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Associate Professor

Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education

College of Education

University of Maryland



Dr. Yang’s research interests focus on understanding how school members interact with their ecological contexts to find their resilience individually and collectively when facing risks and adversities, such as bullying, teacher-targeted violence, and mental health challenges. Three central questions focused on her research agenda are: (1) how to assess and counterbalance the risks and adversities experienced by vulnerable school members as individuals, and as groups; (2) how to leverage promotive and protective factors in school and community-based interventions to alleviate the negative impacts of risks and adversities among individuals and groups in schools; and (3) how do diverse socio-cultural and demographic backgrounds of individuals and groups generate or shape risks and resilience in different ways? Grounded in the socio-ecological framework, Dr. Yang has been conducting research examining the interactive and multilevel influences of risk and resilience processes (i.e., school climate, social-emotional learning, school-wide practice, and culture norms) on human development and school organizational outcomes across individual and school levels and different school stakeholders’ perspectives. She has also used cross-cultural and multi-cultural comparison approaches to explore both culturally specific and universal patterns of risk and resilience processes among diverse school populations.


Currently, her ongoing focus involves in the risk and resilience experiences of preK-12 students and educators and their schools’ scalable practices in the contexts of school-wide SEL implementation, universal pre-K policy implementation, and bullying/school violence prevention. She is committed to supporting students and educators from marginalized groups and culturally diverse backgrounds.

Dr. Yang received her Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in School Psychology from the University of Delaware, an MSc in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Bristol in England, and a B.S. in Chemistry with a teaching credential from the Central China Normal University in China. Before joining UMD, Dr. Yang served as an assistant and then associate professor of school psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara (2016-2019) and the University of California Berkeley (2019-2023), respectively. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of California, she worked as a school psychologist in the district-wide Multicultural Assessment and Consultation Team in northern Colorado.  


Dr. Yang's scholarship has contributed to the fields of school psychology (e.g., School Psychology Review, School Psychology, and Journal of School Psychology), developmental psychology (e.g., Child Development, Journal of Youth and Adolescence), educational psychology (e.g., British Journal of Educational Psychology), teacher education (e.g., Teaching and Teacher Education), international psychology (e.g., International Journal of School & Educational Psychology, School Psychology International), and the interdisciplinary field of school violence (e.g., Aggressive Behavior,  Psychology of Violence, and Journal of Interpersonal Violence). Across the above fields, she has published over 80 scholarly works and given more than 90 presentations at national and international conferences.  


Dr. Yang's research has been recognized and/or supported by the Society of Hellman Fellows (Hellman Fellowship in 2021), the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation (Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2020), the Society of the Study of School Psychology (Early Career Research Award in 2019 and Early Career Scholar in 2017). She was the recipient of the 2022 Lightner Witmer Early Career Award and 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Psychological Association Division 16: School Psychology, the 2021 Outstanding Early Career Psychologist Award from the American Psychological Association Division 52: International Psychology, the 2019 Early Career Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions to Bullying Abuse Prevention from the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention.  


Dr. Yang is currently serving on the editorial boards of the School Psychology Review, School Psychology (Quarterly), and  Journal of School Psychology. 

Yang Headshot 2023_edited.jpg
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