General Information about the IDD Psychology Program
One of seven graduate degree program areas of Ohio State University's Department of Psychology, the IDD Psychology Program specializes in training researchers and practitioners to work with people with IDD. The hub of program activity is the Nisonger Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) devoted to the interdisciplinary study of IDD. Relevant experience at the Nisonger Center can be gained through its Autism Clinic, Dual Diagnosis Clinic, and Behavior Support Services. Clinical and research experience are also available through Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Franklin County Programs.
Click here for a detailed summary of the IDD Psychology Program.
The IDD Psychology Program is designed to produce researchers or practitioners in major leadership positions in the field. There are two specialization options leading to a Ph.D. degree available:
- IDD Psychology - for students who are interested in any area of research relevant to IDD. Areas in which students have specialized in the past include instrument development, social supports, psychometric assessment, applied behavior analysis, sleep disorders, aggression, dual diagnosis, and autism spectrum disorders.
- IDD and Clinical Psychology (APA-Approved) – a joint track with the clinical psychology program for students interested in adult or health-related issues in IDD clinical psychology. There are relatively few admissions for this specialization.
Program of Study
Graduate Students write a research-based master's thesis in IDD after two years of graduate study then prepare for the Candidacy Examination (CE). Successful completion of the CE admits you to Ph.D. candidacy. The doctoral dissertation is based on research into a specific aspect of developmental disabilities. Students in the clinical track are expected to complete one year of APA-approved predoctoral supervised clinical experience. Internships are available in the field of IDD. After graduation and postdoctoral training, you are eligible for psychology licensure in Ohio. Click here for the IDD Program Handbook.
Fellowships and teaching associate positions are available to first-year graduate students on a competitive basis. Research assistant positions are available through the Nisonger Center and allied programs. Employment at community agencies is available after completion of the Master's degree.
IDD Psychology Faculty
Michael G. Aman, Professor, Ph.D., University of Auckland (New Zealand), 1979-Psychopharmacology; experimental child psychology, developmental psychobiology. Current work: psychotropic drug effects in persons with autism spectrum disorders; behavioral and emotional disorders in people with intellectual disability and young people with disruptive behavior disorders. Editorial Boards of American Journal on Mental Retardation, Clinical Medicine: Psychiatry, Clinical Therapeutics, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Research in Developmental Disability and Associate Editor: Journal of Mental Health in Intellectual Disabilities.
Betsey A. Benson, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University, 1975-Clinical Psychology. Current work: mental health issues in IDD; anger management training; social cognition and aggressive behavior; depression; cognitive behavior therapy; group therapy.
Susan M. Havercamp, Associate Professor, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 1998- Clinical Psychology; intellectual and developmental disabilities. Current work: health promotion and access to healthcare for people with disabilities.
Luc Lecavalier, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada), 2001- Clinical Psychology; Research interests: I am interested in diagnosis/assessment and behavior/psychiatric problems in individuals with developmental disabilities. Along with colleagues and graduate students I have been involved in (a) the development and evaluation of screening and diagnostic instruments for ASD and (b) the assessment and treatment of behavior and emotional problems in children with ASD or ID.
Marilee A. Martens, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Melbourne (Australia), 2005-Neuropsychology. Current work: director of Williams syndrome program, researching the cognitive, behavioral and neuroanatomical phenotype of Williams syndrome. Dr. Marten is based at the Ohio State University - Newark Campus.
James A. Mulick, Professor, Ph.D., University of Vermont, 1975-Pediatric Psychology; human development; learning and behavior development. Current work: basic and applied behavior analysis in child development, psychopharmacology, autism and IDD; infant assessment; treatment of severe behavior disorders in children with developmental disabilities, including antisocial behavior, stereotypy and selfinjurious behavior; ecobehavioral analysis. Dr. Mulick is based at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Marc J. Tassé, Professor, Ph.D., Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada), 1994-Clinical Psychology; intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). His research has been in the area of co-occurrence of ID or ASD and psychiatric problems/problem behaviors, study and measurement of adaptive behavior, test development, psychometrics, and support needs. Associate editor: American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Andrea Witwer, Clinical Assistant Professor, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2009-Intellectual and Developmental Disability Psychology. Current work: Program Director of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic, LEND faculty member. Research: Assessment of autism spectrum disorders and co-occuring emotional and behavioral problems.