Clinical Child Concentration

The concentration in clinical child focuses on developmental psychopathology and treatment of underserved youth in schools and community settings.

The ultimate goal is to improve access to evidence-based prevention and intervention programs for children and adolescents, including those representing underserved, marginalized and minoritized populations.

Please see the VCU Bulletin for additional degree information.

Research overview

Clinical child concentration faculty are highly involved in research and have secured external grants from agencies including the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Defense, Welcome Trust and the Institute of Education Sciences. Many graduate students in the clinical child concentration are funded by research assistantships on one of these projects.

Regardless of funding source, all students in the clinical child concentration have opportunities to be intensively involved in research from the start of their graduate training. Faculty members' research interests focus on developing, evaluating and implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention programs in community-settings such as schools and community-based pediatric and mental health clinics.

Ongoing projects are focused on:

  • Implementation science (Bryce D. McLeodMichael Southam-Gerow)
  • Family-based programs to prevent youth substance use and sexual risk behavior (Rosalie Corona)
  • Improving the academic and behavioral performance of students with disruptive behavior disorders (Bryce D. McLeod)
  • Partnering with medical professionals to address disparities in the assessment and treatment of children with behavioral and emotional problems (Heather Jones)
  • Better understanding child, adolescent, parental and family mental health issues in Latinx and Black families (Rosalie Corona, Heather Jones)

Many of the clinical child concentration faculty have national and international research reputations, regularly review grants for the National Institute of Health and the Institute of Education Sciences, serve as associate editors for top journals, and are invested and active in Richmond metropolitan communities, providing service via consultation and psychoeducation to parents, teachers, pediatricians and other professionals.

Facts and Data

  • Six tenured clinical-child/adolescent concentration faculty
  • 25 graduate students in the child/adolescent concentration
  • In 2021, faculty were PI on 10 and co-I on 12 ongoing federally funded research grants. 
  • Ongoing federally funded training grants from the National Institute of Health where clinical child/adolescent graduate students are PI.
  • More than 110 peer-reviewed publications authored by clinical-child/adolescent faculty from 2019 to 2021
  • 100% of clinical-child/adolescent students have matched with APA accredited internship sites over the past three years

Clinical Training 

Clinical child concentration students have a multitude of opportunities to train in pediatric psychology settings as well as more traditional child mental health clinics. Training is systematic, providing students first with general exposure to child and family therapy, followed by rotations in outpatient clinics or integrated care clinics in pediatric and family medicine practices, and culminating with specialist clinical training through community-based externships.

Core clinical faculty provide supervision, and students quickly learn how research is used to inform clinical practice with state-of-the-art interventions and assessment techniques, while understanding the limitations of the current literature base with regard to patients and clients from marginalized communities.

Students are provided with a diverse range of assessment and treatment experiences, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral treatment for anxiety disorders
  • Comprehensive assessment of ADHD and comorbid conditions such as learning disabilities, anxiety and depression
  • Behavioral parent training
  • Behavioral interventions to improve school functioning

Students have numerous options to gain additional specialized training in the community, such as:

  • Conducting neuropsychological assessment
  • Treating more severe clinical child/adolescent issues such as youth suicidality
  • Working on pediatric, hospital-based rotations focused on treating and improving quality of life for children with chronic health conditions

Students bilingual in Spanish also have the opportunity to provide services to Spanish-speaking individuals and be supervised by a bilingual, licensed clinical psychologist.