Spencer Evans, Ph.D.

Asst. Professor

(305) 284-3765
Locator Code:


About Me

Dr. Spencer Evans is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, affiliated with the Child Division and the Clinical Program. His research focuses on irritability and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, including lines of work on developmental psychopathology, assessment, and intervention. Dr. Evans has authored ~50 peer-reviewed publications, typically co-authored with trainees and collaborators. His research has attracted funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, AIM Youth Mental Health, and the American Psychological Foundation.

Dr. Evans earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2017, after completing his pre-doctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston (both APA-accredited programs). He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. For several years, he worked as a coordinator, consultant, and investigator for the World Health Organization in their development of ICD-11 Mental and Behavioural Disorders, with a particular focus on disruptive behavior and irritability. He currently serves as Member-at-Large for Communications and Technology with the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (APA Division 37), and on presidential initiatives addressing youth emotion dysregulation and outbursts with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Evans does not plan to admit an incoming Child Clinical Ph.D. student for the Fall 2023 admissions cycle.



2017Ph.D. Clinical Child Psychology, University of Kansas
2012 Clinical Child Psychology, University of Kansas
2011B.G.S. Psychology and Philosophy, University of Kansas

Professional Experience

2021 - Faculty, University of Miami, Department of Psychology
2017 - 2020Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Department of Psychology
2016 - 2017Predoctoral Intern, Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Psychiatry

Research Interests

The goal of my research is to help advance the understanding, assessment, and treatment of behavioral and emotional dysregulation in youth, with a particular focus on irritability and aggressive behavior. My research is organized into three interrelated areas: (1) the developmental course, correlates, and outcomes of irritability and aggression in children and adolescents; (2) the assessment, diagnosis, and diagnostic classification of youth behavioral and emotional problems; and (3) improving the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in youth mental health. In pursuing this work, I have developed related interests in various areas, including quantitative methods (e.g., longitudinal, multilevel, latent variable, latent class, meta-analysis). I adopt a developmental psychopathology framework, strive to include diverse youth populations, and emphasize translational implications for evidence-based practice.

Representative Publications

Evans, S. C., Roberts, M. C., Keeley, J. W., Rebello, T. J., de la Peña, F., Lochman, J. E., Burke, J. D., Fite, P. J., Ezpeleta, L., Matthys, W., Youngstrom, E. A., Matsumoto, C., Andrews, H. F., Medina-Mora, M. E., Ayuso-Mateos, J. L., Khoury, B., Kulygina, M., Robles, R., Sharan, P., Zhao, M., & Reed, G. M. (2020). Diagnostic classification of irritability and oppositionality in youth: A global field study comparing ICD-11 with ICD-10 and DSM-5. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/jcpp.13244

Evans, S. C., Weisz, J. R., Carvalho, A. C., Garibaldi, P. M., Bearman, S. K., Chorpita, B. F., & The Research Network on Youth Mental Health. (2020). Effects of standard and modular psychotherapies in the treatment of youth with severe irritability. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88, 255-268. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000456

Evans, S. C., Cooley, J. L., Blossom, J. B., Pederson, C. A., Tampke, E., & Fite, P. J. (2019). Examining ODD/ADHD symptom dimensions as predictors of social, emotional, and academic trajectories in middle childhood. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/15374416.2019.1644645

Evans, S. C., Bonadio, F. T., Bearman, S. K., Ugueto, A. M., Chorpita, B. F., & Weisz, J. R. (2019). Assessing the irritable and defiant dimensions of youth oppositional behavior using CBCL and YSR items. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/15374416.2019.1622119

Evans, S. C., & Fite, P. J. (2019). Dual pathways from reactive aggression to depressive symptoms in children: Further examination of the failure model. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 85-97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-018-0426-6

Evans, S. C., Burke, J. D., Roberts, M. C., Fite, P. J., Lochman, J. E., de la Peña, F. R., & Reed, G. M. (2017). Irritability in child and adolescent psychopathology: An integrative review for ICD-11. Clinical Psychology Review, 53, 29-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2017.01.004