Header Logo

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.
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.
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.
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.
2015Neal, Z.P., Neal, J.W., Lawlor, J.A., & Mills, K.J. (2015). Small worlds or worlds apart? Using network theory to understand the research-practice gap. Psychosocial Intervention, 24(3), 177-184. doi:10.1016/j.psi.2015.07.006
2015Neal, J.W., Neal, Z.P., Kornbluh, M., Mills, K.J., & Lawlor J.A. (2015). Brokering the research-practice gap: A typology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 56(3/4), 422-435. doi:10.1007/s10464-015-9745-8.
2015Jackson, D.R., Cappella, E., & Neal, J.W. (2015). Aggression norms in the classroom social network: Contexts of aggressive behavior and social preference in middle childhood. American Journal of Community Psychology, 56(3/4), 293-306. doi:10.1007/s10464-015-9757-4.