Audrey L. Zakriski

Audrey L. Zakriski

Professor of Psychology

Joined Connecticut College: 1998

B.S., Bucknell University
M.A., Ph.D., Duke University


Children's mental health

Contextual assessment of child psychopathology

Childhood peer rejection and victimization

Audrey Zakriski teaches courses in clinical, developmental and general psychology, with an emphasis on community-based learning. To facilitate an understanding of normative development and the development of psychopathology, students in her Developmental Psychopathology course work with typically developing youth, at-risk youth, and youth with psychological disturbances in a range of community settings.

Zakriski graduated from Bucknell and received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duke University. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University Bradley Research Center, she was appointed to the faculty of the Brown University Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and served as the psychologist for the children’s inpatient unit at Bradley Hospital in East Providence, RI for two years. She joined the faculty of Connecticut College in 1998.

Professor Zakriski has authored numerous empirical articles and book chapters on children’s mental health and social development. Recent publications have appeared in the American Psychological Association Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and have been reprinted in the Year Book of Psychiatry and Applied Mental Health (2003) and The Reference Guide to Counseling Children and Adolescents: Prevention, treatment, outcomes (2000).

She also co-published an article with former student Stephanie L. Cardoos '06, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at UCLA Berkeley. The article in the Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter is titled Group treatment for aggressive and delinquent youth: Does peer interaction reinforce deviant behaviors? Stephanie L. Cardoos, Audrey L. Zakriski, Jack C. Wright & Harry W. Parad, October 2008.

She regularly presents at regional and national conferences in her field including the Society for Research in Child Development, and has received research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Brown University and the Lowenstein Center for Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Durham, N.C.

Some recent publications:

  • Gender Differences and Similarities in Children’s Social Behavior: Finding Personality in Contextualized Patterns of Adaptation
  • Lifetime psychiatric prescription histories of children admitted to a psychiatric hospital: Justifiable pharmacotherapy or overzealous medication?
  • Syndromal versus contextual assessment of child psychopathology: Differentiating environmental and dispositional determinants of behavior

Professor Zakriski's research program currently centers on a collaborative relationship with Wediko Children's Services, a non-profit agency serving emotionally and behaviorally disturbed youth through numerous programs including their flagship intensive summer residential treatment program in Windsor, NH.

Her research at Wediko primarily focuses on individual differences in the interpersonal and contextual patterning of children's behavior problems, including gender and trait group differences. Current research investigates the application of this approach to the assessment of clinical behavior change and the durability of treatment effects across settings.

Several Connecticut College students have worked at Wediko summer program over the past 5 years. Many have also chosen to pursue individual research projects with Professor Zakriski based on this experience during the following academic year on topics including gender differences in psychopathology, the assessment of therapeutic change, and factors influencing the effectiveness of psychoeducational treatment for aggressive and conduct-disordered youth.

Professor Zakriski also teaches the community-based Practicum in Clinical and Community Settings course. In this course, students spend 10 hours per week working with a local mental health, educational, or other community agency to gain a first-hand understanding of psychology as a helping profession. Students in this course have onsite supervisors and meet weekly in a seminar format with other interns.

Professor Zakriski also regularly teaches Abnormal Psychology, as well as Introductory Psychology, Advanced Clinical Psychology, Peer Relations and Development, and Advanced Abnormal Psychology.

Reflecting her commitment to community-based service learning and action research, Zakriski served as Director of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, an interdisciplinary center focused on the development of active citizenship and leadership, from 2005-2008, and will serve again in 2017-2018. She served as a steering committee member for this center and faculty adviser to certificate students in the Program for Community Action since 1998.

Visit the psychology department website.

Majoring in Psychology.

Contact Audrey L. Zakriski

Mailing Address

Audrey L. Zakriski
Connecticut College
Box # PSYCHOLOGY/Bill Hall
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


302 Bill Hall