Purdue University, 1978
Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics
Cooper Fellow and Provost Scholar
Director of Clinical Training
- Children's and adolescents' peer relations, friendships, and romantic relationships, as they pertain to psychological and physical health; children's reactions to trauma, including natural disasters (hurricanes) and peer victimization; social anxiety in children and adolescents; preventive interventions.
- Quick Links to Research:
- My profile on GoogleScholar can be found here.
- Many of my publications are available on ResearchGate.
- Also visit the FACEBOOK page for the UM Peers Lab. Manuals available for download, Helping America Cope and After the Storm. For additional manuals go to www.7-dippity.com.
In general, my research interests have always focused on issues of "risk and resilience" in children and adolescents and have cut across the areas of "mental health" and "physical health." Specifically, I investigate issues pertinent to child and adolescent mental health - including the effects of trauma (especially natural disasters) on children and youth, and the role of peer relations in child and adolescent adjustment and psychopathology. I also work on the development of preventive interventions for youth who are exposed to traumatic events or who experience peer victimization.
In the child health area, my current work focuses the physical health impact of disasters and of peer victimization, and the various ways that peers (and romantic partners) influence youths' health behaviors. Representative, recent publications in all these areas can be viewed below, as well as some earlier work on children with chronic disease.
Children's and Adolescents' Peer Relations
- Youth with problematic peer relations are at high risk for developing maladaptive outcomes (e.g., dropping out of school, adult emotional disorders). Specifically, we have recently examined social factors that predict social anxiety, depression, and health risk behaviors among adolescents.
- One major line of research is aimed at understanding more precisely how peer relations lead to adolescent maladjustment. Of particular interest is the role that supportive peer relationships and friendships play in moderating the impact of peer victimization, a key interpersonal stressor. Recent work is focusing on understanding the impact of adolescent peer victimization (including cyber-victimization) and associated health and mental health reactions that evolve over time. A recent project, funded by NIMH, is developing and testing a preventative intervention for peer victimized adolescents, who report elevated symptoms of social anxiety and/or depression. We are aslo doing research on adolescents' school transitions (FAST 2020).
Social Anxiety in Children and Adolescents/Dating Anxiety
Social anxiety may contribute to problems in youths' peer relations, which are critical for normal social and emotional development. Children who experience interpersonal difficulties with peers during the elementary school years are at substantial risk for concurrent and later emotional problems. Despite the importance of children's peer relations, we know little about the mechanisms that link poor peer relations with later maladjustment. In this regard, social anxiety is a promising avenue of investigation.
The Social Anxiety Scales were developed to assess children's and adolescents' feeling of social anxiety in the context of their peer relations. The Social Anxiety Scales include the Social Anxiety Scale for Children - Revised (SASC-R; La Greca & Stone, 1993), and the Social Anxiety Scale - Adolescents (SAS-A; La Greca & Lopez, 1998). We also extended this work to adolescents' reports of dating anxiety (e.g., Glickman & La Greca, 2004).
An extensive manual (La Greca, 1999) that describes work on the Social Anxiety Scales, and includes copies of the scales and their scoring may be obtained from the author at a cost of $15.00, to cover printing and mailing. Please contact my administrative assistant, Jeanette Suarez, for further details (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Children and Disasters
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are common sequelae of catastrophic disasters. In August 1992, South Florida was affected by Hurricane Andrew, one of the worst natural disasters in US history. In the wake of this disaster, we conducted a series of prospective studies of children's reactions and factors that predict children's lingering distress (e.g., La Greca, Silverman, Vernberg, & Prinstein, 1996; Vernberg, La Greca, Silverman, & Prinstein, 1996; La Greca, Lai, Llabre et al., 2013).
Several manuals have been developed, and are available free of charge on my faculty website (links are above) and from www.7-dippity.com. Helping Children Cope focuses on school-based activities to help children cope following disasters (La Greca, Silverman, Vernberg, Prinstein, & Vogel 1994). This manual has been broadly disseminated, both nationally and internationally, including a translation into Japanese. Also see, After the Storm: A guide to help children cope with the aftermath of hurricanes.
Subsequent studies have followed children who were affected by Hurricane Charley, a 2004 Category 4 Hurricane, on Florida's west coast, and also children affected by Hurricane Ike (2008) in Galveston, TX.
Child and Adolescent Health
My work in the child health area has focused on aspects of stress and coping among children and adolescents with diabetes, and on peer relation variables that predict adolescent health behaviors.
In the area of adolescent health behaviors, I am interested in how peers, close friends, and romantic partners contribute to adolescents' health-risk behaviors, such as drinking, smoking, and poor dietary habits, as well as to their positive health-enhancing behaviors.
Available Self-Report Measures
The Dating Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (DAS-A; Glickman & La Greca, 2004) assesses adolescents' anxiety in heterosocial and dating situations. For more information on this measure, consult the following articles:
- Adolescents' Anxiety in Dating Situations: The Role of Other-Sex Friends, Close Friends, and Romantic Partners. (La Greca & Mackey, 2007).
- The Dating Anxiety Scale for Adolescents: Scale Development and Associations with Adolescent Functioning. (Glickman & La Greca 2004).
Diabetes Social Support
The Diabetes Social Support Questionnaire (DSSQ) is a self-report measure with two parallel versions. The DSSQ Friends is a measure of friend's support for diabetes care. The DSSQ Family is a measure of family support for diabetes care. For more information on this measure, consult Bearman & La Greca, 2002.
The Peer Crowds Questionnaire(PCQ; La Greca, Prinstein & Fetter, 2001) was designed to assess the extent to which adolescents identify with a variety of common peer crowd affiliations. For more information regarding this questionnaire, please consult the following articles:
- Adolescent Peer Crowd Affiliation: Linkages With Health-Risk Behaviors and Close Friendships. (La Greca, Prinstein & Fetter, 2001)
- Adolescents' Eating, Exercise, and Weight Control Behaviors: Does Peer Crowd Affiliation Play a Role? (Mackey & La Greca, 2007).
- Childhood Peer Rejection and Aggression as Predictors of Adolescent Girls' Externalizing and Health Risk Behaviors: A 6-Year Longitudinal Study (Prinstein & La Greca, 2004).
The Self-Care Inventory is a self-report measure designed to assess a patient's level of adherence to diabetes self-care recommendations over the previous 1 - 2 months. The SCI Manual can be downloaded here. A revised copy of the Self-Care Inventory (SCI-R) can be downloaded here. For information on the psychometric analyses of the SCI-R, please consult this article: Measuring Diabetes Self-Care.
*PLEASE NOTE: The SCI and SCI-R are COPYRIGHTED materials. They are copyrighted by Annette M. La Greca, and may be used only with the written permission of the author. The author does not grant permission for publishing norms, alterations, or translations of the instrument without her written permission or collaboration in such efforts.
Social Anxiety Scales
The Social Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised (SASC-R) and the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) are self-report measures designed to assess childrens and adolescents' levels of social anxiety. The SASC-R is appropriate for children ages 7 to 13 years (elementary school) and the SAS-A is appropriate for adolescents (middle school and high school). Each measure has 18 items (plus 4 filler items) that evaluates three aspects of social anxiety: Fear of Negative Evaluation from peers (FNE = 8 items), Social Avoidance and Distress around New Peers or in New Situations (SAD-New = 6 items), and Generalized Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD-General = 4 items). Items are rated on 5-point Likert scales and summed across relevant items to obtain scores for SAS total and each of the three subscales. Substantial data supports the reliability and validity of these instruments.
The SASC-R and SAS-A are COPYRIGHTED materials. They are copyrighted by Annette M. La Greca and may be used only with her written permission. The author does not grant permission for publishing norms, alterations, or translations of the instrument without her written permission or collaboration in such efforts. The Manual for the Social Anxiety Scales contains detailed psychometric and normative information, information on translations, and copies of the scales and their scoring.
If you are interested in using the Social Anxiety Scales, please contact my assistant, Jeanette Suarez at email@example.com. In order to obtain the manual:
b) You must also send her a check or money order for $15.00, payable to the Department of Psychology, along with your mailing address.
Please allow up to two weeks for processing. The manual is only available by mail.