Yvette Harris

Yvette Harris

Program Coordinator | Professor

216 Psychology Building
Oxford, OH 45056
The Harris Parent Child Interaction Lab

Teaching Interests

  • Addiction in Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • African American Child Psychology
  • Child Development
  • Children and Poverty
  • Children with Parents in the Criminal Justice System

Research Interests

My research program reflects my interest in two board areas. My first area, developed as a graduate student at the University of Florida, explores the association between parenting behaviors and preschool and school age cognitive and academic performance. I employ a Vygotskian/IPS theoretical frame work which allows me to examine teaching and learning transactions among diverse maternal child dyads across several cognitive type tasks. A subset of my research in the past few years has examined the particular teaching learning interactions of African American mothers and children and emotion regulation in Latina mothers and children. A significant percentage of the research in this area has been done in collaboration with Miami University undergraduate and graduate students. I have actively and consistently pursued both internal and external funding to support my research.

In addition to the empirical work, I have published four books, two of which focus specifically on African American children (The African American Child Development and Challenges 2nd edition) and Children of African Origin. As a result of this scholarship, I have appeared (twice) on National Public Radio and other media programs and participated as a panelist discussing African America Children and Bullying: What Parents Should Do, for the Black Caucus Annual Legislative Session. The work in this area has been done in collaboration with both former Miami University graduate students and undergraduate students.

The second line of research is a new line and combines my clinical, criminal justice and developmental training, and focuses on exploring issues of family stability/instability when a mother re-enters from prison. I have co-edited one book in this research area: Children of Incarcerated Parents: Theoretical, Developmental and Clinical Implications, published one paper, with a second currently in revision for resubmission to Journal of Community Psychology and presented at several conferences, as either a panelist or a keynote speaker.

Professional Recognition

  • Nominated for the Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color Award 2015
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society 2009
  • Outstanding Professor Nominee 2006-2007
  • Effective Educator Nominee 2004-2005
  • Effective Educator Nominee 1998
  • Oxford Citizen of the Year 1997
  • Effective Educator Nominee 1996

Representative Publications

  • Harris, Y.R. (In press). The complexities in conceptualizing neurodiversity. Comment on “Implications of the idea of neurodiversity for understanding the origins of developmental disorders” by Nobuo Masataka Phys Life Review. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plrev.2017.01.020
  • Harris, Y.R. & Altamtairi, S. (2016). A Commentary on Parent Child Cognitive Interaction Research: What have we learned from two decades of research? Frontiers in Developmental Psychology https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01210
  • Harris, Y.R. & Harris, V.A. (2014). Pathways to Understanding Parenting Addiction and Incarceration: A Pilot Investigation. Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry 1(2):00008.
  • Harris, Y. R., & Rothstein, S.E. (2014). Exploring story grammar structure in the book reading interactions of African American mothers and their preschool children: a pilot investigation. Front. Psychol. 5:545. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00545
  • Graham, J.A. & Harris, Y. R. (2013). Children of Color and Parental Incarceration: Implications for Research, Theory and Practice. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 41, 66-81.
  • Harris, Y. R. & Schroeder, V.M. (2013). Deficits or Differences? What we know about African American Vernacular English in the 21st Century. International Education Studies. 6, 205-217
  • Harris, Y. R. (2012), Children of Incarcerated Parents. In Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. Ed. Edward J. Mullen. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Harris, Y.R., & Schroeder, V. M. (2013). The association between maternal strategies and preschoolers location memory. European Journal of Developmental Psychology. 10, 461-475.
  • Harris, Y.R., & Schroeder, V. M. (2012). What the Bernstein Bears can tell us about School Readiness: Maternal Story Grammar and Preschool Narrative Structure, Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12, 1-20.


  • Project Title: Summer Camp for Children of Incarcerated Parents (May, 2009).
    Funding Agency: Greater Cincinnati Foundation. 
    Role: Principal Investigator 
    Award: $1000.00.
  • Project Title: Summer Camp for Children of Incarcerated Parents (May, 2009). 
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Funding Agency: Oxford Community Foundation. 
    Awarded: $300.00.
  • Project Title: Summer Camp for Children of Incarcerated Parents (Summer 2009).
    Role; Principal Investigator 
    Funding Agency: Family First Council.
    Amount awarded: $250.00
  • Project Title: Birth to 18 Needs Assessment Butler County (Fall 2005-2006).
    Role: Co- Principal Investigator Effort: 50%
    Co-PI: Jhan Berry
    Funding Agency: Cincinnati Health Foundation.
    Amount awarded: $16,000
  • Project Title: An Exploration of the Maternal and Environmental Factors Influencing Maternal Child Interaction (2002-2003).
    Role: Principal Investigator:
    Funding Agency: Harvard University/Radcliff University, Murray Research Center Faculty Support Award.
    Amount Awarded: $9,000.

Courses Taught

  • Addiction in Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • African American Child Psychology
  • African American Psychology
  • Child Development
  • Children and Poverty
  • Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • Cognitive Development
  • Cross-Cultural Issues in Developmental Psychology
  • Critical Issues in Cognitive Development Developmental Psychology
  • Infancy
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Psychology across Cultures
  • The Effects of Television Viewing on Young Children's Social and Cognitive Development