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)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Miller, Brett
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Boston University
Schools of Education
United States
Zip Code
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
Littleton, Heather L; Grills-Taquechel, Amie E; Buck, Katherine S et al. (2013) Health Risk Behavior and Sexual Assault Among Ethnically Diverse Women. Psychol Women Q 37:7-21
Grills-Taquechel, Amie E; Fletcher, Jack M; Vaughn, Sharon R et al. (2013) Anxiety and inattention as predictors of achievement in early elementary school children. Anxiety Stress Coping 26:391-410
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
Littleton, Heather L; Grills-Taquechel, Amie E; Axsom, Danny et al. (2012) Prior Sexual Trauma and Adjustment Following the Virginia Tech Campus Shootings: Examination of the Mediating Role of Schemas. Psychol Trauma 4:579-586
Littleton, Heather; Buck, Katherine; Rosman, Lindsey et al. (2012) From Survivor to Thriver: A Pilot Study of an Online Program for Rape Victims. Cogn Behav Pract 19:315-327
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; 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; Axsom, Danny; Grills-Taquechel, Amie E (2011) Longitudinal evaluation of the relationship between maladaptive trauma coping and distress: examination following the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Anxiety Stress Coping 24:273-90

Showing the most recent 10 out of 12 publications