Child and Classroom Predictors of Friendships and Engagement – Elise Cappella, PhD – New York University


Friendships with diverse peers tend to decline over elementary and middle school. We found that warm and supportive teaching help students maintain prosperous friendships over time.

Dr. Elise Cappella is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and Director of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change. Cappella is co-Director of NYU’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Fellowship dedicated to training the next generation of education scientists. Her research integrates education and psychology with the goal to better understand what disrupts, and alternatively, promotes children’s positive adaptation in schools and communities. She has identified academic and social-emotional functioning among low-income children as priority areas of interest, with a focus on the social processes of schooling. With grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Spencer Foundation, Cappella has studied predictors of academic achievement among students at risk for failure, and has designed and tested an intervention to enhance girls’ prosocial leadership and reduce relational aggression. Learn more about Dr. Elise Cappella here.