Skip to main content

Dr. Deborah Harris-O’Brien

Professor of Psychology


Courses Taught

CRS 101 Critical Reading and Writing Seminar I
PSYC 101 Introductory Psychology
PSYC 231 Child Psychology
PSYC 233 Psychology of Adolescence
PSYC 262 Psychology of Women
PSYC 325 Behavior Disorders in Children
PSYC 331 Experimental Developmental Psychology
PSYC 490 Practicum
PSYC 499 Senior Seminar in Psychology


  • B.A., Psychology, The Catholic University of America
  • M.A., Developmental & Clinical Child Psychology, The Ohio State University
  • Ph.D., Developmental & Clinical Child Psychology, The Ohio State University


  • Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Emerging Adulthood
  • Childhood Psychopathology
  • Institutional Review Board (research ethics)


  • President-Elect for Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology
  • Liaison to the American Psychological Association's Board of Educational Affairs

Select Works Published

  • Co-curricular activities and student development: How positive nations encourage students to pursue careers in Psychology. In H. A. Marujo & L.M. Neto (Eds.) "Positive nations and communities"
    McCormick, M.A., Rich, G. J., Harris O'Brien, D. & Chai, A., Dordrecht: Springer, 2014
  • Panelist, "Cultivating Leadership"
    Presentation by Psi Chi faculty at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, 2012
  • Workshop: "Adolescent behavior contracting for mental health professionals"
    Prince George's Parent/Professsional Empowerment Conference, Largo, MD, 2012
  • Poster: "Teaching Human Diversity as a First Year Experience" (with Stacey Baugh)
    Eastern Psychological Association Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, 2009
  • Instructor's Classroom Kit to accompany The World of Children.
    Allyn & Bacon, 2007


My primary goal in teaching is to generate excitement about Psychology! I think Psychology is awesome, and I share my enthusiasm with students. I use a variety of pedagogical techniques that can maximize students' understanding and retention. I use methods Psychology has found to maximize learning such as multi-sensory and active learning, in class exercises and homework assignments, field trips, and both large and small group class discussions. In teaching Psychology, I believe students should acquire tools and knowledge they can use in their personal and professional lives, whether or not they continue on in the Psychology field.