Karen Diamond, PhD

Research Interests

Early childhood intervention programs, early childhood professional development, inclusive education, young children at-risk or with disabilities


Dr. Diamond's research focuses on effective approaches for teaching preschool children at-risk for later school failure because of poverty or disability. She has collaborated with Douglas Powell on three projects that seek to improve children's early literacy and language development through innovative models of professional development with Head Start teachers. Project Literacy investigated effects of expert coaching and workshops with teachers on classroom and child outcomes. The Professional Development in Early Reading examines effects of two different approaches to expert coaching, and the recently funded Classroom Links to Vocabulary and Phonological Sensitivity Skills project is developing and testing the use of technologically-mediated supports for pre-kindergarten teachers to promote key early literacy skills. These projects are supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education. A third current project, funded by NICHD, examines the effectiveness of an early childhood curriculum for supporting preschool children's school readiness skills. This project, Children's School Success, is being implemented in sites across the U.S., in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Maryland, Indiana University, University of Kansas, and San Francisco State University.
For many years, Dr. Diamond has also been interested in the development of young children's attitudes toward children with disabilities. Currently, her research focuses on relations between preschool children's cognitive development and their ideas about including peers with disabilities in play activities. This project, Understanding Young Children's Ideas About Disabilities, is supported with Hatch funds.

Recent Publications

  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2013). Studying the implementation of coaching-based professional development. In T. G. Halle, A. J. Metz, & I. Martinez-Beck (Eds.), Applying implementation science to early childhood settings (pp. 97-116). Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., & Cockburn, M. K. (2013). Promising approaches to professional development for early childhood educators. In O. N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.), Handbook of research on the education of young children, 3rd ed. (pp. 385-392). New York: Routledge.

  • Robinson, C. D., & Diamond, K. E. (2013). A quantitative study of Head Start children's strengths, families' perspectives, and teachers' ratings in the transition to kindergarten. Early Childhood Education Journal. DOI:10.1007/s10643-013-0587-4

  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2012). Promoting literacy and language development. In R. C. Pianta, W. S. Barnett, L. M. Justice, & S. M. Sheridan (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood education (pp. 194-216). New York: Guilford.

  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., & Burchinal, M. R. (2012). Using coaching-based professional development to improve Head Start teachers' support of children's oral language skills. In C. Howes, B. K. Hamre, & R. C. Pianta (Eds.), Effective professional development in early childhood education: Improving teacher practice and child outcomes (pp. 13-29). Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Powell, D. R. (2011). An iterative approach to the development of a professional development intervention for Head Start teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 33, 75-93. 

  • Hanson, M. J., Miller, A. D., Diamond, K. E., Odom, S., Lieber, J., Butera, G….Fleming, K. (2011). Neighborhood community risk influences on preschool children's development and school readiness. Infants and Young Children, 24, 87-100.

  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2011). Improving the outcomes of coaching-based professional development interventions. In S. B. Neuman & D. K. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of Literacy Research: Vol. 3 (pp. 295-307). NY: Guilford.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Hong, S-Y. (2010). Young children's decisions to include peers with physical disabilities in play. Journal of Early Intervention, 32, 163-177.

  • Odom, S. L., Fleming, K., Diamond, K. E., Lieber, J., Hanson, M., Butera, G., Horn, E., Palmer, S., & Marquis, J. (2010). Examining different forms of implementation in early childhood curriculum research. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 314-328.

  • Odom, S. L., Hanson, M. J., Lieber, J., Diamond, K., Palmer, S., Butera, G., & Horn, E. (2010). Prevention, early childhood intervention, and implementation science. In B. Doll, W. Pfohl, & J. Yoon, J. (Eds.). Handbook of Youth Prevention Science (pp. 413-432). New York: Routledge.

  • Powell, D. R., Steed, E. A., & Diamond, K. E. (2010). Dimensions of literacy coaching with Head Start teachers. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30, 148-161.

  • O'Leary, P. M., Cockburn, M. K., Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2010). Head Start teachers' views of phonological awareness and vocabulary knowledge instruction. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38, 187-195.

  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., Burchinal, M. R., & Koehler, M. J. (2010). Effects of an early literacy professional development intervention on Head Start teachers and children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 299-312.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Tu, H. (2009). Relations between classroom context, physical disability and preschool children's inclusion decisions. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 75-81.

  • Diamond, K. E., Gerde, H. K., & Powell, D. R. (2008). Development in early literacy skills during the pre-kindergarten year in Head Start: Relations between growth in children's writing and understanding of letters. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 467-478.

  • Diamond, K. E., Hong, S-Y., & Tu, H. (2008). Context influences preschool children's decisions to include a peer with a physical disability in play. Exceptionality, 16, 141-155.

  • Diamond, K. E., Hong, S-Y., & Baroody, A. (2007). Promoting young children's social competence in early childhood programs. To appear in W.H. Brown, S.L. Odom, & S.R. McConnell (Eds.), Social competence of young children: Risk, disability, and evidence-based practices (2nd Edition) (pp.165-184). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

  • Thompson, B., Diamond, K. E., McWilliam, R., Snyder, P., & Snyder, S. (2005). Evaluating the quality of evidence from correlational research for evidence-based practice. Exceptional Children, 71, 181-194.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Huang, H. (2005). Preschoolers' ideas about disabilities. Infants and Young Children, 18, 37-46.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Kontos, S. (2004). Families' resources and accommodations: Toddlers with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and developmental delay. Journal of Early Intervention, 26, 253-265.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Kontos, S. (2004). Relationships between children's developmental needs, families' resources and families' accommodations: Infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and developmental delay. Journal of Early Intervention, 26, 253-265.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Kensinger, K. (2002). Vignettes from Sesame Street: Preschooler's ideas about children with Down syndrome and physical disability. Early Education and Development, 13, 409-421.

  • Kontos, S., & Diamond, K. E. (2002). Measuring the quality of early intervention services for infants and toddlers. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 49, 337-351.

  • Diamond, K. E. (2001). Relationships among young children's ideas, emotion understanding and social contact with classmates with disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Innes, F. K. (2001). Young children's attitudes toward peers with disabilities. In M. Guralnick (Ed.), Early childhood inclusion: Focus on change (pp. 159-178). Baltimore, MD: Paul Brookes.

  • Diamond, K. E., & Stacey, S. (2000). The other children at preschool: Experiences of typically developing children in inclusive programs. Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series No. 2: Natural Environments and Inclusion, 59-68.

  • Okagaki, L., & Diamond, K. E. (2000). Research in Review: Responding to cultural and linguistic differences in the beliefs and practices of families with young children. Young Children, 55, 74-80.

  • Diamond, K., & Carpenter, C. (2000). The influence of inclusive preschool programs on children's sensitivity to the needs of others. Journal of Early Intervention, 23, 81-91.

  • Diamond, K., & Cooper, D. (2000). Children's perspectives on the roles of teachers and therapists in inclusive early childhood programs. Early Education and Development, 11, 203-216.

  • Innes, F., & Diamond, K. (1999). Relationships between mothers' comments, children's ideas, and children's interactions with children with disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 19, 103-111.

  • Odom, S. L., & Diamond, K. (1998). Inclusion of young children with special needs in early childhood education: The research base. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13, 3-26.

  • Okagaki, L., Diamond, K., Kontos, S., & Hestenes, L. (1998). Correlates of young children's interactions with classmates with disabilities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13, 67-86.

  • Diamond, K., Hestenes, L., Carpenter, E., & Innes, F. (1997). Relationships between enrollment in an inclusive class and preschool children's ideas about people with disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 17, 520-536.

  • Kontos, S., & Diamond, K. (1997). Preparing practitioners to provide early intervention services in inclusive settings. In P. Winton, J. McCollum, & C. Catlett (Eds.), Reforming personnel preparation in early intervention, (pp. 393-410). Baltimore: Brookes.

  • Diamond, K., & Hestenes, L. (1996). Preschool children's conceptions of disabilities: The salience of disability in children's ideas about others. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 16, 458-475.

  • Short-DeGraff, J. A., & Diamond, K. E. (1996). Intergenerational program effects on social responses of elderly adult day care members. Educational Gerontology, 22, 467-482.

  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. (1995). Approaches to parent-teacher relationships in U.S. early childhood programs during the twentieth century. Journal of Education, 177(3), 71-94.

  • Diamond, K. (1994). Factors in preschool children's social problem-solving strategies for peers with and without disabilities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 9, 195-205.

  • Diamond, K. (1994). Evaluating preschool children's sensitivity to developmental differences. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 14, 49-63.

  • Diamond, K., Hestenes, L., & O'Connor, C. (1994). Research in Review. Integrating young children with disabilities into preschool: Problems and promise. Young Children, 49, 68-75.

  • Diamond, K. (1993). Preschool children's concepts of disability in their peers. Early Education and Development, 4, 123-129.

  • Diamond, K., LeFurgy, W., & Blass, S. (1993). Attitudes of typical preschool children toward their peers with disabilities: A year-long study in four integrated classrooms. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 154, 215-222.

  • Diamond, K., & Squires, J. (1993). The role of parental report in the screening and assessment of young children. Journal of Early Intervention, 17, 107-115.

  • Diamond, K., & LeFurgy, W. (1992). Relations between mothers' expectations and the performance of their infants who have developmental handicaps. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 97, 11-20.


  • PhD, 1974, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University.

  • MS, 1972, Department of Human Development, Cornell University.

  • BA, 1970, Department of Psychology, University of Rochester.

Courses Recently Taught

  • CDFS 408: Curriculum Applications of Atypical Development

  • CDFS 601: Advanced Child Development

  • CDFS 630: Intervention Research in Early Childhood Education


  • Outstanding Reviewer, American Educational Research Association, 2007.

  • Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award of Merit, Purdue University, 2004.

  • Mary L. Matthews Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, School of Consumer and Family Sciences, Purdue University, 1994.

External Grants

  • Powell, D. R. (Principal Investigator), & Diamond, K. E. (Co-Principal Investigator). Classroom links to vocabulary and phonological sensitivity skills. Institute of Education Sciences. $1,700,000, 10/1/07-9/30/10.

  • Odom, S. (Principal Investigator), & Diamond, K. E. (Co-Principal Investigator). Children's School Success: Effectiveness of early childhood programs, curriculum and interventions in promoting school readiness. Grant No. R01HD046091-01 National Institutes of Health - National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, $4,500,000, 9/26/03–08/31/08.

  • Powell, D. R. (Principal Investigator), & Diamond, K. E. (Co-Principal Investigator). Teacher Quality: Professional Development in Early Reading. Institute of Education Sciences, $1,418,091, 10/1/04–9/30/07.

  • Powell, D. R. (Principal Investigator), & Diamond, K. E. (Co-Principal Investigator). Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program. U.S. Department of Education, $1,076,523, 2001-2003.

  • Bennett, D., & Diamond, K. E. (Co-Principal Investigators). Development of an integrated computer-based assessment system for the State of Indiana. 1999-2001, State of Indiana, $438,473.

  • Kontos, S., & Diamond, K. E. (Co-Principal Investigators). An evaluation of Indiana's First Steps Early Intervention Program. 1995-1999, State of Indiana, $200,000.

Professional Service

Grant Review Panels

  • Member, Institute of Education Sciences Reading Panel, February, October, 2004.

  • Chair, Education Centers Review Panel, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, October 2006.

  • Chair, Special Education Research Review Panel, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, October 2006.

  • Member, Special Education Research Review Panel, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, February, October, 2007.

Editorial Boards

  • Editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly (2000-2006); Editorial Board, 2006 - present.

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Early Intervention

  • Editorial Board, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education

  • Editorial Board, Young Exceptional Children

  • Guest Reviewer, Child Development, American Educational Research Journal, NHSA Dialog, Exceptional Children

Karen Diamond

Professor Emerita

PhD, Ohio State University


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