The FIU Clinical Science Program in Child and Adolescent Psychology enrolled its first cohort of students in Fall 2010. We became a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science in 2014. We have been developing our program with APA and PCSAS accreditations in mind, and we are submitting our self-study to the APA in June 2015.
View the program's Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data.
View the program's Clinical Science Student Guide.
Our program’s emphasis is on science and underscores our commitment to applying scientific evidence to further the design, implementation, and evaluation of assessment, prevention, and treatment procedures for use with children from infancy to adolescence. Our goal is to produce researchers and scholars who will contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge in theoretically strong, methodologically rigorous, and innovative ways. At the same time, we wish to produce clinical scientists whose work holds significant public health impact. Students also will gain knowledge and expertise with multicultural populations, thereby taking advantage of the unique character of South Florida.
Our program is a mentor-based program in which students apply to work with individual faculty. A mentor-based program helps ensure that all incoming students become actively involved in research as soon as they begin the program. The mentorship-collaborative relationship includes intensive involvement in faculty related research, as well as the opportunity for students to develop their own research niche within the context of faculty research. Students will receive guidance in every aspect of conducting research, including developing ideas, designing and conducting studies, and dissemination, presenting papers at national conferences and publishing papers in scientific journals. In addition, although we expect to provide assistantships to all graduate students, we will encourage and guide students in developing their own skills in grantsmanship. These are the activities and skills that provide students with the “credentials” for obtaining research and academic positions in clinical child and adolescent psychology – the positions that we intend to have filled by FIU clinical science graduates.
By specializing in Child and Adolescent Psychology, we joined in fall 2010 only a small number of clinical science programs in the United States. This decision reflects the maturity of our field in this professional arena (e.g., board certification in the specialty through the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology; the transition of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology from a Section of Division 12 to its own independent Division 53, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology) represented by a host of scientific conferences, academic journals, and newsletters uniquely focused on the mental health of children and families. It also reflects the cumulative body of theoretical and empirical knowledge produced over decades regarding the development, maintenance, prevention, and treatment of mental health problems for children and adolescents. Drawing on this rich literature, clinical science in child and adolescent psychology necessitates a solid foundation and breadth of training in (1) developmental psychology emphasizing the dynamic and complex interplay between the individual child and their ecology (e.g., parents, family, peers, schools, community), (2) developmental psychopathology emphasizing adaptation, coping, and resilience, (3) cultural diversity, in particular as it relates to access, quality, and impact of mental health care, and (4) methodology and statistics. Armed with knowledge and skills in these areas, students will be well positioned to advance science that contributes to reducing the unmet mental health burden facing children and families in this country.
Program milestones have been designed strategically to ensure a balanced combination of breadth and depth of expertise in clinical research and to build scholarship that enhances student marketability for academic careers in psychological clinical science. Milestones include a Master's Project, dissertation grant application, manuscript for advancement to doctoral candidacy, dissertation, and internship. Further details can be found in the Clinical Science Student Guide.
Clinical training follows a true clinical-science philosophy in which service delivery is based firmly on research, implemented in measureable ways, and modified based on ongoing assessment of outcomes. Toward that end, students will receive extensive academic and experiential training and supervision in empirically supported assessments and interventions. Core faculty has broad collective expertise in the major problem areas of childhood and adolescence, including ADHD, anxiety, conduct problems, depression and suicidal behaviors, and risky problem behaviors. Many are conducting community-based, school-based, and clinic-based interventions. Students have extensive opportunities for clinical training through partnership with the FIU Center for Children and Families, an interdisciplinary center focused on clinical research in child and adolescent mental health.
Located on the beautiful Modesto A. Maidique Campus, the Clinical Science Program in Child and Adolescent Psychology maintains close partnership with the FIU Center for Children and Families (Make This a Web Link to Center Website). Faculty from departments and schools across the university are affiliated with the program. The physical facilities and resources of the Center covers 11,000 square feet, with 10 testing and clinical treatment rooms (with observational windows and wired for sound and video) ranging in size from individual testing rooms to very large group playrooms, two medical examination rooms, waiting rooms for parents and children, a journal library with a large collection of assessment and treatment materials and treatment manuals, two conference rooms, 29 offices, two large, cubicle-equipped (each with a phone and networked computer) bullpen rooms for research staff and students. Faculty, students and postdoctoral trainees conduct both large- and small-scale research and clinical activities with children and families to develop and implement prevention, intervention and dissemination activities across externalizing (ADHD, aggression, risky behaviors) and internalizing (anxiety, mood disorders) dimensions of child and adolescent psychopathology.
The diversity of Miami’s population and the size of Miami-Dade and Broward school districts (500,000 children) provide ample potential for research recruitment and clinical training. The Clinical Science Program has extensive relationships with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, primary care physicians and Miami Children’s Hospital, and with mental health facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, affording opportunities to conduct activities not only on-site but also in community, school, and mental health settings across the South Florida community.