Meet the Lurie College Faculty | Maureen Smith

Maureen Smith joined SJSU after spending three years teaching at Chicago State University and two years in a Post Doc at Vanderbilt University.  Her research focuses on contexts that shape children’s social-emotional development: (1) risk and resilience (e.g., maltreatment, foster care); and (2) imagination/reading for pleasure.  She focuses on understanding these processes in culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse populations. As a Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development, Dr. Smith teaches three classes regularly: Senior Seminar; Risk and Resilience; and Play, Creativity, and Imagination.  For the last two years, she has also been developing an integrated BA/Teacher Credential program.  Read Maureen’s full profile below and listen to Maureen’s personality playlist on the Lurie College Spotify account!

SJSU Lurie College of Education Child and Adolescent Development Department Faculty Maureen Smith

Professor, Child & Adolescent Development


  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Cornell University
  • M.A., Developmental Psychology, Cornell University
  • B.A., Psychology (Minor Human Development), University of California, Davis

Recent Publications

  • Smith, M. C. (2001). Social and emotional competencies: Contributions to young African-American children’s peer acceptance. Early Education and Development, 12, 49-72.
  • Mathur, R. & Smith, M. (2007-2008). An investigation of imaginary companions in an ethnic and grade diverse sample. Imagination, Cognition, & Personality, 27 (4), 313-336.
  • Smith, M. C. (2009). Early childhood educators: Perspectives on maltreatment and mandatory reporting. Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 20-27.
  • Fusaro, M. & Smith, M. (2018). Preschoolers’ inquisitiveness and science-relevant problem solving. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 119-127.
  • Smith, M.C. (2018) Imagination and well-Being in blind, deaf, and typically developing school children. Imagination, Personality, and Cognition.

Recent Presentations

  • Backer, P., Kato, C., Peck, D., Morgan, J., Seah, DF., Smith, M., & Anastasovitou, L. (2019). Improving retention and graduation rates at SJSU: Project Succeed. SJSU Student Success Symposium. San Jose: April 2019.

Noteworthy Grants and Awards

  • Co-PI on “Project Succeed: Improving Retention and Graduation in URM at SJSU.” Funded by the Department of Education (2015-2019)

Areas of Research Interest

  • Foster care
  • Imagination
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Maltreatment
  • Reading
  • Resilience
  • Risk

Recommended Reading

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