Melissa McInnis Brown, PhD

Melissa McInnis Brown

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Development and Education
Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Office: WH 102-F
Phone: 940-898-2675


PhD, University of Alabama, Developmental Psychology, Statistics Minor
MA, University of Alabama, Developmental Psychology
BA, The University of Texas at Austin, Psychology, Spanish Literature

Research Interests

Conceptual/cognitive development; pretend play; imaginary companions; socioemotional development; theory of mind; empathy; executive functions; school readiness

Selected Publications

  • Thibodeau, R.B., Brown, M.M., Nancarrow, A.F., Elpers, K., & Gilpin, A.T. (in press). Conceptual similarities among fantasy and religious orientations: A developmental perspective. Journal of Cognition and Culture.
  • Brown, M.M., & Starrett, T. (2017). Fostering student connectedness: Building relationships in the classroom. Faculty Focus,
  • Brown, M.M., Thibodeau, R.B., Pierucci, J.M., & Gilpin, A.T. (2017). Supporting the development of empathy: The role of theory of mind and fantasy orientation. Social Development, 26(4), 951-964.
  • Brown, M.M. (2016). Children’s imaginary companions: Dispelling myths and rumors. Texas Child Care Quarterly, 39(4), 1-4.
  • Thibodeau, R.B., Gilpin, A.T., Brown, M.M., & Meyer, B.A. (2016). The effects of fantastical pretend-play on the development of executive functions: An intervention study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 145, 120-138.
  • Woolley, J.D., & Brown, M.M. (2015). The development of children’s concepts of invisibility. Cognitive Development, 34, 63-75.
  • Gilpin, A.T., Brown, M.M., & Pierucci, J.M. (2015). Relations between fantasy orientation and emotion regulation in preschool. Early Education & Development, 26(7), 920-932.      
  • Pierucci, J.M., O’Brien, C. T., McInnis, M.A., Gilpin, A.T., & Barber, A.B. (2014). Fantasy orientation constructs and related executive function development in preschool. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38, 62-69.
  • McInnis, M.A., Pierucci, J.M., & Gilpin, A.T. (2013). Investigating valence and autonomy in children’s relationships with imaginary companions. International Journal of Developmental Science, 7, 151-159.

Page last updated 11:12 AM, September 6, 2018