Initiatives Supporting Positive Youth Relationships (INSPYRE)


My aim is to prevent violence in youth and promote healthy youth development. Specifically, I am interested in developing interventions that focus on building healthy relationships in childhood and adolescence. I conduct my work in community and school-settings to increase access for underserved and vulnerable populations.

For more information about our lab and the most updated projects we are working on, please visit us at our INSPYRE website!

Current Projects

Current projects related to school bullying include the development of a competency-based framework to guide elementary school teachers in their efforts to help bullied children, evaluating methods to reliably and validly assess teacher competencies to support bullied children, and exploring how teacher self-efficacy and teacher student relationship quality can buffer children’s peer victimization. Future projects include conducting a needs assessment in the Wichita Public School District in the area of school bullying and dating violence, developing a training program to improve teachers’ competencies in supporting bullied children, and understanding the developmental translation of victimization from childhood peer relationships to adolescent romantic relationships.

One specific project the INSPYRE research lab is currently recruiting undergraduate mentors for a 3-hour service-learning course in psychology (PSY 416). The course is open to any major. Mentors eat lunch with a struggling elementary school student twice each week with the goals of increasing the mentee's positive interactions with peers and enhancing their social reputation. In addition, mentors will meet for class on Mondays from 3:30-6pm. In return, mentors receive 3 hours of course credit and many great experiences. Mentors are required to submit an application, undergo background checks, have reliable transportation to and from the elementary school, and should have availability from 12 pm to 2 pm at least twice a week.


Do you have a teen that would be interested in participating in our study?

We are currently running a study titled “Perceptions of Dating Relationships in Adolescents.” The goal of our project is to understand predictors of healthy or unhealthy dating relationships in teens. The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete, and a small prize will be offered to participants. If you have a teen who would be interested in taking our survey, please email us at or call us at (316) 978-6180.


Graduate students presenting research posters at the 2018 National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.  Graduate students presenting research posters at the 2018 National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.  Graduate students presenting research posters at the 2018 National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Graduate students presenting research posters at the 2018 National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.


  1. Gregus, S.J., Hernandez Rodriguez, J., Pastrana, F.A., Craig, J.T., McQuillin, S.D. & Cavell, T.A. (2017). Teacher self-efficacy and intentions to use recommended anti-bullying practices as predictors of children’s peer victimization. School Psychology Review.
  2. Bridges, A.J., Cavell, T.A., Ojeda, C., Gregus, S.J., & Gomez, D. (2017). Doctoral training in integrated behavioral health care: Dipping a toe or diving in. The Behavior Therapist, 40 (5), 169-179.
  3. Bridges, A.J., Villalobos, B.T., Anastasia, E.A., Dueweke, A.R., Gregus, S.J., Cavell, T.A. (2017). Need, access, and the reach of integrated care: A typology of patients. Families, Systems, and Health, 35 (2), 193-206.
  4. Craig, J.T., Gregus, S.J., Burton, A., Hernandez Rodriguez, J., Blue, M., Faith, M.A., & Cavell, T.A. (2016). Exploring change processes in school-based mentoring for bullied children. Journal of Primary Prevention, 37, 1-9.
  5. Craig, J.T., Gregus, S.J., Elledge, L.C., Pastrana, F.A., & Cavell, T.A. (2016). Preliminary investigation of the relation between lunchroom peer acceptance and peer victimization. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 43, 101-111.
  6. Gregus, S.J., Craig, J.T., Hernandez Rodriguez, J., Pastrana, F.A., & Cavell, T.A. (2015). Lunch Buddy mentoring for children victimized by peers: Two pilot studies. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 31, 167-197.
  7. Bridges, A.J., Gregus, S.J., Hernandez Rodriguez, J., Andrews, A.R., Villalobos, B.T., Pastrana, F.A., & Cavell, T.A. (2015). Diagnoses, intervention strategies, and rates of functional improvement in integrated behavioral health care patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 590-601.
  8. Gregus, S.J., Rummell, C.M., Rankin, T.J., & Levant, R.F. (2014). Women’s experiences of sexual attention: A cross sectional study of United States university students. International Journal of Sexual Health, 26, 239-257.
  9. Gomez, D., Bridges, A.J., Andrews, A.R., Cavell, T.A., Pastrana, F.A., Gregus, S.J., & Ojeda, C.A. (2014). Delivering parent management training in an integrated primary care setting: Description and preliminary outcome data. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 21, 296-309.
  10. Hernandez Rodriguez, J., Gregus, S. J., Craig, J. T., Pastrana, F. A., & Cavell, T. A. (2014). Bullied Children. In C. Alfano & D. Beidel (Eds.), Comprehensive Evidence-Based Interventions for School-Aged Children and Adolescents. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.


Dr. Samantha Gregus
Office Location: 427 Jabara Hall
Office Number: (316) 978-2759