Dr. Janis Kupersmidt
iRT President and Senior Research Scientist
Ph.D., Psychology, Duke University
Dr. Kupersmidt is the President and Senior Research Scientist of Innovation Research & Training ("iRT"), which she founded in 1999. iRT's mission is to develop empirically validated assessment tools and intervention programs to improve the health and well-being of children, adolescents, and young adults. At iRT, Dr. Kupersmidt leads a multi-disciplinary team that has received both public and private funding on a range of topics to conduct basic and applied research, as well as provide training and technical assistance services. iRT has expertise in designing, creating, and rigorously evaluatingproducts and services in the areas of youth mentoring, social-emotional learning, media literacy education for substance abuse prevention and reproductive health, mindfulness education, web-based assessments of emotion recognition and social information processing skills, and psychoeducational group therapy with substance abusing delinquent adolescents.
The iRT research team led by Dr. Kupersmidt has developed two media literacy substance abuse prevention programs, Media Detective, for elementary school-aged children, and Media Ready, for middle school-aged children. Both programs are reviewed by the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) related to substance abuse prevention efforts.
The majority of her scientific contributions have been in the areas of:
- peer relationship problems such as peer rejection and peer victimization;
- aggression and delinquency in children and adolescents;
- social and emotional learning and assessment;
- programs and services to enhance the quality of youth mentoring relationships;
- stress and coping in children and adolescents; and
- the effects of exposure to violence on children and adolescents.
Dr. Kupersmidt is very committed to enhancing the blending of research-and-practice activities through working closely with nonprofit and community-based organizations and providers. During the development cycle, iRT works collaboratively with end-users to develop feasible, usable, and attractive products. In addition, iRT has provided strategic consulting on program development and information technology for assessment and monitoring purposes; training and continuing education; development and evaluation of preventive and treatment intervention programs; and outcome and process program evaluations of multi-site programs.
Dr. Kupersmidt has clinical experience with a wide range of populations of children and adolescents including:
- aggressive, rejected or peer-victimized children in school settings;
- rural children of migrant and seasonal farm workers;
- incarcerated adolescents; and
- substance-abusing adolescents.
Dr Kupersmidt was a tenured faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Psychology Department for 15 years, where she taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in Child Clinical Psychology. She also taught at the University of Virginia for three years. Dr. Kupersmidt has been an investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988. She has over 80 peer-reviewed publications including empirical papers, chapters, and an edited book; over 150 scientific presentations; and has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on many federal, state, and private research grants and contracts.
Dr. Kupersmidt received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 1985 with specialization in child clinical psychology. She completed her clinical internship in at Yale University in 1984 and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1978 from Douglass College of Rutgers University.
Baker, C. N., Kupersmidt, J. B., Voegler-Lee, M.E., Arnold, D. H., & Willoughby, M. T. (2010). Predicting teacher participation in a classroom-based, integrated preventive intervention for preschoolers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(3), 270-283.
Scull, T.M., Kupersmidt, J.B., Parker, A.E., Elmore, K.C., & Benson, J.W. (2010). Media-related cognitions and adolescent substance use in the context of parental and peer influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(9), 981-998.
Kupersmidt, J. B., Scull, T. M., & Austin, E. W. (2010). Media literacy education for elementary school substance abuse prevention: A short-term randomized efficacy study of the Media Detective curriculum. Pediatrics, 126(3), 525-531.
Scull, T. M., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2011). An evaluation of a media literacy program training workshop for late elementary school teachers. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 3(1).
Willoughby, M. T., Kupersmidt, J. B., Voegler-Lee, M. E., Bryant, D., Peisner-Feinberg, E., & Arnold, D. (2011). Contributions of hot and cool self-regulation to preschool disruptive behavior and academic achievement. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36(2), 162-180.
Kupersmidt, J. B., Stelter, R., & Dodge, K. A. (2011). Development and validation of the SIP-AP: A web-based measure of social information processing patterns in elementary school-aged boys. Psychological Assessment. 23(4), 834-847. doi: 10.1037/a0023621.
Kupersmidt, J. B., Scull, T. M., & Benson, J. W. (2012). Improving media message interpretation processing skills to promote healthy decision making about substance use: The effects of the Media Ready Curriculum. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, 17(5), 546-563. DOI:10.1080/10810730.2011.635769.
Willoughby, M. T., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Voegler-Lee, M. E. (2012). Is preschool executive function causally related to academic achievement? Child Neuropsychology, 18(1), 79-91.
Arnold, D. H., Kupersmidt, J. B., Voegler-Lee, M. E. & Marshall, N. (2012). The association between preschool children’s social functioning and their emergent academic skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.12.009.
Voegler-Lee, M., Kupersmidt, J. B., Field, S. &. Willoughby, M. T. (2012). Student characteristics as predictors of teacher’s implementation of a Kindergarten readiness program. Prevention Science. doi: 10.1007/s11121-012-0274-5.
Parker, A. E., Mathis, E. T., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2013). How is this child feeling? Preschool-aged children’s ability to recognize emotion in faces and body poses. Early Education and Development, 24(2), 188-211.
Kupersmidt, J. B., & Rhodes, J. E. (2013). Mentor training and support. In D. L. DuBois and M. J. Karcher (Eds.). Handbook of Youth Mentoring, Second Edition (pp. 439 – 468). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Scull, T. M., Kupersmidt, J. B., & Erausquin, J. T. (2013). The impact of media-related cognitions on children’s substance use outcomes in the context of parental and peer substance use. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 43(5), 717-728. DOI 10.1007/s10984-013-0012-8.
Scull, T. M., Malik, C. V., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2014). A media literacy education approach to teaching adolescents comprehensive sexual health education. Journal of Media Literacy Education. 6(1), 1-14.
Parker, A., E., Kupersmidt, J. B., Mathis, E. T., Scull, T. M., & Sims, C. (2014). The impact of mindfulness education on elementary school students: Evaluation of the Master Mind Program. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, advance online publication, 10.1080/1754730X.2014.916497
Baker, C. N., Tichovolsky, M., Kupersmidt, J. B., Voegler-Lee, M. E., & Arnold, D. H. (2015). Teacher (mis)perceptions of preschoolers’ academic skills: Predictors and associations with longitudinal outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(3), 805-820. http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/edu0000008
Scull, T.M., Ortiz, R., Shafer, A., Brown, J., Kupersmidt, J.B., & Suellentrop, K. (2015). The effects of viewing and discussing episodes of 16 & Pregnant on high risk adolescents’ pregnancy-related outcomes. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 7(2), 1-11.
Scull, T.M., Malik, C.V., Kupersmidt, J.B., & Moallem, M. (2016). Rethinking sexuality education: A web-based solution. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2016 (pp. 2344-2348). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Parker, A. E. & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2016). Two universal mindfulness education programs for elementary and middle school students: Master Mind and Moment. In K. Schonert-Reichl & R. Roeser (Eds). Handbook of Mindfulness in Education: Emerging Theory, Research, and Programs (Vol. 1). Springer Press, 335-354.
Griffith, S., Arnold, D., Voegler-Lee, M. E., & Kupersmidt, J. (2016). Individual characteristics, family factors, and classroom experiences as predictors of low-income Kindergarteners’ social skills. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 6(1), 59.
Elmore, K. C., Scull, T. M., & Kupersmidt J. B. (2016). Media as a “Super Peer”: How adolescents interpret media messages predicts their perception of alcohol and tobacco use norms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Published online: 11 November 2016. DOI 10.1007/s10964-016-0609-9.
Kupersmidt, J. B., Stump, K. N., Stelter, R. L., & Rhodes, J. E. (2017). Mentoring program practices as predictors of match outcomes. Journal of Community Psychology. 1-16. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21883
Kupersmidt, J. B., Stump, K. N., Stelter, R. L., & Rhodes, J. E. (in press). Predictors of premature match closure in youth mentoring relationships. American Journal of Community Psychology.
Kupersmidt, J. B., Stelter, R. L., Rhodes, J. E., Stump, K. (in press). Enhancing mentor efficacy and preparedness through web-based, pre-match training, Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership.
Primack, B., Woods, M., Kupersmidt, J., Bier, M., & Austin, E. (in press). Media literacy and smoking. In the International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy.
Scull, T.M., Kupersmidt, J.B., & Weatherholt, T.N. (in press). The effectiveness of an online, family-based media literacy education program for substance abuse prevention in elementary school children: Study of the Media Detective Family program. Journal of Community Psychology.