Marion Underwood

Ashbel Smith Professor
Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Provost
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Clinical Psychology
Duke University - 1991
M.A. - Clinical Psychology
Duke University - 1987
B.A. - Psychology
Wellesley College - 1986

Research Areas

Research Interests

My research focuses on how children express anger in their peer relationships. We are particularly interested in the more subtle forms of anger expression common among girls, behaviors we call social aggression. We are observing how children use social aggression across contexts (in interactions with different relationship partners, in person and online), and investigating the developmental precursors and outcomes associated with social aggression.


Bukowski, W.M., Buhrmester, D. & Underwood, M.K.  (In press).  Peer relations as a context for development.  In M.K. Underwood & L.H. Rosen (Eds)., Social Development. NY: Guilford. In Press - Publication
Rosen, L.H., Underwood, M.K, & Beron, K.J.  (In press).  Peer victimization as a mediator between attractiveness and internalizing problems.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. In Press - Publication
Rosen, L.H. & Underwood, M.K.  (in press).  Observations.  In Neil Salkind (Ed.),  Encyclopedia of Research Design. Sage Publications. In Press - Publication
Underwood, M.K. & Rosen, L.H.  (In press).  Social Development.  NY:  Guilford Press. In Press - Publication
Underwood, M.K.  (In press).  Gender and bullying:  Moving beyond mean differences to consider conceptions of bullying, processes by which bullying unfolds, and cyber bullying.  In D. Espelage & s. Sweaer (Eds.), Bullying in North American Schools, 2nd edition.  Routledge. In Press - Publication
Coyne, S.K., Nelson, D.A., & Underwood, M. K.  (In press).  Aggression.   In P.K. Smith & C. Hart (Eds), Handbook of Social Development,2nd Edition.   NY:  Blackwell. In Press - Publication
Rosen, L.H., & Underwood, M.K.  (In press).  Attractiveness as a moderator of the association between physical aggression and popularity.  Journal of School Psychology. In Press - Publication
Underwood, M.K.  (In press).  Delinquent girls, relationships, and ordinary magic.  In S. Miller, L.D. Leve, & P.K. Kerig (Eds.),  Delinquent girls:  Contexts, relationships, and adaptation.  NY:  Springer. In Press - Publication
Underwood, M.K., Beron, K.J., & Rosen, L.H.  (In press).  Joint trajectories for social and physical aggression as predictors of adolescent maladjustment: Internalizing symptoms, rule-breaking behaviors, and borderline and narcissistic personality features.  Development and Psychopathology. In Press - Publication
Underwood, M.K.  (In press).  Aggression.  In M.K. Underwood & L.H. Rosen (Eds)., Social Development.  NY:  Guilford. In Press - Publication


Interim Director
Center for Children and Families [2008–2009]
Professor of Psychology
University of Texas at Dallas [2005–Present]
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Texas at Dallas (tenured) [1998–2005]
Associate Professor of Psychology
Reed College (tenured) [1996–1998]
Licensed Psychologist in Oregon
Psychologist Resident, Supervisor, Lorah Sebastian, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Reed College [1991–1996]
Clinical Assistant Instructor
SUNY Health Science Center [1990–1991]


Social Aggression: Gender, Origins, and Outcomes
2005 Underwood, M. K. (September, 2005). Social Aggression: Gender, Origins, and Outcomes. Invited Presentation, 2005 Calkins Lecture Series commemorating the centennial of the election of Mary Whiton Calkins, founder of the Wellesley psychology department, as the first female president of the American Psychological Association.
Gender differences in forms and functions of social aggression as observed in the laboratory
2003–2018 Underwood, M. K., Scott, B. L., & Galperin, M., In D. A. Nelson (Chair), Observational Studies of Aggression among Girls. Symposium presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.
Galperin, M., & Risser, S. R., Parental relationships and social aggression
2005–2005 Underwood, M. K., In M. K. Underwood (Chair), Family Relationships and Children's Social/Relational Aggression. Symposium presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.
Ice and fire: Anger and aggression among girls and boys
1999 Underwood, M.K. (November, 1999). Ice and fire: Anger and aggression among girls and boys. Third Annual Update in Child Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Social A ggression: Gender, Origins, and Outcomes
2005–2018 Underwood, M. K., Invited Presentation at Pennsylvania State University.

Additional Information

Manuscripts in Preparation
  • Underwood, M.K., Rosen, L.H., Beron, K. B., & Gentsch, J.G.  Developmental changes in the factor structure of social aggression according to teacher and parent ratings. 
  • Gentsch, J.G., Underwood, M.K., Rosen, L.H., Wharton, M., & Rahdar, A.  Activity participation as a mediator of the relation between peer victimization and psychosocial adjustment. 
  • Rosen, L.H., Holub, S., & Underwood, M.K.   Weighing on the Mind: The Relationship between Body Mass Index, Weight-Based Teasing, and Internalizing Problems.
Fellowships and Awards
  • 1982 National Merit Scholarship
  • 1984 University Scholars Fellowship, University of Kansas
  • 1985 Wellesley College Summer Research Fellowship
  • 1986 Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Wellesley College Fellowship for Graduate Study; James B. Duke Fellowship for Graduate Study at Duke University
  • 1988 National Science Foundation Travel Grant for NATO Advanced Study Institute
  • 1989 Amia Freeman Palmer Fellowship for Graduate Study from Wellesley College
  • 1993 Participant, Character and Competence Research Program, sponsored by the Henry A. Murray Research Center: A Center for the Study of Lives, Radcliffe College, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1995 Vollum Junior Sabbatical Award, Reed College
  • 1996 NIMH FIRST Award
  • 2001 Chancellors Council Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award
  • 2005 NIMH Independent Scientist Career Award
  • 2005 Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
Clinical Experience
  • 11/94-12/98 Licensed Psychologist in Oregon. Small private practice specializing in clinical intervention with children and families and custody evaluations.
  • 9/93-10/94 Psychology Residency, Supervisor, Lorah Sebastian, Ph.D.
  • 9/90-8/91 Internship in Clinical Child Psychology, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse, New York
  • 9/87-5/90 Clinical practicum at the Duke Psychology Clinic
  • 8/89-5/90 Psychological assessment practicum at the Child Community Guidance Clinic, Durham, North Carolina
  • 6/87-8/90 Clinical interviewing and DSM-Ill-R diagnosis of adolescent inpatients as a part of a longitudinal study of depression in adolescents, McDowell Ward, Duke Hospital
  • 9/86-5/90 Assessment Practicum at the Duke Psychology Clinic
  • 3/88-6/88 Clinical interviewing of school-aged children for a longitudinal investigation of the relationship between peer relations and developmental psychopathology
  • 3/89-6/89 Clinical interviewing of school-aged children for a longitudinal investigation of the relationship between peer relations and developmental psychopathology
  • 3/90-6/90 Clinical interviewing of school-aged children for a longitudinal investigation of the relationship between peer relations and developmental psychopathology
  • 9/89-6/90 Social relations training with aggressive school-aged boys as follow-up intervention for therapeutic summer day camp
  • 6/89-7/89 Staff clinician at a therapeutic day camp for aggressive school-aged boys and their mothers
  • 1/89 Participant in a workshop on the Schedule of Affective Disorders for Children, (K-SADS-III-R), Present Episode Version, conducted by Dr. Paul Ambrosini
  • 4/87-6/87 Achievement testing of school-aged children for a longitudinal study of the effectiveness of an intervention program for aggressive children in the schools
  • 6/85-5/86 Volunteer, South Belnap I (unit for adult and adolescent chronic psychiatric patients) McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts.

News Articles

Marion Underwood Selected as the New Dean of Graduate Studies
Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, provost and executive vice president of UT Dallas, has announced the appointment of Dr. Marion Underwood as dean of Graduate Studiesand associate provost. Underwood will succeed Dr. Austin Cunningham, who is retiring as dean this fall, but will continue on the faculty as a professor of physics.

“Dr. Austin Cunningham has performed admirably during his time as dean of the Graduate School, and filling this position is no easy task,” Wildenthal said. “Replacing Dean Cunningham’s 20 years of experience requires a person with exceptional skills as both an administrator and an academician. Dr. Marion Underwood is one of our foremost researchers, and she has shown the necessary drive and skill needed to build on our previous successes and, indeed, help the graduate school grow and prosper. 
Dr. Marion Underwood Named Teacher of the Year at The University of Texas at Dallas
RICHARDSON, Texas (April 16, 2001) – Dr. Marion Underwood, an associate professor of psychology, has been named teacher of the year at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) for the 2000-2001 academic year."

The award, which is provided each year by The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council to recognize excellence in teaching at each of the system’s nine general academic institutions, is accompanied by a $5,000 prize and will be presented to Dr. Underwood May 18 at an Honors Convocation in the Conference Center on campus."
Research Shows 'Friends' Often Lead in Teen Cyber Aggression
A research project involving Dr. Marion Underwood, dean of graduate studies and professor of psychological sciences, has found that most online conflicts among teens occur with friends and that reading social media without posting (often known as “lurking”) is associated with psychological distress.
Underwood said that because social media dominates the lives of so many teens, the door is wide open for negative online experiences.

“Most young people will be the victims of cyberbullying. And quite often, that aggression comes from their so-called friends,” she said.
U. T. Dallas’ Dr. Marion Underwood Recognized by National Institutes of Health
RICHARDSON, Texas (Jan. 3, 2006) — Dr. Marion K. Underwood, a professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and a former teacher of the year at the university, has received a $597,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the origins, development and outcomes of social aggression in children.  The stipend will be awarded over a five-year period.   

Under the terms of her grant, which is formerly known as the Independent Scientist Career Award, Underwood will spend 75 percent of her time conducting research in her areas of expertise — anger, aggression, gender and children’s peer relationships. 
Scientists Stress Effects of Cyberbullying, Lurking on Social Media
In a new article, a University of Texas at Dallas dean said cyberbullying among adolescents can be so traumatic that it can impact individuals for years, even if it happens only once. 
Dr. Marion Underwood
, dean of the Office of Graduate Studies, said she penned the article in American Psychologist because she thought that bullying on social media and the web is often misunderstood. American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association, is widely read by scientists and practitioners.  


Masters Advisement
Patrick McCully, M.S., August 2003, "Group Context and Children's Perceptions of Aggression" Kevin Porter, M.S., December, 2006, "A Developmental Investigation of Hypermasculinity and School Disengagement" Dawn Brinkley, M.S., May, 2010, "The Relationship between Psychological Control and Internalizing Problems in Early Adolescence" Courtney Kuchinsky, M.S., May, 2010, "The Relationship between Parental Psychological Control and Child Prosocial Behavior" Amber Laudan, M.S., May, 2010, "Parental Monitoring and Attachment: Relations with Externalizing Behavior" Anthony Pedrazine, M.S., May, 2010, "The Relation between Text Messaging and Adolescents' Friendship Qualities" Jordan Snow, M.S., May, 2010, "Ethnic and Gender Differences in Maternal Knowledge of Adolescents' Daily Lives and Their Relation to School Performance" Daniel Swan, M.S., May, 2010, "Relative Age and Its Relations to Adolescents' Social Intelligence, Academic Performance, Physical and Social Aggression, and Victimization" Lauren Wyatt, M.S., May, 2010, "The Relation between Co-Rumination and Depression in Adolescence"
Bachelors Honors Advisement
Traci Higgins, B. A., May, 1999, "Aggressive Behavior and Delinquency in Adolescent Males: Is Peer Rejection and Leading Factor" Connie Siciliano, B. A., May 2000, "Youth and Mother Perceptions of Social Aggression" Amber Friedholm, B. A., May 2001, "Social Aggression among Children: Social Class and Ethnic Group Differences" Meagan Key, B. A., May 2001, "Parental Supportiveness and Its Relationship to Adolescents' Self-Esteem, Academic Achievement, and Social Aggression" Hilary Weber, B. A., December 2001, "Social Aggression and Preadolescents' Family Characteristics" Christine McDunn, B. A., May 2002, "Preadolescents' Computer Use and the Quality of their Friendships Jamie Lewis, B. A., December 2002, "Gender: The Two Faces of Schizophrenia?" Kim Do, B. A., May 2004, "The Relationship Between Social Intelligence and Two Forms of Popularity: Sociometric and Perceived" Michelle Wharton, B.A. May 2005, "Social and Physical Victimization: Their Relationship to Self-Concepts of Girls and Boys" Erica Ayala, B. A. May 2005, "Parental Involvement and Children's Social Aggression" Brandi Holliday, B. A. May 2005, "Children's Exposure to Parental Conflict and Social Aggression with Peers at School" Kelly Crimmins, B.A., May 2005, "Parent and Teacher Perceptions of Peer Social Behavior and Children"s Global Self-Worth" Cressy Wang, B.A., December 2005, "Children's Rejection Sensitivity and Internalizing Problems" Lisa Horne, B.A., May 2006, "Reducing Risks for Depression in Women in Midlife" Lindsey Hopkins, B.A., May 2006, "Associations between Socioeconomic Status, Parenting Styles, and Children's Social Aggression: Gender and Ethnic Differences"
Professional Affiliations
American Psychological Association American Psychological Society International Society for Research on Aggression International Society for the Study of Social and Behavioral Development Society for Research in Child Development
Doctoral Advisement
Bertrina Moore, Ph.D. awarded December, 2002, "Rural African-American Children's Adjustment: The Role of Perceived Caregiver and Peer Acceptance (full-time student, began program in August, 1999) Joanna Gentsch, Ph.D awarded May, 2006, "Do Teachers Matter? An Investigation of Teacher Attributes and Behaviors Associated with Reading Achievement among Ethnically Diverse Children in High Risk Urban Schools" Scott Risser, Ph.D. awarded May, 2007, "Interparental Conflict, Psychological Control, and Children's Social Aggression." Deborah Bonner, Ph.D. awarded May, 2010, "Do Individual Differences Matter? Individual Differences and Teachers- Perceptions of Social and Physical Aggression" Michelle Wharton, Ph.D., defended June 1, "Contingencies of Self-Worth and Adjustment in Early Adolescence: A Developmental Perspective" Arahreh 'Elica' Rahdar, B.A., currently working on final draft of dissertation, "Developmental Precursors of Borderline Personality Disorders" (full-time student, began August, 2004) Samuel Ehrenreich, B.A., currently working on Masters thesis, "ADHD Symptoms as Mediators of the Relation between Peer Victimization and Adjustment" (full-time student, began August, 2008)


Social Aggression: Growth and Outcomes
$2,500,000 - NICHD [2009–2014]
Social Aggression: Growth and Outcomes
$333,000 - NIH Director's Bridge Award [2008–2009]
Social Aggression: Origins, Development, and Outcomes
$597,000 - Independent Scientist Career Award, NIMH K02 MH073616 [2005–2010]
Social Aggression: Precursors and Outcomes
$1.25 million - NIMH R01 MH63076 [2002–2007]
Personality and Family Characteristics and Social Aggression
$12,000 - Timberlawn Foundation [1999–2000]