College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Amanda Sullivan

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

  • Emma Birkmaier Education Leadership Professor, school psychology program coordinator

Amanda Sullivan

Areas of interest

  • Advancing anti-racism and social justice in education, particularly in school psychology and special education
  • Education and health disparities affecting young children and school-age youth
  • Characteristics, experiences, and outcomes of children and adolescents with disabilities
  • Intersections of ethics, policy, and scholarship in treatment of individuals with disabilities
  • School psychology and special education practices for multiply minoritized learners

PhD, 2009, Arizona State University
MA, 2006, Arizona State University


The overarching goal of my professional activities is to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of children and youth from minoritized backgrounds. I concentrate on issues of equity, anti-racism, and social justice in education, particularly those affecting children and youth with or at-risk for educational disability.

For more information, please see my CVmy website, or Google Scholar Profile.

Note to prospective students: I am currently accepting new Ph.D. advisees. All applicants are welcome; students interested in large-scale analysis are especially welcome. I encourage students to review my current projects and recent publications to determine fit.

I am also committed to future faculty and early career faculty professional development in school psychology. Visit the SSSP Early Career Forum or learn more about past professional development offerings here.


Select Representative Publications (* denotes student co-author)

Arora, P., Sullivan, A. L., & Song, S. (2022). On the imperative for reflexivity in school psychology scholarship. School Psychology Review, 52(5). 

Sullivan, A. L., Worrell, F. C, Jimerson, S. R (2022). Reconceptualizing school psychology for the 21st century: The future of school psychology in the United States. School Psychology Review, 51(6), 647-660. 

Sullivan, A. L. (2022). Overcoming disaster through critical consciousness and ideological change. School Psychology Review, 51(6). 676-691. 

Sullivan, A. L., Harris, B., Miller, F. G., Fallon, L. M., *Weeks, M. R., Malone, C. M., *Kulkarni, T., Proctor, S. L., Johnson, A. H., Rossen, E., *Nguyen, T., & *Shaver, E. (2021). A call to action for school psychology to address COVID-19 health disparities and advance social justice. School Psychology, 36(5), 410-421.

*Kulkarni, T., Sullivan, A. L., *Kim, J. (2020). Externalizing Behavior Problems and Low Academic Achievement: Does a Causal Relation Exist?. Educational Psychology Review.

*Weeks, M., & Sullivan, A. L. (2019). Discrimination matters: Relations of perceived discrimination to student mental health. School Mental Health.

Sullivan, A. L., & *Osher, D. (2019). IDEA’s double bind: A synthesis of disproportionality policy interpretations. Exceptional Children.

*Kincaid, A. & Sullivan, A. L. (2019). Double jeopardy?: Disproportionality in first juvenile court involvement by disability status. Exceptional Children. doi:

*Kulkarni, T., & Sullivan, A. L. (2019). The relationship between behavior at school entry and services received in third grade. Psychology in the Schools, 56, 809-823.

Sullivan, A. L., *Thayer, A. J., *Farnsworth, E. M., & Susman-Stillman, A. (2019). Effects of child care subsidy on school readiness of young children with or at-risk for special needs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 496-506.

Sullivan, A. L., *Thayer, A. J., & *Sadeh, S. (2018). Multisector involvement among adolescents with disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 39, 353-364.

Sullivan, A. L., *Farnsworth, E. M., & Susman-Stillman, A. (2018). Patterns and predictors of childcare subsidies for children with and without special needs. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 218-228.

Sullivan, A. L., *Farnsworth, E. M., & Susman-Stillman, A. (2018). Childcare type and quality among subsidy recipients with and without special needs. Infants & Young Children, 31, 109-127.

Maki, K., Burns, M. K., & Sullivan, A. L. (2018). School psychologists’ confidence in learning disability identification decisions. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 41, 243-256.

Sullivan, A. L. (2017). Wading through quicksand: Making sense of minority disproportionality in identification of emotional disturbance. Behavior Disorders, 43, 244-252.

Sadeh, S., & Sullivan, A. L. (2017). Ethical and legal landmines: Causal inference in special education decisions. Psychology in the Schools, 54, 1134-1147.

*Kincaid, A., & Sullivan, A. L. (2017). Parsing the relations of race and socioeconomic status in special education disproportionality. Remedial and Special Education, 38, 145-158.

Sullivan, A. L., *Houri, A., & *Sadeh, S. (2016). Demography and early academic skills of students from immigrant families: The kindergarten class of 2011. School Psychology Quarterly, 31, 149-62.

Sullivan, A. L. & *Sadeh, S. S. (2015). Psychopharmacological treatment among adolescents with disabilities: Prevalence and predictors in a nationally representative sample. School Psychology Quarterly, 30, 443-455.

Sullivan, A. L., *Van Norman, E., & *Klingbeil, D. (2014). Exclusionary discipline of students with disabilities: Student and school characteristics predicting suspension. Remedial and Special Education, 35, 199-210.

Sullivan, A. L., & Field, S. (2013). Do preschool special education services make a difference in kindergarten reading and mathematics skills?: A propensity score weighting analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 51, 243-260.

Sullivan, A. L. (2013). School-based autism identification: Prevalence, racial disparities, and systemic correlates. School Psychology Review, 42, 298-316.

Sullivan, A. L., & Bal, A. (2013). Disproportionality in special education: Effects of individual and school variables on risk. Exceptional Children, 79, 475-494.

Sullivan, A. L. (2011). Disproportionality in special education identification and placement of English language learners. Exceptional Children, 77, 317-334.


Sullivan, A. L. (2022, August). Educational disparities in context: Reckoning with our past and present. Invited Presidential Address at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Minneapolis, MN.

Sullivan, A. L. (2021, April). Developing and advancing anti-racist scholarly practice. Presentation at the virtual conference, Decolonizing Psychology Training: Strategies for Addressing Curriculum, Research Practices, Clinical Supervision, and Mentorship. Teachers College, Columbia University.

Sullivan, A. L., & Farnsworth, E. M. (2019, May). Reconciling ethics and law in special education evaluations for emotional impairment. Macomb-St. Clair Psychological Association Skills for School Psychologists Conference Series, Clinton Township, MI.

Sullivan, A. L., Hillyer, C., Salad, S., Walther, M., & Chenoweth, E. (2019, April). Equity in autism identification and intervention: Challenges, opportunities, and local advances. Panel presentation at the Annual Minnesota Autism Conference of the Autism Society of Minnesota, Minnetonka, MN.

Sullivan, A. L., Susman-Stillman, A., & *Farnsworth, E. M. (2017, March). Subsidy utilization and impact on early care and education of low-income children with special needs. Poster presentation at the Child Care Early Education Policy Research Conference, Washington, DC.

Sullivan, A. L. (2016, May). Shield or sword?: Special education equity & effectiveness. Presentation at the Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Sullivan, A. L. (2016, May). When the shield becomes a sword: Racial bias in special education identification. Presentation at the University of Minnesota, Diversity Through the Disciplines Symposium.

Sullivan, A. L. (2015, June). Directions in disproportionality. Invited presentation at special workshop of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC.

Sullivan, A. L., & Field, S. (2012, April). Does preschool special education make a difference?: Propensity score matching analysis of the effects on kindergarten pre-academic skills. Presentation at the AERA Grants Program session of the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Sullivan, A. L. (2012, March). Beyond race: Contextual models of disproportionality in special education. Presentation at the University of Arizona, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, Tucson, AZ.

Klotz, M. B., A’Vant, E., Sullivan, A. L., & Henderson, J. (2010, February). Disproportionality: Implications for policy and action. Special Session at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, Chicago, IL.

Sullivan, A. L., *Houri, A., & *Sadeh, S. (2016, April). Are school psychologists’ decisions reliable and unbiased?: Results from experimental analogue studies. Paper presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Sullivan, A. L., Kohli, N., *Farnsworth, E., *Jones, L., *Houri, A., & *Sadeh, S. (2016, April). Comparing longitudinal models of reading achievement for students with and without learning disabilities. Paper presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

*Sadeh, S. S. & Sullivan, A. L. (2014, February). IDEA’s blame game: Determining causation in special education evaluations. Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, Washington, DC.

*Sadeh, S. S. & Sullivan, A. L. (2013, February). Distinguishing emotional disturbance from social maladjustment: Case law since 2004. Paper presentation at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, Seattle, WA.