Developmental psychology and research methods
B.A., Oberlin College in Psychology and English; M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia
Allyssa McCabe, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts Lowell. She co-edits the journal Narrative Inquiry and has researched how narrative develops with age, the way parents can encourage narration, cultural differences in narration, as well as interrelationships between the development of narrative, vocabulary, and phonological awareness. Her most recent work concerns a theoretical approach to early literacy called the Comprehensive Language Approach, which looks at ways that the various strands of oral and written language (e.g., vocabulary, phonological awareness, print knowledge) affect each other in the acquisition of full literacy. A key concern is with assessment of preschool-aged children, especially preventing misdiagnosis of cultural differences in language use as deficits. With Lynn Bliss, she most recently published Patterns of Narrative Discourse: A Multicultural Lifespan Approach with Allyn & Bacon. At present she is funded for an intervention with preschool children attending the Bartlett School in Lowell, enlisting graduate and undergraduate students to build the oral language skills such children need in order to successfully learn to read and write.