Dr. Allyson Phillips serves as assistant professor and chair of psychology at Ouachita. She earned her
Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in developmental psychology in 2014, her M.A.
in developmental psychology from the University of Alabama in 2012, and her B.A. in
psychology from Colorado Christian University in 2009.
Her primary research focuses on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,
such as autism spectrum disorders and Down syndrome, and their families. She is particularly
interested in parent-child interactions between parents and their children with disabilities.
Further, she examines societal attitudes towards individuals with intellectual and
developmental disabilities to better aid in inclusion and integration efforts. In
addition to this work, Dr. Phillips is interested in child cognitive development,
particularly theory of mind, emotion recognition and fantasy orientation.
Outside of work, Dr. Phillips is married and has three children. As a family, they
enjoy hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. They love to be outside exploring nature.
If you were anything other than a professor, what would you be and why?
I would be a wedding planner and a doula (birthing coach). I love weddings and babies!
I could plan your wedding and then help you bring precious babies into the world.
These are two of the most life-changing moments someone can have, and I would love
to be apart of these special moments. Just thinking about the "I do's" and the placing
of a newborn baby in mommy's arms for the first time puts a smile on my face!
What is your go-to book?
Okay ... I know I have a Ph.D. and should be listing something highly academic, but
here's my answer – Harry Potter! I am an avid fan! I was at the midnight book releases,
and I have read the series more times than I can count. I am desperate for my kids
to be old enough to read them.
Why did you enter the teaching profession?
I chose this profession because I truly enjoy interacting with students. I want to
help inside and outside the classroom. I love watching students mature throughout
their time at Ouachita, discover their passion and find success after graduation.
I am energized in a classroom environment. My favorite classes are the ones with minimal
lecture and maximum discussion. I learn so much from my students, and I am continually
challenged to grow in my field. I find my job most rewarding, and I feel tremendously
blessed to teach Ouachita students.
Areas of Expertise
Intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders and
Down syndrome; parent-child interactions; cognitive development including theory of
mind, emotion recognition and fantasy orientation.
Featured Courses Taught:
- Abnormal Psychology
- Human Development
- Intellectual Disability
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Phillips, B.A., Butler, S.L., & Swafford, L. (2019). College Students’ Social Perceptions
Toward Individuals with Intellectual Disability. Journal of Disability Policy Studies,
- Phillips, B.A., Conners, F.A., & Curtner-Smith, M.E. (2017). Parenting Children with
Down Syndrome: An Analysis of Parenting Styles, Parenting Dimensions, and Parental
Stress. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 68, 9-19.
- Loveall, S.J., Moore Channell, M., Phillips, B.A., Abbeduto, L., & Conners, F.A. (2016).
Receptive Vocabulary Analysis in Down Syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities,
- Moore Channell, M., Phillips, B.A., Loveall, S.J., Conners, F.A., Klinger, L.G., &
Bussanich, P. (2015). Patterns of Autism Symptomatology in Individuals with Down Syndrome
without Comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders,
- Phillips, B.A., Conners, F.A., Merrill, E., Klinger, M.R. (2014). Rule-based Category
Learning in Down Syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disability,
119(3), 220 – 234.
- Phillips, B.A., Loveall, S.J., Moore Channell, M., & Conners, F.A. (2014). Matching
Variables for Research Involving Youth with Down Syndrome: Leiter-R versus PPVT-4.
Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(2), 429-438.
- Swafford, L., & Phillips, B.A. (2019, October). Emotion Facial Recognition Training
in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cognitive Developmental Society Conference,
- Beall, K., & Phillips, B.A. (2018, May). Predictors of Independence for Adults with
Intellectual Disability. Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention,
San Francisco, California.
- Phillips, B.A., Conners, F.A., & Curtner-Smith, M.E. (2016, March). Measuring the
Expectations and Fears Parents Have for Their Children with Down Syndrome. Gatlinburg
Conference on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, San Diego, California.
- Brown, M.M., & Phillips, B.A. (2015, October). The Role of Parenting Styles and Dimensions
in Children’s Fantasy Orientation. Cognitive Developmental Science Conference, Columbus,
- Chair of the Psychology Department
- Director of Ouachita's Autism Support Initiative