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Neal Jennifer Renee Watling Neal
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Community Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago 2008
Masters Community Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago 2004
Bachelors Psychology, University of Arizona 2001
Primary Program: Ecological-Community
127A Psychology
(517) 432-6708

Research Statement

My research program addresses the influences of peer and teacher social networks on childhood outcomes and intervention dissemination, and includes three related lines that address: (1) associations between peer social networks and children’s classroom social behavior (2) the role of teacher advice networks in the dissemination of school-based interventions and (3) the advancement of social network theory and methods.

Current Projects

The Michigan School Program Information Project (MiSPI):

The MiSPI project is focused on understanding how public school administrators find information about school programs, and how they use this information to decide which programs to use in their districts.  To learn more, go to:


Research Publications    
2017Neal, Z.P., Neal, J.W., Mills, K.J., & Lawlor, J.A. (in press). Making or buying evidence: Using transaction cost economics to understand decision-making in public school districts. Evidence & Policy.
2017Neal, J.W., Durbin, C.E., Gornik, A.E., & Lo, S.L. (in press). Co-development of preschoolers’ temperament traits and social play networks over an entire school year. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
2017Collins, C.R., Neal, Z.P., & Neal, J.W. (2017). Transforming social cohesion into informal social control: Deconstructing collective efficacy and the moderating role of neighborhood racial heterogeneity. Journal of Urban Affairs, 39, 307-322. doi:10.1080/07352166.2016.1245079
2016Kornbluh, M. & Neal, J.W. (2016). Examining the many dimensions of children’s popularity: Interactions between aggression, prosocial behavior, and gender. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 33(1), 62-80. doi:10.1177/0265407514562562.
2016Kornbluh, M., Neal, J.W., & Ozer, E.J. (2016). Scaling up youth-led social justice efforts through an online school-based social network. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57(3/4), 266-279. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12042
2016Neal, J.W., Neal, Z.P., & Cappella, E. (2016). Seeing and being seen: Predictors of accurate perceptions about classmates’ relationships. Social Networks, 44, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.socnet.2015.07.002.
2016Neal, J.W. (2016). Phenomenon of interest, framework, or theory?: Building better explanations in community psychology. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 7(2), 1-6.
2016Shernoff, E.S., Frazier, S., Lora, A., Lakind, D., Atkins, M., Jakobsons, L., Hamre, B., Bhaumik, D., Katz, M., Neal, J.W., Patel, D., & Smylie, M. (2016). Expanding the role of school psychologists to support early career teachers: A mixed method study. School Psychology Review, 45(2), 226-249. doi:10.17105/spr45-2.226-249
2015Neal, J.W., Neal, Z.P., VanDyke, E., & Kornbluh, M. (2015). Expediting the analysis of qualitative data in evaluation: A procedure for the rapid identification of themes from audio recordings (RITA). American Journal of Evaluation, 36, 118-132. doi:10.1177/1098214014536601.
2015Burke, J., Hassmiller-Lich, K., Neal, J.W., Meissner, H., Yonas, M., & Mabry, P. (2015). Enhancing dissemination and implementation research using systems science methods. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 283-291.