Ellen Usher


Contact Us

237 Dickey Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0017
(859) 257-7404
(859) 257-5662 (fax)
Dickey Hall
Dickey Hall is located
on Scott Street.
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Ellen L. Usher

Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
Director, P20 Motivation and Learning Lab

Professor Ellen Usher

Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
University of Kentucky
249 Dickey Hall
Lexington, KY 40506-0017

Phone: 859.257.8647
Fax: 859.257.5662
E-Mail: ellen.usher@uky.edu
Web: http://p20motivationlab.org


BS, University of Georgia, Foreign Language Education, emphasis in French
MA, Oglethorpe University, Middle Grades Education, emphasis in science and reading
PhD, Emory University, Educational Studies, emphasis in educational psychology

Research Interests

  • Academic motivation
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Self-efficacy beliefs
  • Sources of self-efficacy beliefs
  • Technology and learning
  • Cultural differences in teaching and learning

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Ruble, L. A., Toland, M. D., Birdwhistell, J. L., McGrew, J. H., & Usher, E. L. (2013). Preliminary study of the Autism Self-Efficacy Scale for Teachers (ASSET). Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders24, 1151-1159. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2013.06.006

Chen, J. A., & Usher, E. L. (2013). Profiles of the sources of science self-efficacy. Learning and Individual Differences, 24, 11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2012.11.002

Gaffney, J. D. H., Gaffney, A. L. H., Usher, E. L., & Mamaril, N. A. (2013). How an activity-learning class influences physics self-efficacy in pre-service teachers. Proceedings of the American Institute of Physics 1513, 134-137. doi: 10.1063/1.4789670

Joet, G., Usher, E. L., & Bressoux, P. (2011). Sources of self-efficacy: An investigation of elementary school students in France. Journal of Educational Psychology,103, 649-663. doi: 10.1037/a0024048 

Morris, D. B., & Usher, E. L. (2011). Developing teaching self-efficacy in research institutions: A study of award-winning professors. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 232-245. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2010.10.00

Ruble, L. A., Usher, E. L., & McGrew, J. (2011). Special education and students with autism: Preliminary investigation of teacher self-efficacy and its sources. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 26(2), 67-74. doi: 10.1177/1088357610397345

Klassen, R. M., Usher, E. L., & Bong, M. (2010). Teachers’ collective efficacy, job satisfaction, and job stress in cross-cultural context. Journal of Experimental Education, 78, 464-486. doi: 10.1080/00220970903292975

Pushkarskaya, H., & Usher, E. L. (2010). Self-efficacy for resolving environmental uncertainties: Implications for entrepreneurial educational and support programs. Journal of Extension, 48(1), 1-10.

Klassen, R. M., Bong, M., Usher, E. L., Chong, W. H., Huan, V. S., Wong, I. Y. F., & Georgiou, T. (2009). Exploring the validity of the Teachers' Self-Efficacy Scale in five countries. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 67-76.

Reese, R. J., Usher, E. L., Bowman, D., Norsworthy, L., Halstead, J., Rowlands, S., & Chisholm, R. (2009). Using client feedback in psychotherapy training: An analysis of its influence on supervision and counselor self-efficacy. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 3, 157-168.

Usher, E. L. (2009). Sources of middle school students' self-efficacy in mathematics: A qualitative investigation of student, teacher, and parent perspectives. American Educational Research Journal, 46, 275-314.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2009). Sources of self-efficacy in mathematics: A validation study. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 89-101.

Alviar-Martin, T., Randall, J., Usher, E. L., & Engelhard, G. (2008). Teaching civic topics in four societies: Examining national context and teacher confidence. The Journal of Educational Research, 101, 177-188.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Self-efficacy for self-regulated learning: A validation study. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 68, 443-463.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Sources of self-efficacy in school: Critical review of the literature and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 78, 751-796.

Pajares, F., Johnson, M. J., & Usher, E. L. (2007). Sources of writing self-efficacy beliefs of elementary, middle, and high school students. Research in the Teaching of English, 42, 104-120.

Spence, D. J., & Usher, E. L. (2007). Engagement with mathematics courseware in traditional and online remedial learning environments: Relationship to self-efficacy and achievement. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 37, 267-288.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2006). Inviting confidence in school: Invitations as a critical source of the academic self-efficacy beliefs of entering middle school students. Journal of Invitational Theory and Practice, 12, 7-16.

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2006). Sources of academic and self-regulatory efficacy beliefs of entering middle school students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31, 125-141.

Book Chapters

Schunk, D. H., & Usher, E. L. (in press). Barry Zimmerman’s theory of self-regulated learning. In H. Bembenutty, T. Cleary, & A. Kitsantas (Eds.), Applications of self-regulated learning across diverse disciplines: A tribute to Barry J. Zimmerman. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Schunk, D. H., & Usher, E. L. (2012). Social cognitive theory and motivation. In R. Ryan (Ed.). The Oxford handbook of human motivation (pp. 13-27). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Schunk, D. H., & Usher, E. L. (2011). Assessing self-efficacy for self-regulated learning. In Zimmerman, B. J. & Schunk, D. H. (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance (pp. 282-297). New York: Routledge.

Alviar-Martin, T., & Usher, E. L. (2010). Enacting democracy in two international schools. In F. Salili & R. Hoosain (Eds.), Research in multicultural education and international perspectives (pp. 291-316). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Klassen, R. M., & Usher, E. L. (2010). Self-efficacy in educational settings: Recent research and emerging directions. In T. C. Urdan & S. A. Karabenick (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement: Vol. 16A. The decade ahead: Theoretical perspectives on motivation and achievement (pp. 1-33). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing Group.

Pajares, F., & Usher, E. L. (2008). Self-efficacy, motivation, and achievement in school from the perspective of reciprocal determinism. In M. Maehr, T. C. Urdan, & S. Karabenick (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement. Vol. 15: Social psychological perspectives (pp. 391-423). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Courses Taught

  • Educational Psychology (EDP 548)
  • Theories of Learning in Education (EDP 610)
  • Motivation and Learning (EDP 614)
  • Special Topics Seminar: Social Cognitive Theory (EDP 778)
  • Research in Psychology (PSY 395)

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, British Journal of Educational Psychology
  • Editorial board member: Contemporary Educational Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology
  • Co-Chair, Graduate Student Affairs Committee, APA Division 15 (Educational Psychology), 2012-2015
  • Program Co-Chair, AERA Division C: Section 6 (Cognitive, Social, and Motivational Processes), 2011
  • Chair, AERA Division C New Faculty Mentoring Program, 2009-2011
  • Chair, APA Division 15, Dissertation Awards Committee, 2008-2011