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Pamela A. Morris-Perez

Professor of Psychology and Social Intervention

Applied Psychology


Pamela Morris-Perez is a Professor of Applied Psychology at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and an Affiliated Professor at the NYU School of Global Public Health. Morris-Perez is an elected member of the National Academy of Education. She has garnered more than $75M to conduct research that bridges fields of developmental psychology, suicidology, education, and policy. 

Morris-Perez launched her career at MDRC, examining the effects on children of welfare and employment policies, with profound impact on policy debates (with ~250 news articles), developmental science, and impact methodology. Her early childhood work includes a $5M IES-funded partnership with NYCs Department of Education to support their historic expansion of Universal Pre-k and understand the impact of differing approaches to teacher’s professional development on children’s learning and development; and a $10M NIH-funded randomized trial (of a tiered primary/secondary parenting intervention within the pediatric primary care platform.

Morris-Perez’s newest research, borne from the loss of her 17-year-old daughter Frankie, addresses adolescent suicide from a developmentally-informed, population-health perspective as part of ARCADIA (A Research Center for ADolescent Interconnected Approaches) for Suicide Prevention. Our focus is to strengthen bridges, integrating prevention and intervention, within and across health and education systems, drawing from the “Swiss cheese model” for industrial accidents (described in a New York Times Op-Ed. With over $6M in funding from the William T. Grant Foundation and NIMH, she brings suicide prevention to the spaces that youth are to help more youth connect to care more quickly.

Complementing her research activity with institutional leadership, Morris-Perez oversaw 300 faculty in 11 Departments as Vice Dean and Interim Dean at NYU Steinhardt from 2015-2020, overseeing a 44% rise in annual research expenditures , a tripling of hires of faculty of color, and the transition of 7,000 students to remote instruction during COVID-19.

A former William T. Grant scholar, Morris-Perez served as lead editor of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness and a member of the National Academy of Science’s Board on Children, Youth, and Families. She received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University.

Selected Publications

See my google scholar profile.

  • Morris-Perez, P., Abenavoli, R., Benzekri, A., Rosenbach-Jordan, S. and Boccieri, G.R. (2023), Preventing adolescent suicide: Recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, program developers, and researchers. Social Policy Report, 36: 1-32., Pamela (2021, March 25). I Don’t Want Another Family to Lose a Child the Way We Did. New York Times Op-Ed
  • Miller, E. B., Canfield, C. F., Roby, E., Wippick, H., Shaw, D. S., Mendelsohn, A. L., & Morris-Perez, P. A. (2023). Enhancing early language and literacy skills for racial/ethnic minority children with low incomes through a randomized clinical trial: The mediating role of cognitively stimulating parent–child interactions. Child Development, 00, 1–14.
  • Weiland, C., & Morris-Perez, P. (2022). The risks and opportunities of the COVID-19 crisis for building longitudinal evidence on today’s early childhood education programs. Child Development Perspectives
  • Bassok, D. & Morris-Perez, P. (2021). University-Agency Partnerships to Strengthen Preschool: Improving Preschool at Scale. Future of Children. Princeton, NJ: The Trustees of Princeton University. [alphabetic listing of authors to reflect equal contribution].
  • Shaw, D., Mendelsohn, A., Morris-Perez, P. (2021). Reducing Poverty-Related Disparities in Child Development and School Readiness: The Smart Beginnings Tiered Prevention Strategy that Combines Pediatric Primary Care with Home Visiting. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 24(4), 669-683.
  • Roby, E., Miller, E., Shaw, D., Morris-Perez, P., Gill, A., Bogen, D., Rosas, J., Canfield, C., Hails, K., Wippick, H Honoroff, J., Cates, C., Weisledere, A., Chadwick, K., Raaka, C., Mendelsohn, A. (2021). Improving parent-child interactions in pediatric health care: A two-site randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-1799
  • Morris-Perez, P.A., Connors M., Friedman-Krauss, A. (and others) (2018). New Findings on Impact Variation from the Head Start Impact Study: Informing the Scale-up of Early Childhood Programs. American Educational Research Association Open. doi:10.1177/ 2332858418769287
  • Morris-Perez, P.A. (2017, August 14). Strengthening School Readiness in New York City's Pre-K for All. Education Week Blog.
  • Morris-Perez, P.A. & Connors, M.C. (2017). From the lab to the contexts in which young children live and grow: Historical perspective on the field. In E. Dearing & E. Votruba-Drzal (Eds.), The handbook of early childhood development programs, practices, and policies: Theory-based and empirically-supported strategies for promoting young children’s growth in the United States. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Morris-Perez, P. A., Aber, J. L., Wolf, S., & Berg, J. (2017). Impacts of Family Rewards on adolescents' mental health and problem behavior: Understanding the full range of effects of a Conditional Cash Transfer program. Prevention Science, 18 (3), 326-336. doi:10.1007/s11121-017-0748-6
  • Morris-Perez, P.A. & Reardon, S.F. (2017).  Moving education sciences forward by leaps and bounds: The need for interdisciplinary approaches to improving children’s educational trajectories. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 10(1), 1-6.
  • Eckenrode, J., Campa, M. I., Morris-Perez, P. A., Henderson, C. R., Bolger, K. E., Kitzman, H., & Olds, D. L. (2016). The prevention of child maltreatment through the Nurse Family Partnership Program: Mediating effects in a long-term follow-up study. Child Maltreatment, 1-8. doi:10.1177/1077559516685185.  (Received Best Paper of the Year Award 2017 by the Child Maltreatment Journal.)
  • Ganzel, B.A. & Morris-Perez, P.A. (2016). Typical and atypical brain development across the lifespan: Contributions to diathesis-stress models of psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti (ed.), Handbook of developmental psychopathology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Hill, H.D., Gennetian, L.A., Morris-Perez, P.A., Wolf, S., & Tubbs, C. (2013). On the consequences of income instability for child well-being. Child Development Perspectives, 7(2), 85-90.
  • Duncan, G., Morris-Perez, P.A., & Rodrigues, C. (2011). Does money really matter?  Estimating impacts of family income on children’s achievement with data from social policy experiments. Developmental Psychology, 47 (5), 1263-1279 [alphabetic listing of authors to reflect equal contribution].
  • Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris-Perez, P.A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In R. M. Lerner and W. Damon (Ed.), Theoretical models of human development. Vol. 1 of the Handbook of child psychology (5th ed.) (pp. 793-828). New York: Wiley.
  • Morris-Perez, P.A., Duncan, G., & Clark-Kauffman, E. (2005). Child well-being in an era of welfare-reform: The sensitivity of transitions in development to policy change. Developmental Psychology, 41 (6), 919-932.


Human Development Research and Policy

The Human Development Research and Policy program prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, and more.

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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
Applied Psychology