Leslie Altman Rescorla

image of Prof Rescorla

Professor of Psychology, Director of the Child Study Institute, Ph.D., Yale University





Courses Taught
Abnormal Psychology
Developmental Psychopathology
Psychosocial Developmental and Abnormal Psychology

Leslie Rescorla received her B.A. degree from Radcliffe College in 1967 (in modern European history and literature), an M.Sc. degree from the London School of Economics in 1968 (in economic history), and her Ph.D. in child development and clinical psychology from Yale in 1976. She did a clinical internship at the Yale Child Study Center and then continued on there for several years as a research associate and member of the psychology staff. She was a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981-85, during which time she continued her clinical training at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She joined the faculty in the Department of Human Development at Bryn Mawr College as an assistant professor in 1985-86. She was promoted to associate professor in 1991-92 and to professor in 1996-97.

Rescorla served as Director of the Clinical Developmental Psychology Doctoral Program from 1985 to 2005. In 1993-94, she became director of the Child Study Institute of Bryn Mawr College, a clinic serving children and families, and the administrative head of the Phebe Anna Thorne School, an early-childhood program serving both typically developing and language-delayed youngsters. From 1994 to 2004, Rescorla served as chair of the Department of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified school psychologist. In addition to her teaching, research, and adminsitrative activities, she maintains a small clinical practice at the Child Study Institute, where she works with children and their families and consults with schools.


Dr. Rescorla's current research is concentrated in three major areas, as outlined below. Projects that are ongoing or pending in which students might become involved are listed for each area.

Research on language delay:
  1. vocabulary growth from age 2 to age 17 in children with and without language delay at toddlers
  2. development of prereading, reading, and writing/spelling skills to age 17 in children with and without a history of early language delay
  3. grammatical skills at age 5 in children with and without a history of early language delay
  4. association between language delay and behavioral/emottional problems in toddlers
  5. use of the Language Development Survey (LDS) in other countries to identify toddlers with language delay
Empirically based assessment of emotional and behavior problems in children and adolescents
  1. cross- informant agreement between parents, teachers, and adolescents on CBCL, TRF, and YSR scores in 15 countries
  2. cross-cultural similarities and differences in  ratings of competence and adaptive functioning by parents, teachers, and adolescents
  3. cross-cultural similarities and differences in ratings of emotional and behavioral problems of preschool children in many countries
  4. longitudinal patterns of consistency and change in behavioral and emotional problems in a general population sample


Individual differences in early reading

  1. prediction of reading outcomes to 3rd grade based on DIBELS screening tests administered in kindergarten, first, and second grade
  2. individual growth trajectories in early reading
  3. measuring response to intervention in early reading in public school children


Representative publications

Please send any questions or comments to Leslie Rescorla

Biographical information and CV

Psychology Homepage

Child Study Institute

Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Phebe Anna Thorne School

Leslie Rescorla named Hepburn Center Director