Sharon Lee Armstrong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Psy.D. Research and Dissertations
Clinical Psychology, Psychology
Wister Hall M-13

Dr. Armstrong’s areas of specialization within Cognitive Science are psycholinguistics, concepts/categorization, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, and metacognition. Her research (usually conducted with students) has investigated these topics in children and adults in neurotypical and special populations (e.g., autism, selective mutism, depression, ADHD, older adults). She has two lines of investigation that can involve interested students. One project is focused on characteristics of children with selective mutism and their parents. Data and support for this project have been available through the Selective Mutism Research Institute. The second project is focused on cognitive, language, and metacognitive abilities in neurotypical and autism spectrum populations. Students who wish to get involved in Dr. Armstrong’s research projects should contact her or attend the Child Research Team meetings.

Dr. Armstrong’s other interests include travel, dance, and antiques.


  • Cognitive science (psycholinguistics, concepts/categorization, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, metacognition)
  • Research methods
  • Autism
  • Selective mutism


  • Postdoctoral, University of Pennsylvania Institute for Research in Cognitive Science
  • Ph.D., Cognition and Learning, University of Delaware
  • B.A., Mathematics, University of Delaware


  • PSY 713: Human Behavior II: Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 771: Research Methodology
  • PSY 882–886: Clinical Dissertation Seminars
  • PSY 242/SLH 100: Introduction to Language & Communication (Psycholinguistics)
  • PSY 342/SLH 203: Language Development


(Student names are underlined)

Armstrong, S. L., Gleitman, L. R. & Gleitman, H. (2020). What some concepts might not be. In L. R. Gleitman, Sentence first, arguments afterward: Essays on language and learning. Edited by J. Lidz. Oxford University Press.

Wollach, C., Cardaciotto, L., Levin, M., Armstrong, S.L. (2020).  Implementing a web-based cognitive defusion program to target negative self-referential thoughts in college students: A pilot study. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 16, 183-191.

Klein, E. R., Armstrong, S. L., Kennedy, D., Gordon, J., Satko, C. G., & Shipon-Blum, E. (2018).  EXPRESS: Expanding Receptive and Expressive Speaking Skills through Stories: Language Formulation in Children with Selective Mutism and Other Communication Needs. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.

Klein, E. R., Armstrong, S. L., Skira, K., & Gordon, J. (2017). Social communication anxiety treatment for children and families with selective mutism: A Pilot study. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22(1), 90-108.

Klein, E. R. Armstrong, S. L., & Shipon-Blum, E. (OnlineFirst, November 27. 2012). Assessing spoken language competence in children with selective mutism: Using parents as test presenters. Communication Disorders Quarterly,34(3), 184-195.

Gleitman, L. R., Connolly, A. C. & Armstrong, S. L. (2012). Can prototype representations support composition and decomposition? In M. Werning, W. Hinzen, and E. Machery (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality (pp. 418-436). Oxford: Oxford University Pres


(Student names are underlined)

Bowden, L., Armstrong, S. L., Kratz, H., Busman, R., & Yellen, K. (2022, October). The worries of young children with selective mutism: An exploratory study.  [Poster presentation], Selective Mutism Association Conference, Virtual.

Martin, P., Armstrong, S. L., Kratz, H., & La Valle, W. (2022, October). Anxiety and working memory capacity in children with selective mutism. [Poster presentation], Selective Mutism Association Conference, Virtual.

Spillman-Kennedy, D., Armstrong, S. L., Gordon, J., Satko, C., & Klein, E. (2022, April).  How can SLPs help enhance communication skills in selective mutism? [Three-hour seminar], New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Long Branch, NJ. COVID Cancelled 2020, 2021.

Blum, J., Canella, R., Armstrong, S. L., Raiya Shah, R. & Shipon-Blum, E. (2021, November).  The relationship between age and parent-reported behavior in youth with selective mutism. [Poster presentation], Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 55th Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Armstrong, S. L. (2020, January) Supporting research on selective mutism. [Invited talk for parents], Selective Mutisim CommuniCamp, Abington, PA.

Steinbeck, L. K., Armstrong, S. L., Cap, C., Ruggiero, S. G, Lyman, B. C. & Wilson, P. (May, 2019). Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate cognitive flexibility in categorizing foods. [Poster presentation], International Society for Autism Research, Montreal, CA.

Ruggiero, S., Armstrong, S. L., Manevich, S., Meleka, M., Steinbeck, S., Lyman, B., & Wilson, P. (May, 2019). Recognition of event information by children with autism spectrum disorders. [Poster presentation], International Society for Autism Research, Montreal, CA.

Lipovenko, L., Manevich, S., Massi, G., Minkovich, S., Hackenberg, L.Armstrong, S. L., Fischbach, R.L. (2018, November). Lack of social support, mother-directed stigma, and child-directed stigma predict stress in mothers of children with autism. [Poster presentation], Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 52nd Annual Convention, Washington, DC and the La Salle Psychology Department Grimes Event, March 2019.

Armstrong, S. L. Gordon, J., Kennedy, D. S., Klein, E. R., Satko, C. G., Shipon-Blum, E. (2018, September) The EXPRESS program for children with selective mutism. [Poster presentation], Selective Mutism Association Conference, Chicago, IL.

Polli, E., & Armstrong, S. L.  (May, 2019).  Older maximizers are not more prone to depression, lower life satisfaction, and avoidance in decision-making, but may experience regret and indecisiveness. [Poster presentation], Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Washington, DC.

Klein, E. R., & Armstrong, S. L. (2012, November) How to assess speech-language in children with selective mutism. [Conference talk], American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Atlanta, GA.

Klein, E. R., & Armstrong, S. L., Shipon-Blum, E., Gordon, J., Skira, K., & Lyman, B. (2012, October). Cognitive, psychological, and linguistic features of children with selective mutism. [Conference talk], Selective Mutism Group, Orlando, FL.

Harcleroad, K. A., Armstrong, S. L., & Wilson, P. (2011, May). Depressive symptoms, rumination, and mindfulness skills as related to conditional reasoning. [Poster presentation], Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC. (Poster)


  • Society for Philosophy & Psychology
  • Psychonomic Society
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • American Psychological Association
  • International Association for Metacognition
  • International Society for Autism Research
  • Selective Mutism Association
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  • American Association of University Professors