Skibbe, Lori Ph.D.

Associate Professor

552 W. Circle Drive, 2F Human Ecology, East Lansing, MI 48824




Dr. Lori Skibbe

Associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University
Co-director of the Early Language and Literacy Investigations Lab
Member of the Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND) Initiative 



NICHD Training Grant Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan, 2006-2008
Pathways to Literacy Project, PI: Frederick Morrison

Ph.D., Risk & Prevention in Education Sciences, University of Virginia, 2006
M.A., Developmental Psychology, University of Virginia, 2002      
M.A., Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1998
B.A., Psychology, The College of New Jersey, 1997


My research focuses on individual differences in the development of literacy skills for children with and without special needs.

My research typically follows four themes:

1.     Children's literacy development in the context of schools and families

2.     The development of appropriate techniques for assessing emergent literacy skills, with a focus on children who are typically developing as well as those with special needs

3.     How children’s behavioral self-regulation relates to their literacy skill development

4.     The roles that developmental disabilities play in how children learn emergent literacy skills

More information can be found on

Selected Grants

Principal Investigator. Development of the Inventory of Phonological Awareness using Alternative Responses (IPAAR). Institute of Education Sciences, $1,599,987. Funded from July 2015- June 2019.

Co-Principal Investigator (PI: J. Plavnick). Comprehensive reading instruction for children with autism spectrum disorder. Michigan State University Research on Autism, Intellectual, and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Initiative, $99,955. Funded from June 2014-June 2016.

Co-Principal Investigator (PI: R. Bowles). Development and validation of the Narrative Assessment Protocol (NAP). Institute of Education Sciences, $1,839,186. Funded from July 2011- June 2015.

Selected Recent Publications (Graduate students*)

Khan, K. S., Gugiu, M. R., Justice, L. M., Bowles, R. P., Skibbe, L. E., & Piasta, S. B. (in press). Age-related progressions in story grammar in young children's narratives. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Montroy, J. J. Bowles, R. P., Skibbe, L. E., McClelland, M., & Morrison, F. J. (in press). The development of self-regulation across early childhood. Developmental Psychology.

Foster, T. D., Froyen, L. A., Skibbe, L. E., Bowles, R. P., & Decker, K. B. (in press). Fathers’ and mothers’ home learning environments and children’s early academic outcomes. Reading & Writing.

Skibbe, L. E., Gerde, H. K., Wright, T., & Samples-Steele, C.* (2015). A content analysis of phonological awareness and phonics in commonly used Head Start curricula. Early Childhood Education Journal, 1-9.

Montroy, J. J.*, Bowles, R. P., Skibbe, L. E., & Foster, T. D.* (2014). Social skills and problem behaviors as mediators of the relationship between behavioral self-regulation and academic achievement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 298-309.

Hindman, A. H., Skibbe, L. E., & Foster, T. F.* (2014). Exploring the nature of parental talk during shared book reading and its contributions to preschool language and literacy: Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort. Reading & Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 27, 287-313.

Moody, A. M., Skibbe, L. E., Parker, M. P., & Walker, A. (2014). Use of electronic storybooks to promote print awareness in preschoolers who are living in poverty. Journal of Literacy and Technology, 15,  2-27.

Plavnick, J. B., Mariage, T., Englert, C. S., Constantine, K.*, Morin, L.*, & Skibbe, L. (2014). Promoting independence during computer assisted reading instruction for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis, 40, 85-105.

Bindman, S. W., Skibbe, L. E., Hindman, A. H., Aram, D., & Morrison, F. J. (2014). Parental writing support and preschoolers' early literacy, language, and fine motor skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 614-624.

Skibbe, L. E., Bindman, S. W., Hindman, A. H., Aram, D., Morrison, F. J. (2013). Longitudinal relations between parental writing support and preschoolers' language and literacy skills. Reading Research Quarterly, 48, 387-401.

Skibbe, L.E., Hindman, A. M., Connor, C. M., Housey, M., & Morrison, F. J. (2013). Relative contributions of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to children’s literacy and mathematics skills. Early Education & Development, 24, 687-703.  

Froyen, L. C.*, Skibbe, L. E., Bowles, R. P., Blow, A. J., & Gerde H. K. (2013). Marital satisfaction, family emotional expressiveness, home learning environments, and children's academic outcomes. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75, 42-55.

Hindman, A., Miller, A. L., Froyen, L. C.*, & Skibbe, L. E. (2012). A portrait of family involvement during Head Start: Nature, extent, and predictors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 654-667.

Skibbe, L. E., Phillips, B. M., Day, S. L., Brophy-Herb, H. E., & Connor, C. M. (2012). Children’s early literacy growth in relation to classmates’ self-regulation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 541-553.

Skibbe, L. E., Grimm, K. J., Bowles, R. P., & Morrison, F. J. (2012). Literacy growth in the academic year versus summer from preschool through second grade: Differential effects of schooling across four skills. Scientific Studies of Reading, 16, 141-165.

Skibbe, L. E., Connor, C. M., Morrison, F. J., & Jewkes, A. M. (2011). Schooling effects on preschoolers’ self-regulation, early literacy, and language growth. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 42-49.  

Skibbe, L. E., Justice, L. M., & Bowles, R. P. (2011). Implementation processes associated with a home-based phonological awareness intervention program for children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 13, 110-124.

Skibbe, L. E., Moody, A. J., Justice, L. M., & McGinty, A. S. (2010). Socio-emotional climate of storybook reading interactions for mothers and preschoolers with language impairment. Reading & Writing: In Interdisciplinary Journal, 23, 53-71.


Mentoring style


I take an apprenticeship approach to mentoring, where students work closely with me to learn the skills that they need to be successful in their future careers. I want my students to learn about and research topics that interest them, so students have a high level of input regarding their publications and presentations. I am also always open to including new measures as part of my grants and other activities, so that students can work on projects that they are passionate about. My graduate students should have well-rounded skills, so I encourage them to teach a course and engage in some community outreach when working with me.


Focus Area

Child Development

Areas of Interest

  • Early literacy development in the context of families and schools
  • Assessment of literacy skills during preschool
  • Early literacy interventions for children with special needs