Paula Fite, Ph.D.

Paula Pea Fite, Ph.D.

Paula Fite, Ph.D.

Dr. Fite received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo in 2007. Following an APA-approved Clinical Residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, she joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee. She joined the faculty of the University of Kansas in 2011, and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Applied Behavioral Science. Dr. Fite is the author or co-author of more than 100 empirical papers and chapters in her area of study. She is on the editorial board of Child Psychiatry and Human Development, the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, and Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment. Fite serves as a Member-at-Large for Early Career Psychologists for the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Division 37 of APA). She was recently awarded the American Psychological Foundation’s Diane J. Willis Early Career Award (2014), the Steeples Award for Service to Kansas(2015), the Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award (2015), and the Byron A. Alexander Graduate Mentor Award (2016). She is also an American Psychological Association Fellow (since 2015).

Contact Information


Dole Center for Human Development
Room 2012
University of Kansas
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045


Research Interests

The lab's programmatic line of research focuses on developmental models of risk for child and adolescent problem behavior. That is, we are interested in the etiology and developmental progression of child and adolescent problem behavior - aggression, delinquency and substance use in particular. Consistent with social learning theory, which posits that behavior is learned and further exacerbated through socialization processes (i.e., modeling, conditioning, and reinforcement), our research has and will continue to examine the unique and interactive impact of environmental context (e.g., neighborhood, parents, and peers) and child characteristics (e.g., genetics, temperament) on the developmental progression of child and adolescent problem behavior.

  • Aggression
  • Delinquency
  • Substance use

Teaching Interests

  • Antisocial youth
  • Developmental psychology
  • Intellectual assessment and academic achievement