – 606.
  • McCormick, M.P., O’Connor, E.E., & Horn, E.P. (2017). Can teacher-child relationships alter the effects of early socioeconomic status on achievement in middle childhood? Journal of School Psychology, 64, 76-92.
  • Collins, A., O'Connor, E.E, & McClowry, S. (2017). The role of a temperament intervention in kindergarten children's standardized academic achievement. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 5(2), 120-139.
  • Collins, B. O’Connor, E.E., Supplee, L. & Shaw, D. (2017). Behavior problems in elementary school among low-income boys: The role of teacher-child relationships. The Journal of Educational Research. 110(1), 72-84.
  • Collins, A. & O'Connor, E.E. (2016). Teacher-child relationships and child temperament in early achievement. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 6(1), 174-194.
  • McCormick, M.P., Cappella, E., O’Connor, E.E., Hill, J., & McClowry, S.G. (2016). Do effects of social-emotional learning programs vary by level of parent participation? Evidence from the randomized trial of INSIGHTS. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9(3), 364-394.
  • McCormick, M.P., O’Connor, E.E., & Barnes, S.P. (2016). Mother-child attachment styles and math and literacy skill development in middle childhood: The mediating role of children’s exploration and engagement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36(3), 295 – 306.
  • McCormick, M.P., Cappella, E., O’Connor, E. E. & McClowry, S. (2015). Social-emotional learning and academic achievement: Using causal methods to explore classroom-level mechanisms. AERA Open.
  • McCormick, M.P., O’Connor, E. E., Cappella, E., & McClowry, S.G. (2015). Getting a good start in school: Differential effects of INSIGHTS on the behaviors and engagement of children with high maintenance temperaments. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30, 128-139.