D. Betsy McCoach


Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation program, Educational Psychology Department

Professor, Research Methods, Measurement, & Evaluation

Areas of Expertise: Latent Variable Modeling, Multilevel Modeling, Instrument Design, Longitudinal Analysis, Quantitative Research Methodology, Gifted Education, Underachievement

CV:  Betsy CV 2018 April


Dr. D. Betsy McCoach is a professor of Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Connecticut. She has extensive experience in structural equation modeling, longitudinal data analysis, hierarchical linear modeling, instrument design, and factor analysis. Betsy has published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books, including Multilevel Modeling of Educational Data with Ann O’Connell and Instrument Development in the Affective Domain (3rd edition), co-authored with Robert K. Gable and John P. Madura. Betsy served as the founding co-editor for the Journal of Advanced Academics and co-editor of Gifted Child Quarterly. Betsy is the current Director of DATIC, where she teaches summer workshops in Longitudinal Modeling, Structural Equation Modeling, Multilevel Modeling, and she is the founder and conference chair of the Modern Modeling Methods conference, held at UCONN every May. Betsy currently serves as a Co-Principal Investigator and research methodologist on several federally funded research grants, including Project Early Vocabulary Intervention, the National Center for Research on Gifted Education, and Project NEEDs2, all funded by IES, and Science of Learning and Art of Communication (SLAC), funded by NSF. Betsy is past chair of several AERA SIGs, including the Structural Equation Modeling SIG, Multilevel Modeling SIG, Educational Statisticians SIG, and Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development SIG. Betsy is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 5. Betsy is also the 2018 (inaugural) winner of the Dr. Perry A. Zirkel Distinguished Teaching Award.

Funded Research:

Co-Principal Investigator, National Center for Research on Gifted Education

Co-Principal Investigator, National Exploration of Emotional/Behavioral Detection in School Screening (NEEDs2)

Co-Principal Investigator, Factors Affecting Comprehension by Teens During Online Reading in Science: The FACTORS Project. Funding Source: IES ($600,000). PI: Don Leu

Co-Principal Investigator, Science of learning, from neurobiology to real-world application: a problem-based approach. Funding Source: NSF ($3 million) PI: James Magnuson.

Co-Principal Investigator, Project EVI: Early Vocabulary Intervention. U. S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Reading & Writing Research – Special Education Research (Goal 3 – Efficacy). $4,097,835. (PI: Mike Coyne ).Co-Principal Investigator, School Structure and Science Success: Organization and Leadership Influences on Student Success, funded by the National Science Foundation (PI- John Settlage, $2,700,000.)

Co-Principal Investigator, Project IVI: Intensifying Vocabulary Intervention for Kindergarten Students at Risk of Learning Disabilities. U. S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Language and Vocabulary Development – Special Education Research (Goal 2 – Development). $884,306. (PI: Mike Coyne).

Co-Principal Investigator, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

Methodologist, The Schoolwide Enrichment Reading Study- Middle School. U. S. Department of Education IES Javits Grant awarded to Dr. Sally Reis (PI), University of Connecticut.

Methodologist, Content Based Vocabulary Instruction: Using Cognates to Promote the Vocabulary Development and Reading Comprehension of Native Spanish Speaking Adolescents. U.S. Dept of Education IES grant awarded to CAL and Liz Howard, University of Connecticut.

Co-Principal Investigator, Project VITAL: Vocabulary Intervention Targeting At-risk Learners. (2003-2006). U. S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Reading Comprehension Research (Goal 2 – Development). $685,623. (PI: Mike Coyne).

Methodologist, IES Javitz Grant awarded to Sally Reis (PI), University of Connecticut

Project Director/Principal Investigator. Project PAPER: Preparing Academicians in Psychometrics and Educational Research. (2012-2015). U. S. Department of Education, $399,000.

Selected Recent Publications/Presentations:


McCoach, D. B., Gable, R. K., & Madura, J. (2013). Instrument Design in the Affective Domain. (Third Edition). New York: Springer.

Peters, S., McBee, M., Matthews, M., & McCoach, D. B. (2013). Beyond gifted education: Designing and implementing advanced academic programs. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

O’Connell, A.A. & McCoach, D.B. (2008).  Multilevel modeling of educational data. (Eds.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Selected recent peer review journal articles:

McCoach, D. B., Rifenbark, G., Newton, S. D., Li, X., Kooken, J., Yomtov, D., Gambino, A., & Bellara, A.  (accepted). Does the package matter? A Comparison of Five Common Multilevel Modeling Software Packages. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics.

Coyne, M. D., McCoach, D. B., Ware, S., Baker, D., & Loftus-Rattan, S. (accepted). Racing Against the Vocabulary Gap: Matthew Effects in Early Vocabulary Instruction and Intervention.  Exceptional Children.

Hamilton. R., McCoach, D. B., Tutwiler, M. S., Siegle, D., Callahan, C., Gubbins, E. J., & Broderson, A. (2018). Disentangling the roles of institutional and individual poverty in the identification of gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 62, 6-24.    https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986217738053

Kooken, J*., McCoach, D. B., & Chafouleas, S. M. (2018). The Impact and Interpretation of Residual Non-invariance in Growth Mixture Modeling. Journal of Experimental Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705511.2017.1374187

Yu, H. H.*, McCoach, D. B., Gottfried, A. W., & Gottfried, A. E. (2018). Stability of Intelligence from Infancy through Adolescence: An Autoregressive Latent Variable Model.  Intelligence, 69, 8-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2018.03.011

Flake, J.* & McCoach, D. B. (2017). An Investigation of the Alignment Method with polytomous indicators under conditions of partial measurement invariance.  Structural Equation Modeling. Online First: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10705511.2017.1374187

McCoach, D. B., Yu, H. H., Gottfried, A. W., Gottfried, A. E. (2017). Developing Talents: A Longitudinal Examination of Intellectual Ability and Academic Achievement. High Ability Studies. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13598139.2017.1298996

McCoach, D. B., Newton, S. D., Siegle, D., Baslanti, U, & Picho, K. (2016).  Is Having Low Motivation the Same as Not Having High Motivation? Comparing the CSAS-R and the SAAS-R.  High Ability Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13598139.2015.1103209

McCoach, D. B. & Kenny, D. A. (2014). A Few Thoughts on the Similarities and the Differences Between Causal or Reflective Indicators of Latent Variables. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 12, 151-154. https://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2014.981067

McCoach, D. B., Gubbins, E. J., Foreman, J., Rubenstein, L., & Rambo, K., (2014). Evaluating the Efficacy of Using Pre-differentiated and Enriched Mathematics Curricula for Grade 3 Students. Gifted Child Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986214547631

Kenny, D. A., *Kaniskan, B., & McCoach, D. B. (2014). How small is too small? The performance of RMSEA in models with small df. Sociological Research Methods. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124114543236

*Rambo, K. & McCoach, D. B. (2014). Using summer growth patterns to assess the impact of schools on high achieving and gifted students’ reading skills. Journal of Educational Research. DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2013.850398

McCoach, D. B., Rambo, K., & Welsh, M. (2013).  Assessing the growth of gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 57, 56-67. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986212463873

*Adelson, J. L., McCoach, D. B., & Gavin, M. K. (2012). Examining the effects of gifted programming in mathematics and reading using the ECLS-K. Gifted Child Quarterly, 56, 25-39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986211431487 

McCoach, D. B., & Black, A. C. (2012). Introduction to estimation issues in multilevel modeling. In J. L. Lott and J. S. Antony (Eds.) Multilevel modeling techniques and applications in institutional research, 154. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey Bass.

*Black, A. C., Harel, O., & McCoach, D. B. (2011). Missing data techniques for multilevel data: implications of model misspecification. Journal of Applied Statistics, DOI: 10.1080/02664763.2010.529882

McCoach, D. B., & Colbert, R. D. (2010). Factors underlying the Collective Teacher Efficacy Scale and their mediating role in the effect of socio-economic status on academic achievement at the school level. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 43, 31-47. https://doi.org/10.1177/0748175610362368

McCoach, D. B., Goldstein, J., Behuniak, P., Reis, S. M., Black, A. C., Rambo, K., & Sullivan, E. (2010). Examining the unexpected: Outlier analyses of factors affecting student achievement. Journal of Advanced Academics, 21, 426-268.

McCoach, D. B. & Kaniskan, B. (2010). Using time varying covariates in multilevel growth models. Frontiers in Quantitative Psychology and Measurement, 1:17. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00017

McCoach, D. B. (2010). Dealing with dependence (Part II): A gentle introduction to Hierarchical Linear Modeling. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54, 252-256.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986210373475

McCoach, D. B. & Adelson, J. (2010). Dealing with dependence (Part I): Understanding the effects of Clustered Data. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54, 152-155. DOI: 10.1177/0016986210363076

Selected Recent Book Chapters

McCoach, D. B. (in press). Multilevel modeling. In G. R. Hancock & R. O. Mueller (Eds.) The reviewer’s guide to quantitative methods in the social sciences (Revised). New York: Routledge.

McCoach, D. B., & Rambo, K. (in press). Issues in the analysis of change.  In C. Secolsky (Ed.) Handbook of measurement, assessment, and evaluation in higher education (Second edition).

McCoach, D. B. & Flake, J. (2017). Motivation of gifted students.  In APA Handbook of Gifted Education and Talent Development.  Washington, D.C.: APA.

McCoach, D. B. & Newton, S. D. (2017).  Confirmatory Factor Analysis. In BERA-SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Education.

O’Connell, A. A., Yeomans‐Maldonado, G., & McCoach, D. B. (2016.)  Residual Diagnostics and Model Assessment in a Multilevel Framework: Recommendations toward Best Practice. In J. Harring, L. Stapleton, & T. Beretvas (Eds.) Advances in Multilevel Modeling for Educational Research.  Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

McCoach, D. B. & Yu, H. H. (2016). Using individual growth curve models to understand reading fluency development. The Fluency Construct. New York. Springer.

McCoach, D. B., Madura, J., Rambo, K., O’Connell, A. A., & Welsh, M. (2013). Longitudinal data analysis. In T. Teo (Ed.). Handbook of Quantitative Methods for Educational Research, pp 199-230. Sense Publishers.

McCoach, D. B., & Siegle, D. (2013). Underachievement. In Carolyn Callahan and Jonathan Plucker (Eds.) Critical issues and practices in gifted education (Second Edition). Prufrock Press.

O’Connell, A. A., Logan, J., Pentimonti, J, & McCoach, D. B. (2013). Linear and quadratic growth models for continuous and dichotomous outcomes. In Applied Quantitative Analysis in the Social Sciences. Routledge.

McCoach, D. B., Rambo, K., & Welsh, M. (2012). Issues in the analysis of change. In C. Secolsky (Ed.) Handbook of measurement, assessment, and evaluation in higher education.

McCoach, D. B., & Siegle, D. (2012) Underachievers. In R. J. R. Leveque (Ed.) The encyclopedia of adolescence. Elsevier, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2.

McCoach, D. B. (2010). Hierarchical linear modeling. In G. R. Hancock & R. O. Mueller (Eds.) The reviewer’s guide to quantitative methods in the social sciences. (pp. 123-140). New York: Routledge.

McCoach, D. B. (2010). Research methods for gifted studies: Comments and future directions. In B. Thompson, B. & R. F. Subotnik (Eds.).  Methodologies for conducting research on giftedness. (pp. 241-252). Washington, DC: APA.

McCoach, D.B., & Black, A. C. (2008). Assessing model adequacy. In Ann A. O’Connell and D. Betsy McCoach (Eds.) Multilevel modeling of educational data (pp. 245-272). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

McCoach, D.B., & Siegle, D. (2008). Underachievers. In Carolyn Callahan and Jonathan Plucker (Eds.) Critical issues and practices in gifted education (pp. 721-734). Prufrock Press.


Dr. Perry A. Zirkel Distinguished Teaching Award, Neag School of Education (2018)

Outstanding Service Award, Structural Equation Modeling SIG, AERA (2017)

Fellow, American Psychological Association (Division 5)

Gifted Child Quarterly Paper of the Year (2012 volume), with Jill Adelson and Kathy Gavin

Early Scholar, National Association for Gifted Children (2007)

University of Connecticut Outstanding Young Alumni Investigator (2006)

Hollingworth Award, National Association of Gifted Children, with Carol Tieso (2004)

AERA Dissertation Research Grant, $15,000 (2002-2003)

Spencer Doctoral (Pre-dissertation) Fellowship, American Educational Research Association and Spencer Foundation (2001-2002)


Modern Modeling Methods Conference


MEA Program

CV: Betsy CV 2018 April

D. Betsy McCoach
Contact Information
Mailing Address249 Glenbrook Road, Unit 3064
Office LocationGentry 339
Office HoursBy appointment
CoursesEPSY 6615: Structural Equation Modeling; EPSY 6619: Advances in Latent Variable Modeling