Sandra G. Gagnon

Research Interests

The primary focus of my current research is the evaluation of relationships between preschool child temperament and various social environmental variables. I work collaboratively with undergraduate and graduate students and with Drs. Pam Kidder-Ashley and Tim Huelsman. Current studies examine the following variables as they relate to child temperament:

  • Student-teacher relationships
  • Teaching stress
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Parenting stress
  • Parenting styles
  • Peer interactive play

The basis for these studies is provided by previous research, which indicates that temperament influences the ways in which children relate to others within their environments, including parents, teachers, and peers, and that these relationships contribute significantly to the development of important competencies during early childhood, particularly those relevant to school adjustment. The research relies on the goodness-of-fit conceptualization described by Thomas, Chess, and Birch (1968), which emphasizes the interactions between temperament and the demands of the surrounding environment. The ultimate goal of the research is to identify targets for interventions geared toward promoting healthy social-emotional and behavioral development, and subsequent readiness for school.

Teaching Interests

My primary undergraduate courses are Psychology Applied to Teaching, Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Psychological Tests and Measurements. At the graduate level, I teach Psychoeducational Assessment for Intervention I and II to the first year School Psychology students.

Education

  • Ph.D., 2001, University of South Carolina, School Psychology
  • M.Ed., 1995, The Citadel, School Psychology
  • Ed.S., 1996, The Citadel, School Psychology
  • B.S., 1989, The University of Georgia, Child and Family Development

Representative Publications

(bold denotes students)

McClowry, S. G., & Gagnon, S. G. (in press). Maintaining the Fidelity of An Intervention. In B. Melnyk & D. Morrison-Beedy (Eds.), Intervention Research: Designing, Conducting, Analyzing, and Funding (2nd Ed). Springer Publishing.

Nagle, R. J., & Gagnon, S. G. (2014). Best practices in designing and conducting needs assessment. In P. L. Harrison & A. Thomas (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology: Systems-level services. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Reichard, A. E., Kidder-Ashley, P., Griggs, M. S., Struby, J., & Bollinger, J. (2013). Help me Play! Parental Behaviors, Child Temperament, and Preschool Peer Play. Journal of Child and Family Studies, doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9743-0.

Huelsman, T. J., Gagnon, S. G., Kidder-Ashley, P., & Griggs, M. S. (2013). Preschool temperament assessment: A quantitative assessment of the validity of Behavioral Style Questionnaire data. Early Education and Development.

Griggs, M. S., Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Kidder-Ashley, P., & Ballard, M. (2009). Student-teacher relationships matter: Moderating influences between temperament and preschool social competence. Psychology in the Schools, 46, 553-567.

Nagle, R. J., Gagnon, S. G. (2008). Best Practices in Planning and Conducting Needs Assessment. In A. Thomas, & J. Grimes (Eds.) Best practices in school psychology - V. Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.

Gagnon, S. G., Nagle, R. J., & Nickerson, A. B. (2007). Parent –teacher convergence: Ratings of peer interactive play and social emotional development of preschool children at risk. Journal of Early Intervention.

Gagnon, S. G., Kidder-Ashley, P., & Nickerson, A. B. (2007). Assessment of school and classroom environment. In B. A. Bracken & R. J. Nagle (Eds.), Psychoeducational assessment of preschool children (4th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Nickerson, A. B., Duvall, C. C., & Gagnon, S. G. (2007). Assessment of home and family dynamics. In B. A. Bracken & R. J. Nagle (Eds.), Psychoeducational assessment of preschool children (4th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Gagnon, S. G., & Nagle, R. J. (2004). Relationships between peer interactive play and social competence in at-risk preschool children. Psychology in the Schools, 41, 173-189.

Presentations

(bold denotes students)

Knight, E. L., Ashley, P. K., Gagnon, S. G., & Ray, M. (2017). Cross-generational transmission of parenting styles in Appalachia. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, San Antonio, TX.

Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Van Doren, H., Ashley, P. K., Bradsher, B. Hall, S., & Martin, Z. (February, 2016). Empowering rural teachers: Temperament-based intervention in preschool and kindergarten. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, New Orleans, LA.

Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Van Doren, H., Ashley, P. K., Knight, E., Johnsrude, E., Cobranchi, L., & Alons, A. (February, 2016). INSIGHTS into rural children: Temperament-based intervention and school readiness. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, New Orleans, LA.

Van Doren, H., Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., & Ashley, P. K. (February, 2016). Helping rural preschoolers get ready: Temperament and pracademics. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, New Orleans, LA.

Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Ashley, P. K., Van Doren, H., Martin, Z., Hall, S., & Bradsher, B. Knight, E., Johnsrude, E., Cobranchi, L., & Alons, A. (October, 2015). INSIGHTS into Appalachia: Temperament-based intervention in a rural setting. Lightening Talk presented at the Fall conference of the North Carolina School Psychology Association, Winston-Salem, NC.

Ashley, P. K., Knight, E. L., Huelsman, T. J., Gagnon, S. G. (October, 2015). Intergenerational parenting styles: Consistency of parenting styles across generations in a rural community. Lightning Talk presented at the Fall conference of the North Carolina School Psychology Association, Winston-Salem, NC.

Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Schaftlein, K., Kidder-Ashley, P., & *Butts, A. (2013). Understanding teachers' experiences: Student-teacher relationships and teaching stress. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists: Seattle, WA.

Struby, J., Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., & Ashley, P. K. (2011). Child temperament and parenting styles: Predictors of preschool social competence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists: San Francisco, CA.

Bollinger, J., Gagnon, S. G., Ashley, P. K., Huelsman, T. J., & Galloway, A. T. (2011). Parenting stress and preschool temperament as predictors of parent-child relationships. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists: San Francisco, CA.

Reichard, A. E., Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., & Ashley, P. K.. (2011). Parenting stress, styles, and relationships as predictors of preschool social competence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists: San Francisco, CA.

Gagnon, S. G., Huelsman, T. J., Schaftlein, K., & Ashley, P. K. (2011). Understanding and measuring teaching stress and student-teacher relationships. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists: San Francisco, CA.

Swaim, M. P., Gagnon, S. G., Kidder-Ashley, P. (April, 2007). Preschool Child Temperament and Student-Teacher Relationships: Predictors of Social Competence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, New York, NY.

Teaching and Research Awards

  • Featured, Women's History Month, The Citadel Graduate College, 2014
  • Academy of Outstanding Graduate Mentors, Cratis D. Williams Graduate School, November 2010
Title: Associate Professor
Department: Department of Psychology

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8944

Office address
310C Smith Wright Hall