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Communication Disorders

College of Health Sciences

Douglas B. Petersen, PhD., CCC-SLP

Associate Professor
Child Language & Literacy

B.A. Utah State University 1999; M.Ed. 2002; Ph.D. 2009 • (307) 766-6405 • Health Sciences, Room 247B

Research Interests:

Dr. Petersen is a certified speech-language pathologist with several years of clinical and research experience. His research is driven by a desire to greatly increase the prevalence of academic success for all children, including those who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Specifically, Dr. Petersen’s research has focused on the identification, validation, and empirical testing of preventative and effective methods of assessment and intervention for reading and language, with two major strands of research that are distinct yet highly inter-connected; early reading assessment using dynamic assessment, and language assessment and intervention using dynamic assessment, progress monitoring procedures, and multi-tiered systems of supports using narrative language.

Assessment and Diagnostic Procedures in Communication Disorders, Language Disorders Across the Lifespan, Stuttering, Multicultural Aspects

Affiliations, Associations, Consultation:

American speech-Language Hearing ASsociation (ASHA)

ASHA Special Interest Division: Language Learning and Education

ASHA Special Interest Division: Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and LInguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations

 ASHA Special Interest Division: School-Based Issues

Recent Presentation Handouts:

Petersen, D. B. (2014, March). Using Narrative Assessment for Eligibility, Progress Monitoring, and Intervention Planning. Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia (SHAV) Conference, Williamsburg, VA.

Petersen, D. B. (2014, March). Multi-tiered oral narrative language intervention. Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) Conference, Kalamazoo, MI.


2014-2019, Petersen, D. B. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, T. D. (Principal Investigator), Restrepo, M. (Principal Investigator). Development of a Dual Language Narrative Curriculum. Institute of Education Sciences (IES); CFDA 84.305A: Early Programs and Policies; Goal 2: Development and Innovation, $1,481,976, R305A140093. research grant.

2013-2014, Spencer, T. D. (Principal Investigator), & Petersen, D. B. (Principal Investigator). Predictive Early Assessment of Reading and Language (PEARL): Feasibility, Reliability, & Validity. Northern Arizona University Preliminary Studies Grant, $65,000, research grant.



Gillam, R. B. & Petersen, D. B. (in press). Language disorders in school-age children. In R. B. Gillam, T. P. Marquardt, & F. N. Martin (Eds.), Introduction to communication sciences and disorders: From science to clinical practice (2nd ed., pp. 437-459). 


Castilla, A., Petersen, D. B., Spencer, T. D., Hammer, K. (in press). Narrative Development in Monolingual Preschool Spanish-Speaking Children. Early Education and Development. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B., Thompsen, B., Guiberson, M., & Spencer, T. D. (in press). Cross-linguistic interactions from L2 to L1 as the result of individualized narrative language intervention with children with and without language impairment. Applied Psycholinguistics. (data-based; student authors)

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., & Adams, J. (in press). Tier 2 language intervention for diverse preschoolers: An early stage randomized control group study following an analysis of response to intervention. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. (data-based; student authors)

Weddle, Spencer, Kajian, Petersen (in press). An examination of multi-tiered system of language support for culturally and linguistically diverse preschoolers: Implications for early and accurate identification. School Psychology Review.

Spencer, T. D., Kajian, M., Petersen, D. B., & Bilyk, N. (2014). Effects of an individualized narrative intervention on children’s storytelling and comprehension skills. Journal of Early Intervention, Online First, 1-27. (data-based, student authors)

Petersen, D. B., Allen, M. A., & Spencer, T. D. (2014). Predicting reading difficulty in first grade using dynamic assessment of decoding in early kindergarten: A large-scale longitudinal study. Journal of Learning Disabilities, Online First, 1-16. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B., Brown, C., Ukrainetz, T. A., Wise, C., Spencer, T. D., & Zebre, J. (2014). Systematic individualized narrative language intervention on the personal narratives of children with autism. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 45, 67-86. (data-based, student authors)

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., Slocum, T. A., & Allen, M. M. (2014). Large group narrative intervention in Head Start preschools: Implications for response to intervention. Journal of Early Childhood Research, Online First, 1-22. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B. & Gillam, R. B. (2013). Predicting reading ability for bilingual Latino children using dynamic assessment. Journal of Learning Disabilities, Online First, 1-19. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B., & Gillam, R. B. (2013) Accurately predicting future reading difficulty for bilingual Latino children at risk for language impairment. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 28(3), 113-128. (data-based)

Gillam, S., Fargo, J., Petersen, D. B., Clark, M. (2012). Assessment of Structure Dependent Narrative Features in Modeled Contexts: African American and European American Children. English Linguistics Research, 1(1), 1-17. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B., & Gardner, K. (2011). Trastorno especifico del lenguaje: Una revisión. (specific language impairment: A review). Revista Chilena de Fonoaudiología, 10, 19-32. (student authors)

Petersen, D. B. (2011). A systematic review of narrative-based language intervention with children who have language impairment. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 32(4), 207-220. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B., Gillam, S. L., Spencer, T. D., & Gillam, R. B. (2010). The effects of literate narrative intervention on children with neurologically based language impairments: An early stage study. Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research, 53, 961-981. (data-based)

Petersen, D. B., Gillam, S. L., & Gillam, R. B. (2008). Emerging procedures in narrative assessment: The index of narrative complexity. Topics in Language Disorders, 28(2), 111-126. (data-based)

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., & Gillam, S. L. (2008). Picture exchange communication system (PECS) or sign language: An evidence-based decision making example. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(2), 40-47.


Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2014). The Predictive Early Assessment of Reading and Language (PEARL). Palmer, AK: Language Dynamics Group. (criterion-referenced dynamic assessment)

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2010, 2012, 2014). The Narrative Language Measures & The Narrative Language Measures: Cubed. Palmer, AK: Language Dynamics Group. (criterion-referenced progress monitoring procedures)

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2012, 2014). Story Champs & Story Champs Blitz. Palmer, AK: Language Dynamics Group. (multi-tiered narrative-based language intervention curriculum)

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2014). Narrative assessment and intervention: A clinical tutorial on extending explicit language instruction and progress monitoring to all students. Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations,21(1), 5-21. (invited)

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2012). The Narrative Language Measures: Tools for language screening, progress monitoring, and intervention planning. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 19(4), 119-129. (data-based, invited)

Allen, M.M., & Petersen, D.B. (2011). Reading comprehension: A proposal for a hybrid approach. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 18, 13-19. (invited)

Spencer, T. D., & Petersen, D. B. (2010). Narrative intervention for preschool classes. The Utah Special Educator, 32(4), 26-29. (invited)

Doug Petersen

Doug Petersen

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