Dr. Barbara Myers


Emeritus Professor
Developmental Psychology

Emeritus Professor
Developmental Psychology

PhD (1981), Temple University

Contact Information

E-mail: bmyers@vcu.edu

Research Interests

My current research is with two groups of high-risk children — children with autism and their families, and children and families affected by incarceration. I am interested in the pressures and decisions that parents of children with disabilities experience—especially children in the autism spectrum—including how families make treatment/therapy choices for their children. My grad students and former grad students and I are pursuing this with both large sample online studies and qualitative interview studies.

I am also involved with children and families experiencing incarceration. I have just finished 6 years of service on the Board of Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in that capacity served on a board that oversees the policies and practices of juvenile correctional centers, detention facilities, and group homes across the state. I also conduct research with children of incarcerated mothers, with special attention to factors that bolster resiliency or that contribute to problem behavior. I work every summer, along with my students, with these children at a camp, where we conduct our research in between the swimming and archery and campfires. I was originally an infancy/early childhood researcher and still maintain these interests, especially in regard to young children with special needs. My special joy is working with my graduate students, who are the best in the world, at least in my eyes. I regret to add that I will not be bringing in a new student for next year.

Selected Publications

Myers, B. J., Mackintosh, V. H., Kuznetsova, M. I., Lotze, G. M., Best, A. M., & Ravindran, N. (in press). Teasing, bullying, and emotion regulation in children of incarcerated mothers. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.
Gendron, T., Myers, B. J., Pelco, L., & Welleford, E. A. (in press). Promoting the development of professional identity in Gerontology. Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics Education.
Ravindran, N., & Myers, B. J. (in press). Beliefs and practices regarding autism in Indian families now settled abroad: An internet survey. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, 28.
Mackintosh, V. M., Goin-Kochel, R. P., & Myers, B. J. (2012). “What do you like/dislike about the treatments you’re currently using?” A qualitative study of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, 27, 51-60.
RavindranN., & Myers, B. J. (2012).Cultural influences on perceptions of health, illness, and disability: A review and focus on autism. Journal of Child and Family Studies21, 311-319.

Recent Courses

  • Child Psychology, undergraduate level
  • Lifespan Developmental Psychology, undergraduate level
  • Parenting, graduate and undergraduate level
  • Developmental Processes Seminar, graduate level
  • Research Methods in Developmental Psychology, graduate level
  • Infant Behavior and Development, graduate level

Recent Grants

Parenting Children of Promise. Virginia Department of Corrections. (2004)-(present) Funds three graduate students to teach parenting classes to incarcerated mothers and fathers in Virginia's state prisons. Training in parenting, child development, parenting rights and responsibilities, communication, family law. Role: P.I.
Youth in Corrections. Virginia Department of Corrections (1998)-(present) Service-Learning class, undergraduate students take didactic course on juvenile justice while also serving as tutors to offenders in a juvenile detention facility. This grant pays adjunct salary for the course instructor and provides GTA support for one graduate student yearly. More than 650 students have received this training, over 26 semesters of ongoing support. Many have gone on to roles as social workers, counselors, and correctional professionals. Role: P.I.


  • Outstanding Service Award, VCU Psychology Department, 2013