Tia Barnes is an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in the Delaware Education R&D Center and the Human Development and Family Studies Program. Her current research focuses on answering the following question: How do we ensure that social-emotional learning (SEL) interventions are relevant and effective for culturally diverse students, particularly those with or at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD)?

To address this overarching question, her research agenda includes 4 primary areas: 1) how student characteristics, particularly factors related to culture (e.g., race, ethnicity, socio-economic status), influence SEL intervention effectiveness, 2) school-based SEL efficacy, 3) how classroom environments play a role in outcomes for students with EBD, and 4) how to effectively refine and modify SEL interventions for culturally diverse populations while keeping the active ingredients of the intervention to ensure effectiveness. She has authored a number of research articles in journals including Aggression and Violent Behavior, Journal of School Violence, Journal of Classroom Interactions, and Education and Treatment of Children. She is former special educator and a current teacher educator on working with children with special education needs.