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Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, PhD

Research Interests

High-impact teaching and learning practices (including service-learning, internships, capstones, and collaboration), scholarship of teaching and learning, school readiness, school and home-based interventions for at-risk preschoolers


As an Indiana native, the child of two Boilermakers, and a Purdue alumna myself, it only makes sense that I have made Purdue my academic home. I am pleased to be part of the Purdue community, and especially to work in a department that studies issues of individual, family, and community well-being and that prepares students to do meaningful work that improves people's lives.

My graduate training at the University of Massachusetts was in clinical psychology, with a concentration on children, adolescents, and families. My research interests bridge the disciplines of psychology and education, and initially focused on the learning and behavior of preschool-aged children. My main focus now is on work that examines university teaching and learning. I am particularly interested in those strategies that have been identified as high-impact teaching and learning practices, including service-learning, internships, capstones, and collaborative projects. My research, writing, and teaching focus on using these practices to continuously improve the undergraduate education of HDFS students.

Selected Publications

  • *Choi, J. Y., & Dobbs-Oates, J. (2014). Child care quality and preschoolers’ math development. Early Child Development and Care, 184, 915-932. doi: 10.1080/03004430.2013.829822
  • Dobbs-Oates, J. (forthcoming). Service-learning in a helping skills course. In T. Newman (Ed.), Field-Based Learning in Family Life Education: Facilitating High-Impact Experiences in Undergraduate Family Science Programs. Nacogdoches, TX: Stephen F. Austin State University Press.
  • Dobbs-Oates, J., Pentimonti, J. M., Kaderavek, J. N., & Justice, L. M. (in press). Parent and child attitudinal factors in a model of children’s print-concept knowledge. Journal of Research in Reading. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2012.01545.x
  • Arnold, D. H., & Dobbs-Oates, J. (2013). Teachers’ ratings of preschool children’s behavior: Inter-teacher agreement and variation in their agreement. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 67-71.
  • Huss, L. R., McCabe, S. D., Dobbs-Oates, J., Burgess, J., Behnke, C., Santerre, C. R., & Kranz, S. (2013). Development of child-friendly fish dishes to increase young children’s acceptance and consumption of fish. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 4(10A), 78-87. doi:10.4236/fns.2013.410A012
  • *Tan, M., & Dobbs-Oates, J. (2013). Relationship between emergent literacy and early social-emotional development in preschool children from low-income backgrounds. Early Child Development and Care, 11, 1509-1530. doi:10.1080/03004430.2012.729051
  • Dobbs-Oates, J., & *Robinson, C. D. (2012). Preschoolers’ mathematical skills and behavior: Analysis of a national sample. School Psychology Review, 41, 371-386.
  • Fisher, P. H., Dobbs-Oates, J., Doctoroff, G. L., & Arnold, D. H. (2012). Early math interest and the development of math skills. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(3), 673-681. doi:10.1037/a0027756
  • *Baroody, A., & Dobbs-Oates, J. (2011). Child and parent characteristics, parental expectations, and child behaviours related to preschool children's interest in literacy. Early Child Development and Care, 181, 345-359.
  • Dobbs-Oates, J., Kaderavek, J. N., Guo, Y., & Justice, L. M. (2011). Effective behavior management in preschool classrooms and children's task orientation: Enhancing children's emergent literacy and language development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 420-429.
  • Evangelou, D., Dobbs-Oates, J., Bagiati, A., *Liang, S., & *Choi, J.Y. (2010). Talking about artifacts: Preschool children's explorations with sketches, stories, and tangible objects. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 12. Available at: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v12n2/evangelou.html.
  • Dobbs, J., & Arnold, D. H. (2009). Relationship between preschool teachers' reports of children's behavior and their behavior toward those children. School Psychology Quarterly, 24, 95-105.
  • Dobbs, J., Doctoroff, G. L., Fisher, P. H., & Arnold, D. H. (2006). The association between preschool children's socio-emotional functioning and their mathematical skill. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 97-108.
  • Dobbs, J., Arnold, D. H., & Doctoroff, G. L. (2004). Attention in the preschool classroom: The relationships among child gender, child misbehavior, and types of teacher attention. Early Child Development and Care, 174, 281-295.
  • Dobbs, J., Doctoroff, G. L., & Fisher, P. H. (2003). The "Math is Everywhere" preschool mathematics curriculum and its success in Head Start classrooms. Teaching Children Mathematics, 10(1), 20-22.
  • Arnold, D. H., Fisher, P. H., Doctoroff, G. L., & Dobbs, J. (2002). Accelerating math development in Head Start classrooms: Outcomes and gender differences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 762-770.
  • Hoza, B., Pelham, W. E., Dobbs, J., Owens, J. S., & Pillow, D. R. (2002). Do boys with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have positive illusory self-concepts? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 268-278.

Note: Students whose work Dr. Dobbs-Oates has supervised are indicated with an asterisk.


  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, 2006, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
  • Clinical Psychology Internship, 2005-2006, University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, Memphis, TN.
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, 2002, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
  • BA, Psychology, 2000, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Courses Recently Taught

  • HDFS 331:  Skills for Helping Professionals in Individual, Family, and Group Settings
  • HDFS 332:  Stress Points in Contemporary Families
  • HDFS 455:  Field Experience in Human Development and Family Studies


  • 2013:  Outstandinig Undergraduate Education Award, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University
  • 2011: Teaching for Tomorrow Award, Purdue University
  • 2008: Selected to attend the Leadership Training Institute, sponsored by the 3C Institute for Social Development and the National Institute of Mental Health

Professional Service

Editorial Boards

  • 2012-present: Consulting Editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly


  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Society for Research on Child Development

Ad Hoc Reviewer

  • Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education & Development