Rachel E. Robertson

Rachel Robertson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading. Her interests include identifying and reducing barriers to teacher and caregiver implementation of proactive behavior strategies for children with challenging behavior, particularly students with disabilities. She recently published a statewide survey of teacher barriers to implementation of behavior intervention plans and is currently developing and testing a collaborative professional development program to increase teacher use of proactive and evidence-based behavior management. Prior to entering academia, Rachel was a school- and home-based behavior consultant and worked with a variety of students, including students in preschool through high school with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, emotional disorders, and students at-risk for disabilites with challenging behavior.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

Kostewicz, D., Robertson, R., Conway, S., & Milner, R. Urban Special Education Scholars (USES). Office of Special Education Programs ($1,027,584). Co-Principal Investigator.
Asato, M. & Messick, C. Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND). Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau ($15,181). Special Education Faculty.
Schwartz, R., & Robertson, R. Staff Training in Offering Choice to Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Organization for Autism Research ($3000). Co-Principal Investigator.
Robertson, R. Do Teachers' Implicit Theories of Personality Affect the Quality of Behavior Support They Provide to Students? University of Pittsburgh Central Research Development Fund ($14,670). Principal Investigator.
Krans, E., Rustgi, V., Schwarz, E., Yabes, J., Zickmund, S. , & Robertson, R. Facilitating HCV Treatment Through Tailored Prenatal Care for HCV Infected, Substance Using Pregnant Women. National Institutes of Health ($379,280). Co-Investigator.
*Abdellatif, H., & Robertson, R. The influence of evolving perceptions and beliefs of pre-service special education teachers on career aspirations: A longitudinal study. University of Pittsburgh School of Education Student & Faculty Research Fund ($2,052). Co-Principal Investigator.

Recent Publications

Robertson, R., Kokina, A., & Moore, D. (2020). Barriers to implementing behavior intervention plans: Results of a statewide survey. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.
*Sobeck, E., Robertson, R., & *Smith, J. (2020). Effects of didactic instruction and performance feedback on provision of positive behavior supports by paraeducators in inclusive classrooms. The Journal of Special Education, 53, 245-255.
RRobertson, R. E., & Coy, J. N. (2019). Your Student Is Hungry, Tired, Angry-Now What? Addressing Distal Setting Events in the Classroom. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 51, 361-371.
*Schles, R., & Robertson, R. (2019). The role of coaching and evidence based practices for preservice special education teachers and student outcomes: A review of the literature. Teacher Education and Special Education, 42, 36-48.
Severini, K., Ledford, J., & Robertson, R. (2018). Systematic review of problem behavior interventions: Outcomes, demographics, and settings. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 3261-3272 .
Lee, D., Robertson, R., Hall, C., & Rizzo, K. (2020). Professional development and consultation to support teachers of students with EBD. In T. Farmer, B. Farmer, M. Conroy, & K. Sutherland (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Emotional & Behavioral Disabilities: Interdisciplinary Developmental Perspectives on Children and Youth. Abingdon, UK: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.
Rachel E. Robertson


University of Pittsburgh
5146 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260