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Irwin Sandler, PhD

Irwin Sandler, PhD

Member, Scientific Research Council
Child Mind Institute
Regents’ Professor, Department of Psychology (Clinical)
Arizona State University
Director, Prevention Research Center
Arizona State University

Irwin Sandler, PhD, has devoted much of his career to researching the effects of high-stress situations on children. His research has focused on the assessment of children’s stressful life events, coping strategies and social support and on testing theoretical models of children’s adaptation to stress. He has also conducted extensive research to experimentally test the long-term impact of interventions to promote healthy child adjustment following the stressors of parental death and divorce. Throughout his career he has focused on the translation between theories of adaptation and the design of preventive interventions, and on using experimental trials of interventions to test theoretically predicted models of adaptation. Dr. Sandler served for 25 years as the director of the NIMH-supported Prevention Research Center at Arizona State University. He is currently the principal investigator on a 15-year follow-up evaluation of a randomized trial of the Family Bereavement Program and of a large scale randomized trial of the effectiveness of the New Beginnings Program for divorcing parents as implemented in four counties across the state of Arizona. Dr. Sandler is the co-editor of the Handbook of Children’s Coping and The Promotion of Wellness in Children and Adolescents, as well as the author of over 200 scholarly publications.


  • Society for Prevention Research, Fellow
  • American Psychological Association (Division 27), Fellow
  • American Psychological Association, Distinguished Contributions to Theory and Research, 1997
  • American Psychological Association, Presidential Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the Mental Health of Children and Families in Stress, 2000
  • Society for Prevention Research, Friend of ECPN Award, 2004
  • Pennsylvania State University, Bennett Lectureship in Prevention Science, 2004
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award, 2007
  • Society for Prevention Research, Presidential Award, 2007
  • George Washington University, Welling Professorship, 2008
  • Association of Death Education and Counseling, Research Award, 2010


  • Brooklyn College, BA (cum laude) in Psychology, 1966
  • University of Rochester, PhD in Clinical Psychology, 1971