Heather Bachman, Ph.D.


5809 Posvar Hall 230 S. Bouquet St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15260






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Research Interests

School readiness; achievement; home and classroom (preschool/elementary) processes; low-income families.


Developmental Program

Download CV here

Research Interests: In my research, I apply a psychological approach to education research that relies heavily on a bioecological framework to capture the complexity of interrelations among distal (e.g., SES, policy) and proximal (e.g., parenting, classroom instruction) factors that shape children’s school readiness skills and academic achievement. I also aim to balance the predominant focus on risk and disadvantage with an emphasis on positive developmental outcomes among children from diverse family backgrounds. My research agenda is concentrated in three primary areas. The first focus involves linking parenting practices to children’s school readiness skills and achievement during elementary school. The second focus examines how classroom instructional practices in Pre-K and elementary school promote academic, socioemotional, and behavioral skills. The third focus relates the family and classroom research to broader, contemporary issues in family and educational policy. Connecting the three strands of this applied research agenda is my primary goal of uncovering how multiple contextual influences (family, child care, school, or policy) can narrow achievement gaps and improve the well-being of children from economically disadvantaged families.

Accepting Graduate Students: Yes

Graduate Student Advisee: Leanne Elliott


  • PhD, Loyola University Chicago


  • Publication 821

    Bachman, H. J., Coley, R. L., & Chase-Lansdale, P. L. (2009). Is maternal marriage beneficial forlow-income income adolescents? Applied Developmental Science, 13, 153-171.

  • Publication 819

    Bachman, H. J., Coley, R. L., & Carrano, J. (2011). Maternal relationship instability influenceson childrens emotional and behavioral functioning in low-income families. Manuscript accepted for publication at Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-011-9535-1.

  • Publication 817

    Morrison, F. J., Bachman, H. J., & Connor, C. M. (2005). Improving literacy in America:Guidelines from research. Yale University Press: New Haven, CT.

  • Publication 818

    Bachman, H. J., Coley, R. L., & Carrano, J. (2012). Low-income mothers patterns of partnership instability and adolescents behavioral and emotional well-being.Journal of Family Psychology, 26, 263-273. DOI: 10.1037/a0027427.

  • Publication 820

    El Nokali, N., Bachman, H. J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2010). Parent involvement and childrensacademic achievement and social development in elementary school. Child Development, 81, 988-1005.

  • Publication 1032

    El Nokali, N.E., Bachman, H. J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2010) Parent involvement and childrens academic and social development in elementary school. Child Development, 988 - 1005.