My research focuses on the etiology, assessment, and treatment of child anxiety, as well as on risk and protective factors that inform treatments for youth disorders. My short-term goals involve widening my expertise of conceptualizations, assessments, and interventions for learning disabilities;developing a more interdisciplinary approach to research;and increasing my knowledge of conducting rigorous outcome research, particularly with school-based designs. My career development plan capitalizes on a unique opportunity to receive mentoring from experts with a variety of research proficiencies, and is designed to enhance my competencies in four converging areas: understanding of learning disabilities and anxiety in diverse child populations;conducting clinical outcomes research;advancing statistical skills;and improving grantsmanship skills. These training goals will provide me with the competencies necessary to successfully complete both the proposed research plan and my long-term goal of becoming a productive, independent clinical child scientist/researcher. The research plan will be intertwined with a larger that places students with inadequate response to reading instruction in increasingly intense interventions early in schooling. The primary objective of this proposed study is to examine the concurrent and long-term influences of socio emotional factors on reading difficulties and response to this multi-tiered intervention. Anxiety in children at-risk for reading problems will be evaluated to determine whether anxiety predicts reading difficulties (Aim 1) and response to intervention (Aim 3);whether anxiety symptoms are related to outcomes at different phases of the intervention (Aim 2);and the impact of mediator and moderator variables (Aim 4). Participants will include 658 ethnically diverse, 1st grade students as well as their parents and teachers. At five assessment points, all participants will complete socio emotional measures, in addition to cognitive measures completed for the larger study. Assessments will occur at the beginning, middle, and end of students'1st grade year, as well as at the end of their 2nd and 3rd grade years. Data analytic strategies will principally consist of multi-level modeling and growth curve analysis.

Public Health Relevance

Major contributions of this application are the addition of socio emotional variables, measured across multiple informants, which allows for examination of these variables in relation to child reading difficulties/response to intervention. This research is relevant to public health because anxiety is a common problem that frequently occurs in children who struggle to learn to read. The research will help clarify how anxiety and reading influence one another when children are involved in increasingly intense educational interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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Miller, Brett
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University of Houston
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Grills, Amie E; Fletcher, Jack M; Vaughn, Sharon et al. (2014) Anxiety and Response to Reading Intervention among First Grade Students. Child Youth Care Forum 43:417-431
Pane, Heather T; White, Rachel S; Nadorff, Michael R et al. (2013) Multisystemic therapy for child non-externalizing psychological and health problems: a preliminary review. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 16:81-99
Grills-Taquechel, Amie E; Fletcher, Jack M; Vaughn, Sharon R et al. (2012) Anxiety and reading difficulties in early elementary school: evidence for unidirectional- or bi-directional relations? Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 43:35-47
Grills-Taquechel, Amie E; Littleton, Heather L; Axsom, Danny (2011) Social support, world assumptions, and exposure as predictors of anxiety and quality of life following a mass trauma. J Anxiety Disord 25:498-506
Littleton, Heather L; Grills-Taquechel, Amie (2011) Evaluation of an information processing model following sexual assault. Psychol Trauma 3:421-429
Grills-Taquechel, Amie E; Norton, Peter; Ollendick, Thomas H (2010) A longitudinal examination of factors predicting anxiety during the transition to middle school. Anxiety Stress Coping 23:493-513