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College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Samuel McQuillin

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-6725
Office: Barnwell, 462
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Psychology


I study how schools and communities can work together to promote emotional, behavioral, and academic wellness in children who are environmentally or developmentally at-risk. I am particularly interested in how theories of child development inform pragmatic prevention and intervention strategies. As part of my research I developed a youth mentoring program for early adolescent children based on practices from Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is an approach to having conversations about behavior change that is collaborative, youth centered, and goal-oriented. In my research, I am interested in learning how, why, and to what extent mentoring relationships can prevent school problems and promote positive behavior.
I am a research board member of the National Mentoring Resource Center, a Society for the Study of School Psychology Early Career Award recipient, and the director of the University of South Carolina’s and University of Houston’s AMPED Youth Mentoring programs. I also serve as a quantitative methodologist on a broad range of research projects. I completed my doctoral work at the University of South Carolina and attended the APA Accredited Internship at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Cypress, Texas. Prior to joining faculty at USC, I was an Assistant Professor of School Psychology at the University of Houston for four years.

Fall 2016 School Psychology Doctoral Applicants:
I will be accepting school psychology doctoral students for Fall 2017. I encourage students who have strong academic records and interests in school-based intervention research to apply. I am particularly interested in students who have experience with youth mentoring programs, digital media development (e.g. web or software development, audio/video production), or quantitative research methods in applied settings.

Representative Publications

(full list in cv)
McQuillin, S., Lyons, M (2016). Brief instrumental school-based mentoring for middleschool students: theory and impact. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 9(2), 73-89.
Dempsey, J., McQuillin, S., Butler, A. M., & Axelrad, M. E. (2016). Maternal Depression and Parent Management Training Outcomes. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 1–7.
Terry, J., Smith, A., Warren, P., Miller, M., McQuillin, S., Wolfer, T., & Weist, M. (2015). Incorporation of evidence-based practices into faith-based organization service programs. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 43, 212-223.
McQuillin, S., Strait, G., Saeki, E. (2015). Program support and value of training in mentors' satisfaction and anticipated Continuation of school-based mentoring relationships. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23(2), 133-148.

McQuillin, S., Smith, B., Strait, G., & Ingram, A., (2015). Brief Instrumental School-Based Mentoring for First and Second Year Middle School Students: A Randomized Evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(7), 885-889.

McQuillin, S., Smith, B., McLelland, B. (2014) Using practice-based evidence to inform the development of school-based mentoring. The Community Psychologist, 47(2), 31-32.

Terry, J. Strait, G., McQuillin, S.,& Smith B. (2014). Dosage Effects on Motivational Interviewing on Middle-School Students’ Academic Performance: Randomized Evaluation of One versus Two Sessions. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion. Online first, DOI:10.1080/1754730X.2013.851995.

McQuillin, S., Terry, J., Strait, G., & Smith, B. (2013). Innovation in school-based mentoring: matching the context, structure, and goals of mentoring with evidence-based practices. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 6(4), 280-294.

Terry, J., Strait, G., Smith, B.,& McQuillin (2013). Motivational Interviewing to Improve Middle School Students' Academic performance: a replication study. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(7), 902-909.

Strait, G., Terry, J., McQuillin, S., & Smith, B. (2013) Motivational interviewing: ready for adults and emergent for adolescents. The Community Psychologist, 46(1), 26-28.

McQuillin, S., Smith, B., & Strait, G. (2011). Randomized evaluation of a single semester transitional mentoring program for first year middle school students: A cautionary result for brief school-based mentoring programs. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(7), 844-859.

Warren, P., Richardson, D., & McQuillin, S. (2011). Distinguishing forms of nondirect aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 37, 291-301.

Fairchild, A., & McQuillin S., (2010). Evaluating mediation and moderation effects in school psychology: A presentation of methods and review of current practice. Journal of School Psychology,45, 54-84.