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Sharon Lee Armstrong, Ph.D.

Sharon Lee Armstrong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Psy.D. Research and Dissertations


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 metacognition 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


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

Armstrong, S. L., Gleitman, L. R. & Gleitman, H. (2008). What some concepts might not be. In P. Hanks (Ed.), Lexicology: Critical concepts in linguistics: Vol. 5: Cognition and the lexicon. London: Routledge.


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 presented at the 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 presented at the 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 presented at the 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 presented at the annual 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 presented at the 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. American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Atlanta, GA (Talk).

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. Selective Mutism Group, Orlando, FL (Talk).

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


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