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Smith-Adcock, Sondra

Associate Professor
School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

College of Education
University of Florida
1209 Norman Hall
PO Box 117046
Gainesville, FL 32611
Fax: 352-846-2697

Research Biography

I am an associate professor in Counselor Education in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education. My research agenda is focused on K-12 effective school counseling and school counselor preparation. Broadly, my scholarship centers on promoting child and adolescent mental health through systemic prevention and targeted relational intervention strategies in school settings. I am particularly committed to examining how the parent-child relationship affects educational and social-emotional childhood outcomes, and how schools work to facilitate effective family-school relationships. In my research activities, I examine school-based, play-based, and family-centered models for counseling youth placed at-risk. I have studied parent-child relationships as part of a social-ecological model to predict youths’ outcomes, including behavioral, social-emotional, and academic achievement outcomes. My recent works include exploring the use of Theraplay® Groups with adolescents, bullying prevention in middle schools, and school counselors’ role in bullying prevention.


Ph.D. – The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Counseling and Counselor Education

M.Ed. – Clemson University, School Guidance and Counseling

B.A. – Clemson University, Elementary and Special Education

Key Professional Appointments

Associate Professor, School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Counselor Education

Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University

Activities and Honors

University of Florida Term Professorship, 2017-2019.

Outstanding Adultspan Journal Article Award AADA (Association for Adult Development and Aging), 2018.
Swank, J., Smith-Adcock, S., & Puig, A. (2017). Finding beauty in everyday life: A photo elicitation study of play across the lifespan, Adultspan Journal, 16, 3-17. https://doi.org/10.1002/adsp.12030

Journal of Child and Family Studies, Invited manuscript review, 2016-present.

Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, Editorial Review Board, 2014-present.

The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Distinguished Reviewer Award, Association for Humanistic Counseling, 2012.

The Clinical Supervisor, Ad Hoc Manuscript Review, 2012-present.

Youth & Society, Ad Hoc Manuscript Review, 2010-present.

Asian Pacific Review, Ad Hoc Manuscript Review, 2008-present.


Swank, J. M., (PI), Smith-Adcock, S. (Co-PI), & Woehler, E. (Co-PI). Project counselors A2SPIRE: Addictions attitudes, screening, prevention, intervention, referral, and empathy. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Expansion of Practitioner Education. Funded $199,795. (2020-2022).

Smith-Bonahue, T. (PI), Kemple, K. (Co-PI), Manley, C. A. (Co-PI), and Smith-Adcock, S. (Co-PI). The impact of a dialogic reading intervention on low income preschool children’s emotional vocabulary and emotion causes. Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood. Funded $37,552. (2019).

Smith-Adcock, S. (PI), & Swank, J. M. (Co-PI). Trauma-focused group theraplay with adolescents. School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education Strategic Investment Fund-College of Education. Funded $7,032. (2018).

Smith-Adcock, S., Swank, J. M. (2016). Playing for a change in elementary schools. Action Grant from the U.S. Play Coalition. $1000.00.

Smith-Adcock, S., Amatea, E. S., & Swank, J. M. Standing up or standing by? Responding to bullying and peer victimization (2016). School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education (SHDOSE) Strategic Investment Fund. $10,400.00.

Selected Publications

* Denotes co-author was a graduate student at the time paper was written.

*Seon, Y., Swank, J., & Smith-Adcock, S. (in press). A social interest-activity typology of bystander behavior in school bullying. The Journal of Individual Psychology (22 pp.).

*Weaver, J. L., Medyk, N. V., Swank, J., Daniels, P., & Smith-Adcock, S. (in press). A phenomenological study of theraplay groups within a middle school. International Journal of Play Therapy (20 pp.).

*Lenes, E., Swank, J. M., Hart, K. A., *Machado, M. M., *Darilus, S., Ardelt, M., Smith-Adcock, S., Rockwood Lane, M., & Puig, A. (2020). Color-conscious multicultural mindfulness training in the counseling field. Journal of Counseling and Development, 98(2), 147-158. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12309

Peace, P., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2020). A phenomenological study of felt sense among beginning counselors. Teaching and Supervision in Counseling, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.7290/tsc020107

Davis, E., Smith-Adcock, S., & *Towns, L. (2019). Reality art therapy and counseling children with chronic illness. Professional School Counseling, https://doi.org/10.1177/2156759X19870792

Smith-Adcock, S., & Pereira, J. (2019). Getting creative: Using play and expressive arts. In C. Tucker (Ed.), Counseling at the Beginning: Interventions and Issues in Infancy and Early Childhood. Routledge.

Smith-Adcock, S., Leite, W., Kaya, Y., & Amatea, E. S., (2019). Parenting protective and risk factors influencing school readiness in kindergarteners from low-income families: A structural equation model. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(3), 2826-2841. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01574-7

Swank, J., Smith-Adcock, S., & *Weaver, J. L. (2019). School counselors’ roles and responsibilities in bullying prevention: A national survey. Professional School Counseling, https://doi.org/10.1177/2156759X19851465

Dixon, A. L., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). Wellness in adolescence. In R. J. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of adolescence, (2nd ed., pp. 1-10). New York, NY: Springer. ISBN: 9783319332277

*Jahn, S. A., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). A phenomenological study of counseling students’ experiences with ambiguity. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 10(1). Retrieved from https://repository.wcsu.edu/jcps/vol10/iss1/9

*Peace, P., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). A conceptual framework for felt sense awareness and counselor use of self. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 57(3), 208-222. https://doi.org/10.1002/johc.12083

Smith-Adcock, S., Swank, J., *Greenidge, T., & *Henesy, R. (2018). Standing up or standing by? Middle School Students and Teachers Respond to Bullying (23 pp.). Counseling outcome research and evaluation. https://doi.org/10.1080/21501378.2018.1438809

Swank, J. M., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). On-task behavior of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Examining treatment effectiveness of play therapy interventions. International Journal of Play Therapy, 27(4), 187-197.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pla0000084

Tucker, M. C., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2018). Using play to enhance growth in traumatized children: Theraplay groups as early intervention. In C. Corr & D. Miller (Eds.), Young exceptional children monograph series no. 17: Maltreatment and toxic stress. Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. ISBN: 9780990512837

Viviani, A., Smith-Adcock, S., & Rivera, L.M. (2018). Leadership: “Please help me, but don’t tell me how to raise my child!” In C. Wood, T. Portman, & L. Tyson, Critical incidents in school counseling, 3rd ed.  American Counseling Association: Alexandria, VA.

Pereira, J., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2017). The emotion of touch: Healing reactive attachment disorder through child-centered play therapy. In J. A. Courtney & R. D. Nolan (Eds.), Touch in child counseling and play therapy: An ethical and clinical guide (pp. 149-161). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. ISBN: 9781138638525

Swank, J., Smith-Adcock, S., & Puig, A. (2017). Finding beauty in everyday life: A photo elicitation study of play across the lifespan, Adultspan Journal, 16, 3-17. https://doi.org/10.1002/adsp.12030

Tucker, M. C., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2017). Theraplay: The evidence for trauma-focused treatment for children and families. In R. L. Steen (Ed.), Emerging research in play therapy, child counseling, and consultation (pp. 42-59). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. ISBN: 9781522522249

Porter, J. R., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2016). Children’s tendency to defend victims of school bullying. Professional School Counseling, 20, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.5330/1096-2409-20.1.1  

Smith-Adcock, S., & Tucker, M. C. (Eds.). (2016). Counseling children and adolescents: Connecting theory, development, and diversity. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. ISBN: 9781483347745

*Hope, K. J., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2015). A reason to live: Can understanding close friendships in college prevent suicide? College Student Affairs Journal, 33(1), 85-104. https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/32707

Smith-Adcock, S., *Shin, S. M., & Pereira, J. L. (2015). Critical incidents in learning child-centered play therapy: Implications for teaching and supervision. International Journal of Play Therapy, 24(2), 78-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0039122

Smith-Bonahue, T. M., Smith-Adcock, S., & Harman, J. (2015). “I won’t be your friend if you don’t!” Preventing and responding to relational aggression in preschool classrooms. Young Children, 70(1), 76-83. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2015/preventing-relational-aggression

*Socarras, K., Smith-Adcock, S., & *Shin, S. M. (2015). A qualitative study of an intensive filial intervention using child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). The Family Journal, 23(4), 381-391. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480715601681