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Pamela Morris

Professor of Applied Psychology (Fall 2020 Sabbatical)

Applied Psychology


Pamela Morris is a Professor of Applied Psychology and the Interim Dean at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Having spent a decade in policy research at MDRC before joining the faculty at NYU, Dr. Morris has spent two decades working at the intersection of social policy, practice, developmental psychology, and education. 

Dr. Morris' work has spanned from research on employment and anti poverty policies targeted to parents, to early childhood interventions supporting the development of low-income children, all with the goal of informing practice and policy. Examples of her current work includes an IES-funded partnership with NYCs Department of Education to strengthen the research architecture and quality of the professional development system in the context of their historic Universal Pre-k expansion, and an NIH-funded randomized trial of a tiered primary/secondary parenting intervention within the population-scalable pediatric care platform. 

In her previous role as Vice Dean at NYU Steinhardt, Morris oversaw 300 faculty across 11 Departments and $39 million in annual research expenditures across 8 Interdisciplinary Research Centers. Over her three years in this role, a highly talented group of 75 full-time faculty have been hired—the most diverse cohort in the last decade. Moreover, research expenditures have risen by 30%, and Steinhardt now ranks in the top 10 of U.S. NEWS education school rankings, the highest it has ever been.

A former William T. Grant Scholar, Morris currently serves as a lead editor of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness and has served on a number of boards and review groups, including the National Academy of Science’s Board on Children, Youth, and Families and the Institute of Education Sciences’ Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education Panel. She received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. 

Selected Publications

  • Morris, P.A, & Halkitis, P. N. (2015). The influence of context on health. Behavioral Medicine, 41, 1-3. doi: 10.1080/08964289.2015.1063869
  • Wolf, S., Aber, J. L. & Morris, P. M. (2015). Patterns of time use among low-income minority adolescents and associations with academic outcomes and problem behaviors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(6),1208-1225.
  • McCoy, D. C., Connors, M. C., Morris, P. A., Yoshikawa, H., & Friedman-Krauss, A. H. (2015). Neighborhood economic disadvantage and children's cognitive and social-emotional development: Exploring Head Start classroom quality as a mediating mechanism. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32(0), 150-159. doi:
  • Gennetian, L. A., Wolf, S., Morris, P. A., & Hill, H.H. (2015). Intra-year household income instability and adolescent school behavior. Demography,52(2), 455-483.
  • Willner, C. J., Morris, P. A., McCoy, D. C., & Adam, E. K. (2014). Diurnal cortisol rhythms in youth from risky families: Effects of cumulative risk exposure and variation in the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR). Development and Psychopathology, 26(4), 999-1019. doi: 10.1017/S0954579414000558
  • Lloyd, C., Morris, P.A., & Portilla, X. M. (2014). Implementing the Foundations of Learning Project: Consideration for preschool intervention research. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community42(4), 282-299.
  • Wolf, S., Gennetian, L. A., Morris, P. A., & Hill, H. D. (2014). Patterns of income instability among low- and middle-income households with children. Family Relations, 63(3), 397-410.
  • Ganzel, B.A. & Morris, P.A. (2014). Typical and atypical brain development across the lifespan: Contributions to diathesis-stress models of psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti (ed.), Handbook of developmental psychopathology. New York, NY: Wiley.


Departmental Seminar: Theories of Change in Applied Psychology

Graduate seminar for students who are planning to teach or do research in psychology. Aims & objectives, content, methods of instruction, preparation & use of materials for evaluation, & a survey of research, literature, & methods.
Course #
APSY-GE 3009