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Jennifer Joy

Please note Dr. Joy is not accepting graduate applicants

Areas of expertise/research interests

  • School psychology
  • Social competence
  • School readiness
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Early childhood assessment and intervention

Professional Biography

I spent several years working in PreK-12 education as a school psychologist providing numerous cognitive, social-emotional, and social-adaptive assessments, and interventions focused on behavior and academics to children of all ages. In this role, I also wrote a portion of a district manual focused on procedure for special education eligibility under various categories of service, and served as both the leader of the team providing all special education services and a member of the administration team at the school level. I have served various special populations and special programs (Life Skills, Affective Needs, Autism) for students ranging in age from 2 to 21, and I have worked in various school settings (traditional, standards-based, Turnaround, charter, etc.).

Over the past two years, I have taught a variety of developmental and clinical courses at the University of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Northern Colorado. 

My main research area evaluates social competence in preschool populations, as an entirely strength-based construct, using Structural Equation Modeling. The model incorporates both precursors leading to social competence, namely child’s self-regulation, early language abilities, facilitative parenting, and parental emotionality; while also including outcomes variables in the same model, namely school readiness and self-esteem.

Additionally, I have presented at conferences both nationally and in Colorado on phonemic awareness instruction, assessment and intervention, focusing on both early childhood populations and adolescents.


PhD, University of Northern Colorado (minor: Statistics & Research Methods)
BA, Ithaca Collge

Selected Publications

  • Joy, J. (under review) Evaluating positive social competence in preschool populations.
  • Joy, J. (under review). Social competence as a precursor to increased self-concept and school readiness.
  • Joy, J. (invited, under review). Review of the book Contemporary perspectives on research in theory of mind in early childhood education, by Sarancho, O. N. (Ed.). Education Review
  • Joy, J. (December 2006). An Evaluation of Positive Social Competence in Preschool Populations Using Structural Equation Modeling. (Doctoral Dissertation)
  • Joy, J. (Winter, 2005). Sensory integration dysfunction. SASP newsletter.