Philip Fisher, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Fisher obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. He is a Senior Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) and the Center for Research to Practice, both in Eugene, Oregon as well as a Professor of Psychology (clinical) at the University of Oregon. He is also Science Director for the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs and a Senior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child, both based at Harvard University. Dr. Fisher’s work on children in foster care and the child welfare system includes (a) basic research characterizing the effects of early stress on neurobiological systems such as the HPA axis and areas of the prefrontal cortex involved in executive functioning; (b) the development of preventive interventions, including the Treatment Foster Care of Oregon Program for Preschoolers (TFCO-P) and the Kids in Transition to School Program (KITS); and (c) the dissemination of evidence-based practice in community settings. His work has been funded by a number of institutes of the National Institutes of Health, including NIDA, NIMH, and NICHD. He serves on a number of national advisory groups related to prevention science and community based research. His intervention programs are being implemented at sites throughout the United States and Europe.

Selected Publications

  • Gunnar, M. R., Fisher, P. A., & The Early Experience, Stress, and Prevention Science Network. (2006). Bringing basic research on early experience and stress neurobiology to bear on preventive intervention research on neglected and maltreated children. Development and Psychopathology, 18, 651-677.

  • Fisher, P. A., Burraston, B., & Pears, K. C. (2005). The Early Intervention Foster Care Program: Permanent placement outcomes from a randomized trial. Child Maltreatment, 10, 61-71.

  • Pears, K. C., & Fisher, P. (2005). Developmental, cognitive, and neuropsychological functioning in preschool-aged foster children: Associations with prior maltreatment and placement history. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 26, 112-122.

  • Pears, K. C., & Fisher, P. A. (2005). Emotion understanding and theory of mind among children in foster care: Evidence of pervasive deficits. Development and Psychopathology 17, 47-65.

  • Fisher, P. A., & Ball, T. J. (2002). The Indian Family Wellness Project: An application of the tribal participatory research model. Prevention Science,39, 235-240.

  • Fisher, P. A., & Ball, T. J. (2003). Tribal participatory research: Mechanisms of a collaborative model. American Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 207-216.

  • Fisher, P. A., Gunnar, M. R., Chamberlain, P., & Reid, J. B. (2000). Preventive intervention for maltreated preschool children: Impact on children’s behavior, neuroendocrine activity, and foster parent functioning. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 1356-1364.

  • Fisher, P. A., Ellis, B. H., & Chamberlain, P. (1999). Early intervention foster care: A model for preventing risk in young children who have been maltreated. Children Services: Social Policy, Research, and Practice, 2(3), 159-182.

Recent Publications

  • McDermott, J. M., Pears, K. C., Bruce, J., Kim, H. K., Roos, L. E., Yoerger, K., & Fisher, P. A. (2017). Improving kindergarten readiness in children with developmental disabilities: Changes in neural correlates of response monitoring. Applied Neuropsychology: Child. doi:10.1080/21622965.2017.1286239

  • Lynch, F. L., Dickerson, J. F., Pears, K. C., & Fisher, P. A. (2017). Cost effectiveness of a school readiness intervention for foster children. Children and Youth Services Review, Online. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.07.011

  • Jankowski, K. F., Bruce, J., Beauchamp, K. G., Roos, L. E., Moore, W. E., & Fisher, P. A. (2017). Preliminary evidence of the impact of early childhood maltreatment and a preventive intervention on neural patterns of response inhibition in early adolescence. Developmental Science, 20(4), e12413. doi: 10.1111/desc.12413

  • Graham, A. M., Pears, K. C., Kim, H. K., Bruce, J., & Fisher, P. A. (2017). Effects of a school readiness intervention on HPA Axis functioning and school adjustment for children in foster care. Development and Psychopathology, Epub ahead of print, 1-14. doi:10.1017/S0954579417001171

  • Pears, K. C., Kim, H. K., Fisher, P., & Yoerger, K. (2016). Increasing pre-kindergarten early literacy skills in children with developmental disabilities and delays. Journal of School Psychology, 57, 15-27. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2016.05.004