Laraine M. Glidden

Distinguished Professor Emerit of Human Development and Psychology

Laraine M. Glidden


Dr. Glidden is a successful teacher, scholar, and administrator. She has brought years of professional experience to her courses in developmental psychology and, in particular, exceptional children. She has served as mentor for many graduate and undergraduate students learning how to do research in human development, and shares authorship with them on conference papers, published articles, and book chapters. Dr. Glidden's scholarship is highlighted by her success in securing research funding and by her publication of more than 100 articles, authored and edited books, and book chapters. She served as Editor of the Academic Press/Elsevier monograph series, International Review of Research in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (formerly Mental Retardation) from 1997-2009, and 16 volumes were published during her editorship. Also noteworthy is her continuous research funding by NICHD for more than 20 years for longitudinal research that is unique in its focus on the positive adjustment made by families who are rearing children with disabilities, including those families who knowingly adopt them. Also, Dr. Glidden has received grants from NIMH and NSF, as well as from other national, state, and local organizations, and has been an active grant reviewer for NIH, NSF, and other agencies. In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. Glidden serves as an effective and efficient administrator, having held positions as department chair, director of the honors program, division head, associate provost, special assistant to the president, and Acting Provost and Dean of Faculty. Moreover, she has been elected and appointed to leadership positions in professional organizations, including President of Division 33 of the American Psychological Association and President of the Academy on Mental Retardation. She has been recognized for her leadership and research accomplishments by local, state, and national awards, including The Arc Distinguished Research Award in 2008, appointment as a Global Scholar by Special Olympics International in 2011, and in 2015, the Edgar A. Doll Award from Division 33 of the American Psychological Association for career research achievements in intellectual and developmental disabilities. She was also the first recipient of the St. Mary's College of Maryland Dodge Award for Research.

Areas of Research Specialization

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Disabilities
  • Families

Areas of Teaching Specialization

  • Child development
  • Life-span development


  • B.A. in Psychology at Mount Holyoke College, 1964
  • M.A. in Psychology at University of Illinois, Urbana, 1969
  • Ph.D. in Psychology at University of Illinois, Urbana, 1970


  • Changing Attitudes Toward Disabilities Through Unified Sports

    Changing Attitudes Toward Disabilities Through Unified Sports
    Emma Sullivan and Laraine Masters Glidden
    A cognitive/affective/behavioral intervention was implemented to change attitudes of college students towards individuals with disabilities. College swim team members were randomly assigned to intervention (N 5 16), and no-intervention control groups (N 5 17), with intervention group students and 8 Special Olympics swimmers working together to pursue swimming-related goals in 4 sessions over a 6-week period. Results indicated that on a revision of the Symons, Fish, McGuigan, Fox, and Akl (2012) attitudes inventory, the intervention group participants displayed significant increases in positive attitudes from pre- to posttest, whereas the control group participants did not. Written participant comments corroborated this improvement. A key element in the improved attitudes was the increased comfort level experienced by the college swimmers in their interactions with the Special Olympics swimmers

  • The Down Syndrome Advantage: It Depends on What and When You Measure Laraine Masters Glidden, Katherine Anne Grein, and Jesse Andrew Ludwig

    A ‘‘Down syndrome advantage’’–better outcomes for individuals with Down syndrome and their families than for those with other intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD)–is reduced when variables confounded with diagnostic category are controlled. We compared maternal outcomes in a longitudinal sample of families rearing children with Down syndrome or other IDD, and found that a Down syndrome advantage is (a) most likely when the metric is about the son/daughter rather than the parent or family more globally, (b) may be present or absent at different ages, and (c) is partially explained by higher levels of adaptive behavior for individuals with Down syndrome. We discuss the importance of multiple measures at multiple times, and implications for family expectations and adjustment at various life stages.

  • Predicting well-being longitudinally for mothers rearing offspring with intellectual and developmental disabilities by K.A. Grein and L.M. Glidden

    Background Well-being outcomes for parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) may vary from positive to negative at different times and for different measures of wellbeing. Predicting and explaining this variability has been a major focus of family research for reasons that have both theoretical and applied implications. Methods The current study used data from a 23-year longitudinal investigation of adoptive and birth parents of children with IDD to determine which early child, mother and family characteristics would predict the variance in maternal outcomes 20 years after their original measurement. Using hierarchical regression analyses, we tested the predictive power of variables measured when children were 7 years old on outcomes of maternal well-being when children were 26 years old. Outcome variables included maternal self-report measures of depression and well-being. Results Final models of well-being accounted for 20% to 34% of variance. For most outcomes, Family Accord and/or the personality variable of Neuroticism (emotional stability/instability) were significant predictors, but some variables demonstrated
    a different pattern. Conclusions These findings confirm that (1) characteristics of the child, mother and family during childhood can predict outcomes of maternal wellbeing 20 years later; and (2) different predictor–outcome relationships can vary substantially, highlighting the importance of using multiple measures to gain a more comprehensive understanding of maternal well-being. These results have implications for refining prognoses for parents and for tailoring service delivery to individual child, parent and family characteristics.