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Irwin N. Sandler

Research Professor; Regents' Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University

Over the past 45 years I, along with my colleagues, have been conducting research on children's adaptation following major adversities such as the death of a parent and parental divorce. Experiencing such adversities increases children's risk for multiple problem outcomes. The question driving our research has been can we prevent these problem outcomes. I directed an NIMH funded Prevention Research Center for 25 years that focused on developing and testing interventions to do so. My colleagues and I have published over 200 journal articles and book chapters on our work. Findings from our NIMH funded randomized trials, with follow-ups 15 years later indicate remarkable effectiveness of our prevention efforts. In this article I present the story of our work with bereaved families. One of our major findings is that many of the positive long-term effects of our programs is through providing the parents with practical tools to help create a family environment in which their children can be resilient. In this presentation I wanted to pay tribute to these parents.
I am currently a Regents' Professor Emeritus and a Research Professor in the REACH Institute in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. I am a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for Prevention Research. I have received multiple awards from professional societies for my work. Currently, funded by the New York Life Foundation I am most interested in communicating what we have learned to the general public and disseminating our interventions to make a difference in the lives of children and families.


  • –present
    Research Professor; Regents' Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University


  • 1971 
    University of Rochester, Ph.D/Psychology


Fellow Society for Prevention Research; Fellow American Psychological Association Division of Society for Community Research and Action