Terri Sullivan, Ph.D.

Dr. Terri Sullivan

Director, Graduate Studies
810 W Franklin, rm 303
(804) 828-9304

Professor (tenured)
Director, Developmental Psychology
Ph.D. (1998), Virginia Commonwealth University

Research Interests

My research program focuses on understanding the impact of aggression and exposure to violence on children's healthy psychosocial and emotional development. This research includes examination of the relations between aggression and exposure to violence (including witnessing violence and victimization) and psychosocial maladjustment, and identifying risk and protective factors that may magnify or buffer these relations. A key goal within this area is to address the distinct constructs of relational and physical aggression and victimization in the context of peer and dating relations. Another aspect of my research focuses on the evaluation of school-based violence prevention efforts, especially for students with high incidence disabilities.

Select Publications

Sullivan, T. N, Sutherland, K. S., Farrell, A. D., & Taylor, K. A. (2015). An evaluation of Second Step: What are the benefits for youth with and without disabilities? Remedial and Special Education, 36, 286-298.
Sullivan, T. N., Erwin, E. H., Helms, S. W., Masho, S. W., & Farrell, A. D. (2010). Problematic situations associated with dating experiences and relationships among urban African American adolescents: A qualitative study. Journal of Primary Prevention, 31, 365-378.
Sullivan, T. N., Helms, S. W., Kliewer, W., & Goodman, K. (2010). Associations between sadness and anger regulation coping, emotional expression, and physical and relational aggression among urban adolescents. Social Development, 19(1), 30-51.
Sullivan, T. N., Farrell, A. D., Kliewer, W., Vulin-Reynolds, M., & Valois, R. F. (2007). Exposure to violence in early adolescence: The impact of self-restraint, witnessing violence, and victimization on aggression and drug use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 27, 296-323.
Sullivan, T. N., Farrell, A. D., & Kliewer, W. (2006). Peer victimization in early adolescence: Association between physical and relational victimization and drug use, aggression, and delinquent behavior among urban middle school students. Development and Psychopathology, 18, 119-137.

Recent Courses

  • Developmental Research Methods, graduate level
  • Principles of Psychological Measurement, graduate level
  • Psychology of Adolescence, graduate level
  • Psychology of Adolescence, undergraduate level

Recent Grants

Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Sustainability of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Increasing School Safety for Urban Middle Schools. January 2015-December 2018. National Institute of Justice. 2014-CK-BX-0009, $2,660,933.

Promoting Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence in Adolescents with Disabilities: A School-Wide Inclusive Violence Prevention Model. March 2010-February 2014. Department of Education; Institute for Education Sciences (IES). R324A100160, $1,500,000.


  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, VCU College of Humanities and Science, 2015
  • Outstanding Service Award, VCU Department of Psychology, 2014
  • Outstanding Research Award, VCU Department of Psychology, 2012

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