Brian Barber, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Kent State University)

Brian-Barber Brian Barber is an doctoral student in the Department of Special Education, School, Psychology, & Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. His work on federally funded projects has addressed the cognitive characteristics of children at risk for academic and behavioral problems. The recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship and a leadership grant award, he teaches courses in behavior management and instruction for diverse students, and regularly consults with schools and centers including the U.S. Department of Justice to improve the provision of educational services for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. His previous experiences include working as a special educator in a number of general and alternative education settings, and as an assistant principal of an alternative school for youth with behavioral disorders. Brian’s current research projects focus on the identification, prevention, and treatment of neurocognitive deficits underlying EBD, related symptoms of aggression/conduct problems, and outcomes for youth in exclusionary settings. His research has been presented at state, national, and international professional conferences. Currently, he serves as a Graduate Assistant for I-Control.

Examining the Contribution of “Hot” vs. “Cool” Executive Functions for Predicting Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Elementary StudentsThe purpose of this study was to explore whether EF skills related to behavior regulation (hot) versus metacognition (cool) differentially predicted reactive versus proactive aggression in elementary aged children. Using a recent conceptualization of EF distinguishing behavior-regulative (hot) and metacognitive (cool) aspects, teacher ratings of students’ EF skills are used to predict risk for proactive and reactive aggression.Results indicate that deficiencies in hot EF skills increase level of risk for both reactive and proactive aggression, and that deficiencies in cool EF skills decrease level of risk for proactive aggression. Further, specific combinations of hot and cool EFs predict proactive versus reactive types.