Andy Garbacz

Associate Professor, Co-Area Chair: School Psychology

(608) 265-8535

Educational Sciences

1025 West Johnson Street

Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1796

Garbacz, Andy

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I am an Associate Professor and Co-Area Chair of the School Psychology Program. My work focuses on promoting youth mental health. I emphasize interconnecting family, school, and community systems to promote mental health and reduce the risk of later mental health concerns. My research projects are developing, testing, and scaling family-centered, and family-school-community partnership interventions. I am involved with community partnerships that center equity and cultural responsiveness within school and community systems.


  • PhD Psychological Studies in Education (School Psychology), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2010
  • MA Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska¬–Lincoln, 2004
  • BA Psychology, University of Nebraska¬–Lincoln, 2002

Select Publications

  • Biglan, A., Elfner, K., Garbacz, A., Komro, K., Prinz, R. J., Weist, M. D., Wilson, & Zarling, A. (2020). A strategic plan for strengthening America’s families: A brief from the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 23, 153-175.
  • Garbacz, A., (2020). Establishing family-school partnerships in school psychology: critical skills. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Garbacz, A., Bolt, D. M., Seeley, J. R., Stormshak, E. A., & Smolkowski, K. (2020). Examining school proactive outreach to families in public middle schools. School Psychology Review, 49(4), 493-509.
  • Garbacz, A., McIntyre, L. L., Stormshak, E. A., & Kosty, D. B. (2020). The efficacy of the family check-up on children’s emotional and behavior problems in early elementary school. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 28, 67-79.
  • Garbacz, A., Beattie, T., Masser, J., & DeGarmo, D. (2019). Initial validation of an elementary version of the positive family support strengths and needs assessment. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 43, 73-80.
  • Garbacz, A., Herman, K. C., Thompson, A. M., & Reinke, W. M. (2017). Family engagement in education and intervention: Implementation and evaluation to maximize family, school, and student outcomes. Journal of School Psychology, 62, 1-10.

Select Presentations

  • Willenbrink, J., Eklund, K., Kilgus, S., Garbacz, A., Barber, A., & Dubose, K. (2020, November). A Tier 2 intervention for children at-risk for internalizing problems. Paper presented at the annual meeting on Advancing School Mental Health.
  • Garbacz, A., Stormshak, E. A., & McIntyre, L. L. (2020, November). Using motivational interviewing to improve parenting skills and prevent problem behavior during the transition to kindergarten. Symposium presented at the Leveraging motivational interviewing to facilitate home-school connections.
  • Garbacz, A. (2020, January). Improving family engagement in education research. Panel presented at the 2020 Institute of Education Sciences Principal Investigators Meeting, Washington, DC.
  • Garbacz, A., Stormshak, E. A., McIntyre, L. L., & Kosty, D. (2019, March). Family centered, school based prevention to support the reduction of problem behavior during early elementary school. Symposium presented at the Family-centered, prevention and intervention for reducing behavior problems and promoting healthy development, Baltimore, MD.
  • Garbacz, A., & Davis, A. (2018, October). Building and strengthening family-school partnerships in PBIS: How are the children? Keynote/Plenary Address presented at the 2018 Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports National Leadership Forum, Chicago, IL.
  • Garbacz, A., Seeley, J. R., Dishion, T. J., Stormshak, E. A., Smolkowski, K., Moore, K. J., Falkenstein, C. A., Gau, J., & Kim, H. J. (2015, February). Promoting positive family support in middle schools. Symposium presented at the Family engagement across tiered mental health service delivery in schools, Orlando, FL.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Academy Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2019
  • Family, School, and Community Partnering Recognition Award, Family, School, and Community Partnering Group, National Association of School Psychologists, 2018
  • Fellow in Community Engaged Scholarship, Morgridge Center, 2018
  • Lightner Witmer Award, American Psychological Association, Division 16, 2016