Dee Shepherd-Look

Dee Shepherd-Look
Emeritus Professor
Office location:



  • Ph.D. 1972, University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.A. 1965, Immaculate Heart College

Specialty Areas: Child-Clinical, Developmental.

Courses Previously Taught

  • Psy 361 - Adolescence
  • Psy 455 - Ethics in Psychology
  • Psy 610 - Advanced Psychopathology

Research Interests

Parenting Research Associated with Parent-Child Interaction Program

Do Parent Training Groups Really Change What Parents Do? The parent child interaction program, located in Monterrey Hall, provides parent training groups for parents of children with disabilities and for parents whose children are in foster care. We are interested in the efficacy of these groups as measured by pre-post tests on knowledge of specific parenting skills, attachment of child to parent, parental stress. Other independent variables (in addition to attendance in the parenting group) we are interested in are number of parenting sessions attended, attendance by one or both parents, parenting sessions with or without in home training and parenting sessions with or without individual therapy for the parent.

Parental Attitudes. We have found that a key variable in parenting success is the attitude of parents toward the child’s problems, towards the method of treatment and towards parenting groups. Thus we are looking at differences in parental attitudes according to ethnicity, social class and diagnosis of the child and how these attitudes might be related to generalization of parenting techniques from group to the home.

The effect of developmental disability on parent-child attachment. Current folklore on how parents respond to children with special needs is quite contradictory. On the one hand, parents of special needs children are thought to be more attached for a longer period of time, while on the other hand, parents are thought to have a much more difficult time attaching and bonding to these children. The goal of the study is to determine if parents form attachments to their developmentally disabled children (primarily autistic) in the same way and to the same degree as to their typical children. In addition, we want to find out how attachment interfaces with child rearing practices.

Linking strength of parental attachment and self regulation in children. Strength of attachment will be assessed from multiple perspectives, including parent reports and observer ratings. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that nurturing-responsive parenting practices would be positively related and harsh-non-responsive and/or inconsistently responsive parenting practices would be inversely related, to children's self regulation behavior.