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(412) 390-3335 Phone

Stephen J. Bagnato, Jr., EdD, NCSP

Job Title Director, Early Childhood Partnerships
Job Title Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Job Title Assistant Professor/Psychology in Education-School Psychology, University of Pittsburgh School of Education
Job Title Professor/Psychology in Education-School Psychology, Applied Developmental Psychology Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Education
Job Title Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Pittsburgh Arts & Sciences
3420 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 390-3335 Phone

Education and Training

Graduate School:

1972 Millersville State College, Millersville, PA
1977 Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA



  • American Psychological Association, School Psychology, Division 16
  • Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Early Childhood Intervention
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
  • National Center for Infants, Children, and Families
  • American Psychological Association, Clinical Neuropsychology, Division 40
  • American Psychological Association, Rehabilitation Psychology (Pediatric), Division 22
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • National Head Start Association

Board Certifications

  • Pennsylvania Instructional II: Secondary English and Psychology
  • Pennsylvania Educational Specialist I: School Psychology
  • Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National School Psychology Certification Board, Washington, DC


  • Annual National Award for Outstanding Applied Brain Injury Research, Braintree Hospital and Pediatric Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Center, Braintree, MA
  • Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 16, "in recognition of outstanding and unusual contributions to the science and profession of psychology"
  • Who's Who Among Human Services Professionals, National Reference Institute, Wilmette, IL
  • Who's Who in the East; Marquis Who's Who in America, New Providence, NJ
  • School Psychology Quarterly/American Psychological Association, Division 16 Fellows Award for Best Research Article for "A National Study of the Social and Treatment 'Invalidity' of Intelligence Testing for Early Intervention"
  • Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Marquis Who's Who, New Providence, NJ
  • University of Pittsburgh 2001 Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award "for your advocacy for children in the field of Developmental Psychology…, for facilitating more integrated and interdisciplinary partnerships, for empowering children, families, and communities
  • The Top 48-Making a Difference In Education, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette survey of individuals who were nominated by peers as influencing the direction of public education in the Pittsburgh region


  • Bagnato, SJ, Yeh-Ho, H: High-stakes testing with preschool children: Violation of professional standards for evidence-based practice in early childhood intervention. KEDI International Journal of Educational Policy, 3(1), 2006.
  • Bagnato, SJ, Of helping and measuring for early childhood intervention: Reflections on issues and school psychology's role. School Psych Rev. 35(4), 615-620, 2006.
  • Bagnato, SJ. The authentic alternative for assessment in early intervention: An emerging evidence-based practice. Journal of Early Intervention, 28(1). 2005.
  • Bagnato, SJ, Suen H, Brantley D, Smith-Jones, J, Dettore, E: Child developmental impact of Pittsburgh's Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) in high-risk communities: First-phase authentic evaluation research. Early Child Res Quarterly, 17(4): 559-580, 2002.
  • Bagnato, SJ, Neisworth JT: Normative detection of early regulatory disorders and Autism: Empirical confirmation of DC:0-3. Inf Young Children, 12(2):98-109, 2000.

    View select list of publications.

Biography Summary

Stephen J. Bagnato, EdD, NCSP, is a developmental school psychologist and professor of pediatrics and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He received his doctoral degree in School Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1977. He is Director of both the Early Childhood Partnerships program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and a core psychology interdisciplinary faculty member and Leadership Team Member for The UCLID Center at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, Dr. Bagnato has joint faculty appointments in Clinical Psychology and Psychology-in Education, Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Bagnato specializes in authentic early childhood assessment and program evaluation research strategies for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and families at developmental risk or with neurodevelopmental disabilities and neurobehavioral disorders. Recipient of the Braintree Hospital national brain injury research award in 1986, Dr. Bagnato has published over 100 applied research studies and professional articles in early childhood intervention, school psychology, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and developmental neuropsychology.

Dr. Bagnato was awarded a four-year collaborative research grant (2005-2009) from the Heinz Endowments; the grant is awarded to conduct longitudinal research on the impact and outcomes of the state's new Pre-K Counts (PKC) initiative. PKC uses Accountability and Head Expansion funds to fund preschool program's in 26 school district/community early childhood partnerships. Dr. Bagnato's evaluation research project entitled, SPECS for Pre-K Counts, will document the relationship between child progress in early learning skills, professional development mentoring, program quality, and the type of partnership program employed in a school district. All child outcomes will be mapped to the new Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards. Overall, the potential success for 26 school district partnership programs serving approximately 10,000 children will be evaluated.

Additionally, Dr. Bagnato participates as research co-investigator and Pennsylvania Satellite Director for the TRACE Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Assessment. TRACE is a five-year OSEP research grant in collaboration with Drs. Carl Dunst and Carol Trivette at the Puckett Institute in North Carolina. TRACE will research the evidence-base for early childhood assessment practices and the extent to which they accomplish early intervention purposes.

Dr. Bagnato has been Principal Investigator for a school-linked research and model program development grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), one of only four awarded nationally. HealthyCHILD: Collaborative Health Interventions for Learners with Disabilities is a field-validated service delivery model involving a transagency, mobile developmental healthcare team to meet the complex needs of preschoolers with acute and chronic medical conditions and challenging behaviors in early childhood classrooms (e.g., Head Start, early intervention, ECE). HealthyCHILD continues as an applied service under contracts with schools and agencies in Western PA and West Virginia.

Dr. Bagnato is Director of Early Childhood Partnerships (ECP), a community-based consultation, training, technical assistance, and research collaborative of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and The UCLID Center at the University of Pittsburgh. ECP consists of four core programs: (1) The SPECS Evaluation Team (Scaling Progress in Early Childhood Setting); (2) The HealthyCHILD school-linked developmental healthcare partnership; and (3) The TRACE Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Assessment; and (4) Early Childhood Research Systems. (www.uclid.org.)

Dr. Bagnato is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) in Division 16 and past or current journal editorial board member for Journal of School Psychology, School Psychology Review, School Psychology Quarterly, Journal of Early Intervention, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Infants and Young Children, and Child Assessment News. Dr. Bagnato received the 1995-1996 Best Research Article Award from Division 16 of APA for his national study on the social and treatment invalidity of intelligence testing in early childhood and early intervention. He is co-author of the professional "best practice" policy statements and standards on early childhood assessment, evaluation, and early intervention for The National Association of School Psychologists, and the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Dr. Bagnato provides consultation to state agencies on early childhood intervention "best practices", challenging and atypical behaviors, early childhood assessment, and authentic program outcomes evaluation research. His published books and instruments include: His recently published early childhood assessment text, Authentic Assessment for Early Childhood Intervention: Best Practices; third edition of the widely used resource text, LINKing Assessment and Early Intervention: An Authentic Curriculum-based Approach (1997; Paul Brookes); System to Plan Early Childhood Services (SPECS) (1990; American Guidance Service); The Young Exceptional Child: Early Development and Education (1987; Macmillan); and the Temperament and Atypical Behavior Scale (TABS): Early Childhood Indicators of Developmental Dysfunction (1999; Paul Brookes).

Clinical Specialties

  • Authentic curriculum-based interdisciplinary team diagnostic assessments and interventions for preschool children with neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral disorders
  • School-linked and community-based partnerships for developmental healthcare support in early childhood settings for children with acute and chronic medical conditions, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and challenging behaviors
  • Developmental neuropsychology; and developmental school psychology
  • Authentic program evaluation research of the quality, efficacy, and outcomes of early intervention and early care and education
  • Design and development of clinical assessment and intervention systems for young children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and atypical temperament and self-regulatory behavior disorders

Active Research Projects / Grants

  • The efficacy of direct instruction at 4KIDS/Early Reading First
  • SPECS for Pre-K Counts
  • TRACE Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Assessment
  • Pennsylvania Early Intervention Outcomes Study (PEIOS)
  • CenClear Child Services Early Head Start outcomes study
  • HealthyCHILD behavioral, inclusion, and evaluation support in Head Start classrooms
  • HealthyCHILD developmental healthcare consultation for physical health and mental health (nursing and psychology) services
  • HealthyCHILD school-linked developmental healthcare consultation with the Program for Children with Exceptionalities
  • HealthyCHILD behavioral support
  • Maternal and Child Health Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals Caring For Children With Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND)
Last Update
July 25, 2011
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Last Update
July 25, 2011