Missouri State University
Missouri State
The Magazine Published For The Alumni And Friends of Missouri State University
Dr. Reesha Adamson
Photo by Kevin White

Dr. Reesha Adamson

Assistant professor of counseling, leadership and special education

“Kids who have emotional and behavioral disorders have worse post-secondary outcomes, such as not going to college, not getting jobs and going to prison. They’re starting out on this horrible track. It’s our job to find out what we can do to help improve this process for them.” — Dr. Reesha Adamson

Her research

Adamson wants to find out how to best engage elementary school students who have special needs, specifically those with behavioral disorders such as oppositional behaviors, depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

These disorders can affect a student’s performance in the classroom.

“Research shows that 20 percent of students have these disorders throughout their childhood. A lot of those things that go untreated and unhelped get worse as students get older.”

So she wondered about the possibilities. What if teachers knew how to better identify and help such students? What if those students knew how to seek help for themselves?

Adamson is working with local public schools to help a small section of students who struggle with following through on classroom engagement and aren’t learning at the same rate as their peers.

Specifically, she wants to know what systems, supports and interventions can be placed in schools to support teacher training and student outcomes.

Online Exclusive

How this project helps people

It could affect both teachers and students.

  • Behavior management is the top reason teachers give for leaving the profession, Adamson said.
  • Training for teachers to help them deal with behavior issues could retain educators.Engaging an elementary student could change that child’s entire trajectory.