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By specializing in Clinical Science in Child and Adolescent Psychology, we join only a small number of other programs in the United States that have this specialization. We serve as the clinical science program for the FIU Department of Psychology.

  • Background

    Our status as a standalone, independent Clinical Science specialization in Child and Adolescent Psychology is a reflection of the maturity of the field in the professional arena (e.g., board certification in the specialty through the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology; the transition of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology from a Section of Division 12 to its own independent Division – 53, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology), with its own scientific conferences, journals, books series and other publications. It’s also a reflection of the cumulative body of theoretical and empirical knowledge produced over the decades regarding development, maintenance, prevention and treatment of clinical problems of children through their lifespan.

    Drawing on this knowledge, clinical science in child and adolescent psychology necessitates a firm foundation in developmental psychology to allow for the construction of theories about the dynamic and complex interplay between the individual child and the contexts in which the child interacts (e.g., parents, family, peers, schools, community). Also critical for theory construction in this area is understanding the factors that result in child adaptation and coping, as well as maladaptation, poor coping and psychopathology in the context of cultural diversity. Just as importantly, dynamic and complex theory construction in child and adolescent clinical science require knowledge of and expertise in modern, cutting edge, methodological and statistical approaches.

  • Facilities

    Located on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, the Psychology Department’s Clinical Science Program in Child and Adolescent Psychology is located with the FIU Center for Children and Families in an interdisciplinary center focused on clinical research in child and adolescent mental health, in the Academic Health Sciences Building (AHC 1). The physical facilities and resources of the Program and Centers cover 11,000 square feet, with 10 testing and clinical treatment rooms (with observational windows and wired for sound and video) ranging in size from individual testing rooms to very large group playrooms, two medical examination rooms, waiting rooms for parents and children, a journal library with a large collection of assessment and treatment materials and treatment manuals, two conference rooms, two large, cubicle-equipped (each with a phone and networked computer) bullpen rooms for research staff and students, and 29 offices for faculty and staff, equipped with telephones and networked computers. A large number of current statistical software packages are available to researchers, and on-site statistical consultation is available.

    FIU emphasizes research, training, and mentorship as major components of its mission providing administrative resources for grants management, opportunities for training and career enrichment (e.g., through a newly established faculty mentoring program in the College of Arts and Sciences), continuing education opportunities (e.g., through the Office of Research Integrity, Department of Research), logistical support for the implementation of research (e.g., through the College of Arts and Sciences and University Technology Information Center), and support for protected research time.

    The diversity of Miami’s population and the size of Miami-Dade and Broward school districts (500,000 children) provide ample potential for research recruitment and clinical training. The program has extensive relationships within the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, primary care physicians and Miami Children’s Hospital, and with mental health facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, affording opportunities to conduct activities not only on-site but also in community, school, and mental health settings across the South Florida community.

    School of Integrated Science and Humanity

    The psychology department is part of the School of Integrated Science and Humanity (SISH). Established in 2009 by the College of Arts and Sciences, SISH brought together academic departments and innovative research centers to create a multidisciplinary home for the study of biomedical, behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences.

    SISH includes 165 faculty members from departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Forensic Science, Mathematics and Statistical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, and the Women’s Studies Center. In partnership with colleges of Medicine, Education, and Engineering, and with state-of-the-art research facilities, the school fosters initiatives in biomolecular and cognitive neurosciences, developmental and clinical science, and science and mathematics education and supports an environment for innovation and intellectual exchange.

    SISH is housed in the newly constructed, $43 million Academic Health Center-4 (AHC-4) building with auditorium and small group instruction classrooms, wet and dry labs, office space, 2 conference rooms per floor each equipped with audio-visual meeting and teleconferencing technology, copy rooms, large common areas facilitating interactions between scientists with diverse backgrounds, and secure wireless networking.

    Center for Children and Families

    The Center for Children and Families (CCF) is an interdisciplinary research, clinical, and training facility with goals to advance basic knowledge of developmental processes and treatment of mental health and learning problems for children and adolescents. The CCF is part of the Department of Psychology, located on the Modesto A. Maidique campus of Florida International University.

    The physical facilities and resources of the CCF are state-of-the-art, enabling CCF collaborators, including clinical child psychology graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, to conduct both large- and small-scale research and clinical activities with children and families with on-site, community, and school-based components.

    There are currently 23 Ph.D. faculty affiliates of the CCF representing the College of Arts and Sciences, the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, and the Robert Stempel College of Public Health. Faculty brings a broad range of expertise in infant, child, and adolescent mental health and developmental psychology. In addition to the Ph.D. faculty, the CCF is home to 3 M.D. faculty (child psychiatry), 5 postdoctoral fellows in clinical child or developmental psychology, a licensed clinical social worker, 54 graduate trainees in clinical child and developmental science, 40 third-year medical student trainees, 15 full-time research assistants/associates, and numerous undergraduate trainees. CCF administrative support staff includes a full-time grants management specialist, a clinical director, a clinic coordinator and 3 full time administrative support staff.

    The CCF has extensive relationships within the Miami-Dade County Public Schools; with primary care and specialty physicians; with The Children’s Trust, the largest funder of child-focused services in Miami-Dade County; and with mental health facilities in South Florida all of which facilitate recruitment of target populations for child- and family-focused research and treatment.

    The Integrated Biostatistics and Data Management Center

    The Integrated Biostatistics Management Center (IBDMC) (formerly the Biostatistics Resource Laboratory) supports the university’s research mission by providing infrastructure support relevant to biostatistics, data management and data quality enhancement. The IBDMC provides biostatistical support for research investigators and graduate students for preparing proposals, study design, data collection and management, statistical analyses, report and manuscript preparation and data archival.

    Facilities include computer workstations, server setups, access to data storage facilities plus relevant data management and statistical analysis software. Software available includes SAS, SPSS, M+, R, S+, REDCap, Qualtrics, etc., all the standard office software, plus a wide array of free ware for enhancing analyses and data explorations.

    Staffing includes the Director and Deputy Director, both faculty in the Department of Biostatistics, plus three other Biostatistics, Psychology and Statistics faculty, nine graduate students and two key staff that provide statistical and data management support. Also included is the server facility and associated staff, located in the Center for Advanced Technology and Education of the College of Engineering and Computing.

    Space includes offices for participating faculty, a conference room and cubicles for graduate students. The IBDMC will soon occupy additional offices in a recently completed adjacent building.

  • Faculty Expertise

    FIU’s Clinical Science in Child and Adolescent Psychology specialization has the strength of having core faculty in areas that represent each of the major problem areas of childhood and adolescence, including ADHD, anxiety, conduct problems, depression and suicidal behaviors, and risky problem behaviors. Many of the Clinical Science faculty are also conducting community-based, school-based, and clinic-based interventions.

    The clinic-based intervention programs are based in the comprehensive clinic in which students will receive comprehensive clinical training in evidence-based practices. Consequently, all students will have an opportunity to specialize in particular areas while also having an opportunity to obtain broad expertise and knowledge about the main problems of young people in different intervention contexts. A unique component of the training program will be explicit academic and experiential training in how to write and conduct federally funded research grants. Skills in this domain —particularly the ability to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects that translate basic research to interventions — are increasingly important for clinical psychologists in research careers, and our faculty have demonstrated expertise in this arena. More than $8 million in annual federal funding is currently held by clinical faculty, including the following sample of recent and current grants:

    • Behavior Modification and Young ADHD children, NIMH
    • Longitudinal Course and Impact of Depression, NIMH
    • Adaptive Treatments for Children with ADHD, IES
    • Parent Mediation of Child Anxiety CBT Outcome, NIMH
    • Development of drug use and abuse in ADHD adolescents, NIDA
    • The Development of Alcohol Use and Abuse in ADHD adolescents, NIAAA
    • A Novel Approach to Stimulant-Induced Weight Suppression and its Impact on Growth, NIMH
    • Postdoctoral Training in Intervention Research for Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders, IES
    • Psychosocial Mediation Trials and Training of Minority Trainees, NIMH
    • Therapy Specificity and Mediational Effects in Treating Anxious Children, NIMH
    • Effects of Strattera and Behavior Therapy on the School and Home Functioning of Elementary
    • School Children with ADHD, Eli Lilly
    • Novel Multimodal Intervention for Children with ADHD and Impaired Mood, NIMH
    • Designing a Novel Behavioral Treatment Program for Children with Callous-Unemotional Conduct Disorder, NIMH
  • Ethics & Diversity

    Learn More: Diversity Committee, Funding & Training Resources, Campus Resources, Demographics, Diversity in Clinical Science

    We spend significant time, in an ongoing way, considering comprehensive and empirically informed methods by which to train our students on issues of ethics and diversity, as these represent foundational professional competencies of both research and practice that are critical to a successful career in psychological clinical science. Ethics is a broad area critical to both patient care (e.g., maintaining awareness of personal bias, managing uncertainty, privacy and confidentiality, team-based decision making and treatment planning, aligning practice with codes of professional conduct) and research activities (e.g., informed consent, representative sampling, inclusion of underrepresented minority groups, culturally meaningful measurement, familiarity and compliance with IRB policies and procedures). Ethical conduct is exemplified by respect for cultural diversity and individual differences that characterize patients, participants, and populations receiving and participating in prevention, treatment, and healthcare services and research.

    Informed by a rich body of literature on ethics and diversity in psychological clinical science, we determined there to be several advantages to integrating training in these areas across multiple courses and throughout multiple years of training, thus providing students important opportunities to advance their knowledge and application of knowledge in an increasingly sophisticated way. In addition, by integrating ethics and diversity across multiple curriculum formats (coursework, practicum, and professional development), students receive opportunities to consider these issues in a variety of ways that include class discourse, clinical supervision, research meetings, and brown bag discussions that expose them to a wide variety of faculty experiences and perspectives, and ongoing opportunities for dialogue in small and large groups. Therefore, ethics and diversity are introduced early and revisited throughout training. Competence related to ethics and diversity is assessed annually with designated course assignments (Year 1: Psychological Clinical Science I, Year 2: Foundation Practicum II, and Year 3: Dissemination and Implementation Research) and upon completion of each advanced practicum through comprehensive student evaluations.


  • Policies & Procedures

    For guidance on research, the thesis process, funding and more, visit the Psychology Graduate Resources page, CASE Graduate and the University Graduate School.