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Leigh McLean

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Research Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 3701

Leigh McLean is an assistant research professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. She completed her doctorate in developmentalpPsychology in 2015 at Arizona State University and her master's degree in developmental psychology in 2012 at Florida State University. In her research, McLean utilizes in-depth classroom observation methods to investigate the contributions of teacher characteristics, particularly mental health symptoms, to young students’ academic experiences and outcomes. She also explores the sources and progressions of teachers' mental health symptomatology across various career stages. 

  • Ph.D. Department of Psychology (Developmental), Arizona State University
  • M.S. Department of Psychology (Developmental), Florida State University
  • B.S. Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (Early Childhood Development and Education), Oregon State University
Research Interests: 

Teachers' mental health, self-efficacy, and learning-related feelings/beliefs.

Classroom observation methods.

Students' classroom instructional experiences and academic outcomes.

Context-specificity of teacher and student experiences.


McLean, L., Abry, T., Taylor, M., & Connor, C.M. (2018). Associations among Teachers’ Depressive Symptoms and Students’ Classroom Instructional Experiences in Third Grade. Journal of School Psychology, 69, pg. 154-168.

McLean, L. & Connor, C.M. (2018). Challenges, Benefits and Considerations in Classroom Observation Research. SAGE Research Methods Cases.

Sparapani, N.E., Connor, C.M., Day, S.L., Wood, T., Ingebrand, S.W., McLean, L. & Phillips, B. (in press). Profiles of Foundational Learning Skills among First Graders. Learning and Individual Differences.

McLean, L. & Connor, C.M. (2017). Relations Between Third-Grade Teachers’ Depressive Symptoms and their Feedback to Students, with Implications for Student Mathematics Achievement. School Psychology Quarterly.

McLean, L., Abry, T.A., Taylor, M., Jimenez, M. & Granger, K. (2017). Teachers’ Mental Health and Perceptions of School Climate across the Transition from Training to Teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 65, 230-240.

Connor, C. M., Day, S. L., Phillips, B., Sparapani, N., Ingebrand, S. W., McLean, L., Barrus, A. and Kaschak, M. P., (2016). Reciprocal Effects of Self-Regulation, Semantic Knowledge, and Reading Comprehension in Early Elementary School. Child Development, 87(6), 1813–1824.

McLean, L., Sparapani, N. E., Toste, J. & Connor, C.M. (2016.) Classroom Quality as a Predictor of First Grader’s Time in Non-Instructional Activities and Literacy Achievement.  Journal of School Psychology, 56(3), 45-58.

McLean, L., & Connor, C. M. (2015). Depressive Symptoms in Third‐Grade Teachers: Relations to Classroom Quality and Student Achievement. Child Development, 86(3), 945-954.

Connor, C. M., Radach, R., Vorstius, C., Day, S. L., McLean, L., & Morrison, F. J. (2015). Individual differences in fifth graders’ literacy and academic language predict comprehension monitoring development: An eye-movement study. Scientific Studies of Reading, 19(2), 114-134.

Connor, C.M., Spencer, M., Day, S.L., Giuliani, S., Ingebrand, S.W., McLean, L., & Morrison, F.J. (2014). Capturing the complexity: Content, type, and amount of instruction and quality of the classroom learning environment synergistically predict third graders’ vocabulary and reading comprehension outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(3), 762-778.

Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
FAS 390Supervised Research Experience
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
FAS 301Introduction to Parenting
FAS 390Supervised Research Experience
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
FAS 301Introduction to Parenting
FAS 390Supervised Research Experience
FAS 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
FAS 390Supervised Research Experience
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
FAS 301Introduction to Parenting