Deborah Sellers


Deborah Sellers

Director of Research and Evaluation, RCCP
Beebe Hall-1st floor
Phone: 607-254-5249
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:


Deborah Sellers serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Residential Child Care Project in the Bonfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR).  In this position she facilitates research and evaluation activities throughout RCCP by helping projects teams identify new avenues for research, guiding and assisting the project teams with the design of research and/or evaluation efforts, supporting the development of new proposals by writing methods and other sections as needed, monitoring and/or assisting with data collection, processing, and analysis issues that may arise, and assisting with writing manuscripts for publication. Dr. Sellers also oversees the data collection efforts associated with RCCP's Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) programs.  Before coming to BCTR in 2012, Dr. Sellers was the Director of Research and Development in the Center for Applied Ethics at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton Massachusetts. 

Dr. Sellers has extensive experience in research and evaluation design, the design and implementation of survey research, and the analysis of quantitative data as well as data collection, processing, and analysis in substantive areas ranging from chronic illness to end-of-life care to organ donation to adult and adolescent health promotion. Dr. Sellers has designed and directed both intervention and observational studies.  The intervention studied includes a national multi-center evaluation of a community education project to reduce pre-hospital delay among persons experiencing heart attack symptoms as well as interventions to improve cancer pain management and to identify potential organ donors and support of their families.  The observational studies Dr. Sellers has directed include a cross-sectional survey of parents of children with cystic fibrosis and of adults with CF to assess the impact of media “promises” of gene therapy breakthroughs on the life planning and medical decision making and a longitudinal study of the quality of life and end-of-life decision-making of 300 adults with CF from 10 CF centers across the country. Dr. Sellers’s also participated in two studies of the views of research participants, patients, and clinicians about the sharing of genetic information when the information has implications for the care of the participant or the patients’ family, a study of end-of-life care in pediatric intensive care settings, and a study of the role of principal investigators of multi-center randomized clinicial trials.

Dr. Sellers graduated from Reed College in 1983 and completed a doctorate in Sociology with a specialization in research methods at the University of Massachusetts-Amerst in 1992.  She also completed an MS in biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1992.

Current Research Activities:

 In my role as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Residential Child Care Project, my primary goals are to contribute to the growth and development of research and evaluation activities in RCCP and to the effective use of data in the implementation of RCCP programs such as Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) and Children and Residential Experiences (CARE).  


Selected Publications:

Hamilton MA, Hamilton SF, Dubois DL, and Sellers DE

     2016    “Functional Roles of Important Nonfamily Adults for Youth”. Journal of Community Psychology 44(6):799-806.


Izzo CV, Smith EG, Holden MJ, Norton CI, Nunno MA, Sellers DE

     2016    “Intervening at the Setting Level to Prevent Behavioral Incidents in Residential Child Care: Efficacy of the CARE Program Model.” Prevention Science 17:554-564.




Hamilton, Stephen F., Mary Agnes Hamilton, David L. DuBois, M. Loreto Martinez, Patricio Cumsille, Bernadine Brady, Pat Dolan, Susana NuNez Rodriguez, and Deborah E. Sellers.

2017    “Youth-Adult Relationships as Assets for Youth: Promoting Positive Development in Stressful Times.” Ch. 10 in Positive Youth Development in Global Contexts of Social and Economic Change, Anne C. Petersen, Silvia H. Koller, Frosso Motti-Stefanidi, and Suman Verma (Eds.). New York: Routledge.







Selected Keywords:
research design and methods, program evaluation, survey research, factorial survey, residential child care

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.