Melanie Dirks

Assistant Professor

Stewart Biological Sciences Bldg.
Room W7/3J, 514-398-3856
melanie.dirks at

Research Areas

Clinical, Developmental

Research Summary

I am interested in the association between social competence and youth psychopathology, with a particular focus on economically disadvantaged children and adolescents. Increasingly, theorists have identified social competence as an evaluative construct that varies as a function of both the situation in which a behavior is enacted and the person evaluating the strategy. To date, I have engaged in work examining this model empirically by assessing a) the situation specificity of youth responses to different types of peer provocation; and b) the situation and judge specificity of evaluations of those responses. Current projects examine the associations between perceived social competence and youth anxiety and depression.

Selected References

Dirks, M. A., De Los Reyes, A., Briggs-Gowan, M., Cella, D., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2012).  Embracing not erasing contextual variability in children’s behavior: Theory and utility in the selection and use of methods and informants in developmental psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 558-574.

Dirks, M. A., Treat, T. A., & Weersing, V. R. (2011). The latent structure of youth responses to peer provocation.  Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 33, 58-68.

Dirks, M. A., Boyle, M. H., & Georgiades, K. (2011).  Psychological symptoms in youth and later socioeconomic functioning:  Do associations vary by informant? Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 10-22.

Dirks, M. A., Treat, T. A., & Weersing, V. R. (2010). The judge specificity of evaluations of youth social behavior:  The case of peer provocation. Social Development, 19, 736-757.

Dirks, M. A., Treat, T. A., & Weersing, V. R. (2007).  Integrating theoretical, measurement, and intervention models of youth social competence.  Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 327-347.

Updated: October 2013
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