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EIU Department of Psychology

Faculty and Staff Listing

Dr. Margaret T Floress, Associate Professor

Office: 1437 - Physical Sciences
Phone: 2175812127

Welcome to my webpage! In addition to coordinating the School Psychology Graduate Program at EIU, I have established an academic research program focusing on teacher training and classroom management. My love of research began as an undergraduate student in the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic at Central Michigan University. I blended my interest in parent training and school psychology by completing my dissertation examining the effects of Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) on behaviorally at-risk preschool children. I've also completed pre and post-doctoral training in behavioral pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI). 

My overarching goal of my research agenda is to identify simple, effective, and low-cost behavior management strategies and training methods to help retain high-quality teachers and increase positive behavioral and academic outcomes for students. To meet this goal, I invite undergraduate and graduate students to be a part of my research program. I enjoy engaging in research with students that provides hands on experience (e.g., recruiting, collecting data, writing) and opportunities to contribute to discussion and ideas that drive research forward.  

I am also happy to speak to students who are interested in graduate training in applied fields with children, especially school psychology and behavioral pediatrics. 



Frequently Taught Courses

Undergraduate Courses: 

PSY 3515 Child Psychology
PSY 3620 Psychology of Learning

Graduate Courses: 

PSY 6890 Advanced Practicum in School Psychology - Assessment & Intervention
PSY 5023 Preschool Assessment for Prevention & Intervention
PSY 6050 Behavior Therapy
PSY 5170 Theories of Learning
PSY 5550 Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities in School Psychology


B.S., Central Michigan University (1999-2003)
M.A., Indiana State University (2003-2004)
Ph.D., Indiana State University (2004-2007)

Pre-Doctoral Internship, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute
Post-Doctoral Internship, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute

Licensed Psychologist in Illinois # 071.007945
Nationally Certified School Psychologist # 36455

Professional Organizations



Natural Rates of Teacher Behavioral Skills
Teacher/Parent Training
Preschool Intervention
Behavioral and Academic Interventions
Sleep and Elimination Disorders

Selected Publications

* indicates graduate or undergraduate student

  1. Zoder-Martell, K., Markelz, A., Floress, M. T., Skriba, H. A., Sayyah, L. (2020). Technology to facilitate telehealth in applied behavior analysis. Behavior Analysis in Practice. Published on-line May 2020. Preprint doi:10.31234/
  2. Floress, M. T., Cates, G., Poroit, K, *Estrada, N. (2020). Conceptualizing fixed-interval praise delivery. Intervention in School and Clinic. Published on-line May 1, 2020.
  3. Zoder-Martell, K. A., Floress, M. T., Bernas, R. S., Dufrene, B. A., & Foulks S. L. (Sept, 2019). Training teachers to increase behavior-specific praise: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 35, 309-338. Doi: 10.1080/15377903.2019.1587802.
  4. Floress, M. T., & *Beschta, S. (Oct, 2018). An analysis of general education teachers’ use of diverse praise. Psychology in the Schools, 55(10), 1188-1204.
  5. *Meyer, K., Floress, M. T., & Zoder-Martell, K. (Feb, 2019). Utilizing staff incentives to increase school-wide praise. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 35 (1) 75-104.
  6. Floress, M. T., *Rader, R., *Berlinghof, J, & *Fanok, P. (April, 2018).  Externalizing behaviors within general, at-risk, and special education preschool classrooms: A preliminary investigation. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 62(4), 279-288. doi:10.1080/1045988X.2018.1443424
  7. Floress, M. T., Jenkins, L. N., Reinke, W., & *McKown, L. (July, 2018). General education teachers’ natural rates of praise: A preliminary investigation. Behavioral Disorders, 43(4), 411-422.
  8. Floress, M. T., *Beschta, S., *Meyer, K., & Reinke, W. (Nov, 2017). Praise research trends and future directions: Characteristics and teacher training. Behavioral Disorders, 43, 227-243.
  9. Floress, M.T., *Berlinghof, J., *Rader, R., & *Riedesel, E. (May, 2017). Preschool teachers’ natural use of praise in general, at-risk, and special education classrooms. Psychology in the Schools, 54, 519-531.
  10. Floress, M.T. & *Jacoby, A. (Jan, 2017). The Caterpillar Game: A SW-PBIS aligned classroom management system. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 33, 16-42. doi:10.1080/15377903.2016.1229706
  11. Floress, M.T., *Rock, A.L., & HaileMariam, A. (Apr, 2017). The Caterpillar Game: A classroom management system. Psychology in the Schools, 54, 385-403. doi: 10.1002/pits.22000.
  12. Jenkins, L.N., Floress, M.T., & Reinke, W. (May, 2015). Rates and types of teacher praise: A review and future directions. Psychology in the Schools, 52, 463-476. doi:10.1002/pits.2183
  13. Floress, M.T. & Jenkins, L.N. (2015). A preliminary investigation of kindergarten teachers’ use of praise in general education classrooms. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 59, 253-262. doi:10.1080/1045988X.2014.942834 


Funding & Grants

2013 - College of Sciences Early Research Support Grant, Awarded for the purpose of carrying out research. Project titled: Video Observation of Teacher's Behavioral Skills in the Classroom, Eastern Illinois University, $300.

2013  - Society for the Study of School Psychology, Awarded for the purpose of carrying out research. Project titled: A Preliminary Investigation of Teacher's Use of
Praise in General Education Classrooms, $16,000.

2013 - College of Sciences Seed Grant, Awarded for the purpose of carrying out research. Project titled: Teachers' Use of Behavioral Skills in the Classroom and Student Classroom Behavior, Eastern Illinois University, $1300.

Graduate Student Thesis Projects: 

  1. Allie Cardot (proposed spring 2020, in progress). Five in 20: An observation tool used to assess the five features critical to effective classroom management.
  2. Madison Fisher (proposed spring 2020, in progress). Elementary educators’ knowledge and acceptability of praise.
  3. Aubrey Toosley (defended fall 2019). Teachers use of diverse praise: A middle and high school sample.
  4. Zachary Yehling (defended spring 2020). Middle school and high school teachers’ knowledge and acceptability of praise.
  5. Emma Riedesel (defended spring 2019). Middle and high school teachers’ praise and reprimand delivery.
  6. Melissa Beaudoin (defended spring 2019). Middle and high school teachers’ actual and perceived use of praise and reprimand.
  7. Chloe Lindstrom (defended spring 2019). Teacher perceptions of evidence-based classroom management strategies.  
  8. Sara Hayn (defended spring 2018). An examination of teachers’ natural praise to reprimand ratios and teachers’ perceptions of self-efficacy and stress.
  9. Kari Meyer (defended spring 2017). Utilizing incentives to increase teacher praise.
  10. Shelby Beschta (defended spring 2017). An analysis of general education teachers’ use of diverse praise statements.
  11. Jessica Berlinghof (defended spring 2016). Preschool teachers’ use of praise: Comparing general, at-risk, and special education classrooms.
  12. Rebecca Radar (defended spring 2016). Examination of externalizing behaviors within general education, at-risk, and special education preschool-aged classrooms.
  13. Kaci Clark (defended spring 2016). Examining the effect of caffeine and technology on adolescent sleep.
  14. Amber Jacoby (defended 2016). The effects of the caterpillar game on classroom behavior and teacher stress.

Undergraduate Honors Thesis: 

  1. Megan Evans (defended 2020). Pre-service early childhood educators' use of praise and reprimand.
  2. Madison Fisher (defended 2018). Teacher attitudes and knowledge of praise as a classroom management tool.
  3. Megan Dandurand (defended 2014). Nightmares and kindergarten-aged children
  4. Elizabeth Schroeder (defended 2013). Maladaptive behaviors within the context of play



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