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Catherine Corr

Key Professional Appointments

  • Associate Professor, Special Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research & Service

My research focuses on young children with disabilities who have experienced or are at risk for trauma (abuse, neglect, and or maltreatment etc.) and the formal and informal service delivery systems in which they participate. The long term goal of my research is to make high quality early childhood special education (ECSE) services accessible for all young children with disabilities and their families. My primary line of research examines ECSE experiences for young children who have experienced trauma. My work addresses the critical questions of: what types of support do young children/families who have experienced trauma need?; what types of support do ECSE professionals working with children/families who have experienced trauma need?; and how can service systems can meet the needs of children/families who have experienced trauma and ECSE professionals? The overarching purpose of this research is to facilitate service delivery to young children and their families that is both effective and efficient.

A second area of focus in my work relates to mixed methods research (MMR), approaches that are gaining popularity in the social sciences. Although, the field of special education has made consistent efforts to ensure researchers employ rigorous methods, the seminal work undertaken to advance research quality has focused predominately on the use of single methods approaches (Brantlinger, Jimenez, Klingner, Pugach, & Richardson, 2005; Gersten et al., 2005; Horner et al., 2005; Thompson, Diamond, McWilliam, Snyder, & Snyder, 2005;). While MMR approaches may be unfamiliar to many in the field of special education, when applied purposefully and rigorously, MMR can uniquely contribute to and enhance special education research. MMR designs yield great opportunities for special education researchers to strengthen and expand our methodological techniques. The overarching purpose of this research is to better design rigorous and responsive MMR studies that will inform the evidence base for supporting individuals with disabilities.


Chudzik, M., Corr, C., & Wolowiec-Fisher, K. (2023). Trauma: Early Childhood Special Education Teachers’ Attitudes and Experiences. Early Childhood Education Journal, 51(1), 189-200.  link >

Chudzik, M., Corr, C., & Fisher, K. W. (Accepted/In press). Trauma-Informed Care: The Professional Development Needs of Early Childhood Special Education Teachers. Journal of Early Intervention.  link >

Corr, C., Love, H., Snodgrass, M. R., Kern, J. L., & Chudzik, M. (2023). Methodological Training in Special Education Doctoral Programs: A Mixed-Methods Exploration. Teacher Education and Special Education, 46(2), 108-126.  link >

Corr, C., Chudzik, M., Oh, J. R., Love, H. R., & Snodgrass, M. R. (Accepted/In press). Mixed Methods Journal Reviewing in Early Childhood Special Education. Topics in Early Childhood Special education.  link >

Panlilio, C. C., Dube, S. R., & Corr, C. (Accepted/In press). A framework for promoting learning and development in the context of adversity: An introduction to the special issue. Child Abuse and Neglect, [106176].  link >

Dube, S. R., Rishi, S., Corr, C., & Panlilio, C. C. (Accepted/In press). Assessment of adult learning outcomes from a school-based training on adverse childhood experiences science and trauma-informed care. Child Abuse and Neglect, [105777].  link >

Love, H. R., & Corr, C. (2022). Integrating Without Quantitizing: Two Examples of Deductive Analysis Strategies Within Qualitatively Driven Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 16(1), 64-87.  link >

Lund, E. M., Corr, C. P., & Durán, L. K. (2022). Identifying and Responding to Suicidality: Evidence-Based Strategies for Early Childhood Home Visitors. Early Childhood Education Journal, 50(6), 949-957.  link >

Stegenga, S. M., Skubel, A., Corr, C., & Nagro, S. (2022). Your Voice Matters: A Practitioner’s Guide for Engaging in Policy Through Advocacy. Young Exceptional Children, 25(1), 42-56.  link >

Burdick, L. S., & Corr, C. (Accepted/In press). Helping Teachers Understand and Mitigate Trauma in Their Classrooms. Teaching Exceptional Children.  link >

Bystrynski, J., Braun, M. T., Corr, C., Miller, D., & O’Grady, C. (2021). Predictors of Injury to Youth Associated with Physical Restraint in Residential Mental Health Treatment Centers. Child and Youth Care Forum, 50(3), 511-526.  link >

Corr, C., Snodgrass, M. R., Love, H., Scott, I. M., Kim, J., & Andrews, L. (2021). Exploring the Landscape of Published Mixed Methods Research in Special Education: A Systematic Review. Remedial and Special Education, 42(5), 317-328.  link >

Lund, E. M., Corr, C. P., Kinavey, E., Mott, K. N., Chowdhury, D., Hammond, M., Thomas, K. B., & Schultz, J. C. (2021). Childhood Disability-Related Abuse: A Retrospective Proof-of-Concept Study. Journal of interpersonal violence, 36(21-22), 10029-10053.  link >

Lund, E. M., Durán, L. K., & Corr, C. P. (2021). Suicide Gatekeeping: An Important Potential Role for Early Childhood Home Visitors. Early Childhood Education Journal, 49(4), 751-756.  link >

Zeng, S., Pereira, B., Larson, A., Corr, C. P., O’Grady, C., & Stone-MacDonald, A. (2021). Preschool Suspension and Expulsion for Young Children With Disabilities. Exceptional Children, 87(2), 199-216.  link >

Corr, C., Milagros Santos, R., Fowler, S. A., Spence, C., & Skubel, A. (2020). Early interventionists’ perceptions of supporting families experiencing poverty. Early Child Development and Care, 190(13), 2093-2105.  link >

Corr, C., Snodgrass, M. R., Greene, J. C., Meadan, H., & Santos, R. M. (2020). Mixed Methods in Early Childhood Special Education Research: Purposes, Challenges, and Guidance. Journal of Early Intervention, 42(1), 20-30.  link >

Corr, C. (2019). CEC Policy on the Prevention of and Response to Maltreatment. Teaching Exceptional Children, 51(3), 250-252.  link >

Corr, C., Miller, D., Spence, C., Marshall, A. A., Mott, K., & Kretzer, J. (2019). "It's never black and white": Early interventionists' experiences supporting abused children and their families. Psychological Services, 16(1), 103-110.  link >

Corr, C., & Milagros Santos, R. (2019). Jocelin: a best-case scenario for a young child with disabilities who experienced abuse? Early Child Development and Care, 189(1), 1-15.  link >

Zeng, S., Corr, C. P., O'Grady, C., & Guan, Y. (2019). Adverse childhood experiences and preschool suspension expulsion: A population study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 97, [104149].  link >

Corr, C., Spence, C., Miller, D., Marshall, A. A., & Santos, R. M. (2018). Beyond “Hoping for the Best”: Home Visits in Impoverished Urban Areas. Young Exceptional Children, 21(2), 111-120.  link >

Corr, C. P., & Miller, D. (Eds.) (2018). Maltreatment and Toxic Stress. (Young Exceptional Children Monograph; No. 17). Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Corr, C. P., Miller, D., & Spence, C. M. (2018). "...Something Is Going On": Defining Maltreatment and Trauma-Informed Care. In C. Corr, & D. Miller (Eds.), Maltreatment and Toxic Stress (pp. 1-8). (Young Exceptional Children Monograph; No. 17). Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Corr, C., & Barton, E. E. (2018). Topics in Early Childhood Special Education Topical Issue on “Research to Practice in Maltreatment, Trauma, and Toxic Stress”. Topics in Early Childhood Special education, 38(3), 132-133.  link >

Miller, D., Corr, C. P., Kennedy, S., & Johnson, H. (2018). Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Our Commitments to Children Who Have Experienced Maltreatment and Their Caregivers. In C. Corr, & D. Miller (Eds.), Maltreatment and Toxic Stress (pp. 94-95). (Young Exceptional Children Monograph; No. 17). Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Trivette, C. M., & Corr, C. P. (2018). When Life Gets in the Way: The Complexities of Supporting Families Who Have a Child with Autism and Live in Poverty. In M. Siller, & L. Morgan (Eds.), Handbook of Parent-Implemented Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism (pp. 107-120). (Autism and Child Psychopathology Series). Springer.  link >

Corr, C., & Santos, R. M. (2017). Abuse and Young Children With Disabilities: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Early Intervention, 39(1), 3-17.  link >

Corr, C., & Santos, R. M. (2017). “Not in the Same Sandbox”: Cross-Systems Collaborations Between Early Intervention and Child Welfare Systems. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 34(1), 9-22.  link >

Miller, D., Corr, C. P., Munger, K., Spence, C. M., & Santos, R. M. (2017). Adoption, Attachment, and the DEC Recommended Family Practices. In C. M. Trivette, & B. Keilty (Eds.), Family: Knowing Families, Tailoring Practices, Building Capacity (pp. 67-74). (DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series; No. 3). Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Fisher, M. H., Corr, C., & Morin, L. (2016). Victimization of Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 51, 233-280.  link >

Santos, R. M., Jeans, L. M., & Corr, C. (2016). The Developmental Benefits of Parent-Child Interaction: Perspectives of Filipino Mothers of Children With and Without Disabilities. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(1), 85-98.  link >

Corr, C., Santos, R. M., & Fowler, S. A. (2015). The Components of Early Intervention Services for Families Living in Poverty: A Review of the Literature. Topics in Early Childhood Special education, 36(1), 55-64.  link >

Corr, C. (2015). We Cannot Walk Away: DEC’s Position on Child Abuse, Neglect, and Trauma. Young Exceptional Children, 19(2), 45-48.  link >

Corr, C., & Danner, N. (2014). Court-Appointed Special Advocate Strong Beginnings: Raising awareness across early childhood and child welfare systems. Early Child Development and Care, 184(9-10), 1436-1446.  link >

Fowler, S. A., Thomas, D. V., Tompkins, J., Hartle, L., & Corr, C. (2013). Strategies for enrolling traditionally underserved families in early childhood education programs. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 15(2).


EPSY 575: Mixed Method Inquiry (EPSY 575) This advanced course addresses the theory and practice of mixing inquiry methodologies in program evaluation and applied research. Topics include selected roots of mixed inquiry, various stances on mixing philosophical traditions while mixing methods, conceptualizations of mixed method design and analysis, and challenges of mixed method practice. Students should have basic familiarity with experimental or survey (quantitative) with and constructivist or interpretivist (qualitative) social science. Familiarity with other social science frameworks (e.g., critical theory, feminism, action science) is also highly desirable.

SPED 575: Mixed Method Inquiry (SPED 575) Same as EPSY 575. See EPSY 575.

SPED 590: Seminar for Advanced Students (SPED 590) Seminar in the education of individuals with disabilities; open only to persons who have been admitted for graduate study.

SPED 593: Concepts and Issues in Special Education II (SPED 593) Seminar in current concepts and issues relating to all children with special needs; introduction to grant proposal writing; and introduction to journal reviewing; requires critical review of key readings and preparation of a literature review of a topic of current research in special education.

SPED 599: Thesis Research (SPED 599) Individual direction of research and thesis writing.