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Leonard Bickman

Betts Chair and Professor of Psychology, Peabody College, Emeritus
Peabody College
Professor of Psychiatry, VUMC
Member, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

Leonard Bickman, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Public Policy. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology (social) from the City University of New York, his master's degree in experimental psychopathology from Columbia University and his bachelor's from the City College of New York. Professor Bickman is a nationally recognized leader in program evaluation and mental health services research on children and adolescents. He has published more than 15 books and monographs and 180 articles and chapters and has been principal investigator on over 25 major grants from several agencies. He is co-editor of the Applied Research Methods Series published by Sage Publications since 1980. He is also co-editor of the Handbook of Applied Social Research and is collaborating on a new International Handbook of Social Research. He is the co-author of the very popular book Applied Research Design: A Practical Guide.

He has completed the evaluation of the largest mental health services demonstration project ever conducted on children and adolescents. This evaluation has won several awards including one from the American Evaluation Association for Outstanding Evaluation. He also collaborated with state and local officials in Ohio on a multi-year randomized experiment that focused on an innovative mental health system for children and adolescents in the public sector. The award of the first training grant in child and adolescent mental health services research acknowledged his expertise in services research training. He was also awarded the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology. Professor Bickman co-edited the first monograph on methodological issues in the evaluation of child and adolescent mental health services.

His standing in this field has been recognized by the Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service to the Department of Health and Human Services by the American Psychological Association's Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy and Vanderbilt University's Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research. He is past president of the American Evaluation Association and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Professor Bickman is editor of the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Health Services Research. He is currently conducting research for the Department of Education on two projects, the evaluation of a character education program, and using systematic feedback to improve principal leadership; a NIMH-funded grant on how to improve mental health services through feedback to clinicians; and a NICHD grant on using baby books to promote maternal and child health. His other major interests include the development of a web-based measurement system for outcomes, and research on therapeutic alliance.

Representative Publications

  • Alasuutari, P., Brannen J., & Bickman, L. (Eds.). (forthcoming). Handbook of social research methods. London: Sage.
  • Athay, M. M. & Bickman, L. (forthcoming). What do you do when the intervention doesn't work? In A. R. Stiffman (Ed.), The Nitty Gritty of Managing Field Research. New York: Oxford University.
  • Bickman, L., & Rog, D. (Eds.). (forthcoming). Handbook of applied social research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Kelley, S. D. & Bickman, L. (forthcoming). Children and adolescents. In B. Duncan, S. Miller & B. Wampold (Eds.), Heart and Soul of Change (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: APA.
  • Reich, S. & Bickman, L. (forthcoming). Client driven and clinician focused feedback: Theory, research and practice. In S. I. Donaldson, C. A. Christie & M. Mark (Eds.), What Counts as Credible Evidence in Evaluation and evidence-based practice? Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Bickman, L., Riemer, M., Lambert, E. W., Kelley, S. D., Breda, C., Dew, S. E., Brannan, A. M., & Vides de Andrade, A. R. (Eds.). (2007). Manual of the Peabody Treatment Progress Battery [Electronic version]. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.
  • Pinkard, T. J., & Bickman, L. (2007). The evidence for home and community-based mental health services: Half full or half empty or create other glasses? In W. Fisher (Ed.), Research in community and mental health: Vol. 14. Research on community-based services for children and adolescents with mental health needs (pp. 139-178). New York: Elsevier.
  • Bickman, L., Riemer, M., Breda, C., & Kelley, S.D. (2006). CFIT: A system to provide a continuous quality improvement infrastructure through organizational responsiveness, measurement, training, and feedback. Report on Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Youth, 6, 86-87, 93-94.
  • Karver, M.S., Handelsman, J., Fields, S., & Bickman, L. (2006). Meta-analysis of therapeutic relationship variables in youth and family therapy: The evidence for different relationship variables in the child and adolescent treatment outcome literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 26(1), 50-65.
  • Bickman, L. (2005). A common factors approach to improving mental health services. Mental Health Services Research, 7(1), 1-4.
  • Bickman, L. & Mulvaney, S. (2005). Large scale evaluations of children's mental health services: The Ft. Bragg and Stark County studies. In R. Steele & M. Roberts (Eds.), Handbook of Mental Health Services for Children, Adolescents, and Families (pp. 371-386). New York: Springer.
  • Dew, S. E. & Bickman, L. (2005). Client expectancies about therapy. Mental Health Services Research, 7(1), 21-33.
  • Karver, M.S., Handelsman, J.B., Fields, S., & Bickman, L. (2005). A theoretical model of common process factors in youth and family therapy. Mental Health Services Research, 7(1), 35-51.
  • King, R., Bickman, L., Nurcombe, B., Hides, L. & Reid, W. (2005). The impact of poster advertising in buses on young people's awareness and knowledge of a telephone counselling service. Health Promotion Journal of Australia 16(1), 74-77.
  • Macias, C., Barreira, P., Hargreaves, W., Bickman, L., Fisher, W., & Aronson, E. (2005). Impact of referral source and study applicants' preference for randomly assigned service on research enrollment, service engagement, and evaluative outcomes. American Journal of Psychiatry 162(4), 781-787.
  • Reich, S. & Bickman, L. (2005). Quasi-experimental design. In Epstein, M., Kutash, K., & Duchnowski, A. (Eds.), Outcomes for children and youth with emotional disorders and their families: Programs and evaluation best practices (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Proed.
  • Riemer, M., Rosof-Williams, J., & Bickman, L. (2005). Theories related to changing clinician practice. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 14(2), 241-254, viii.
  • Sapyta, J., Riemer, M., & Bickman, L. (2005). Feedback to clinicians: Theory, research & practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(2), 145-153.
  • Scholer, S. J., Reich, S. M., Boshers, R. B., & Bickman, L. (2005). A multimedia violence prevention program increases pediatric residents and childcare providers' knowledge about responding to childhood aggression. Clinical Pediatrics, 44(5), 413-417.
  • Wolraich, M. L., Bickman, L., Lambert, E. W., Simmons, T., & Doffing, M.A. (2005). Intervening to improve communication between parents, teachers, and primary care providers of children with ADHD or at high risk for ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 9(1), 354-368.


  • Sutherland Prize in Research, Vanderbilt University
  • Designated among the top 5% in productivity nationally among faculty in Developmental Sciences 2001
  • Vanderbilt University Benefactors of the Commons Designation Award 1999-2001
  • The American Evaluation Association Award of the Outstanding Evaluation of 2000
  • The 1998/99 American Psychological Association's Public Interest Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research in Public Policy
  • The 1998 Distinguished Paper Award for Systems of Care, Florida Mental Health Institute
  • 1998 Distinguished Faculty Award from Vanderbilt University
  • The 1997 Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service, Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Jeannie P. Baliles Child Mental Health Services Research Award
  • The City College of New York Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Psychology
  • The Forchheimer Visiting Professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology
  • Outstanding Paper Presentation, American Educational Research Association
  • Peabody Faculty Excellence Award (2)
  • Dissertation Fellowship, The City University of New York
  • New York State Regents College Teaching Fellowship for Advanced Graduate Study
  • University Scholarship, The City University of New York
  • New York State Regents College Teaching Fellowship for Beginning Graduate Study
  • National Institute of Mental Health Traineeship, Columbia University
  • Gardiner Murphy Award in Psychology for Exceptional Merit
  • Graduated with Special Honors in Psychology, The City College of New York.