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Janice N. Phung, Ph.D.

Janice N. Phung, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Office: SBSB 3240

Janice N. Phung, Ph.D.

I joined the faculty at CSU San Marcos in 2019 after one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pitzer College (of the Claremont Colleges). A developmental psychologist by training, my program of research investigates the challenges experienced by children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they relate to individual and family outcomes. My doctoral dissertation examined the effects of a community-based martial arts intervention on executive and social functioning in children with ASD. The goals of my program of research are 1) to better understand and promote optimal development in children and adolescents with ASD, and 2) to improve how stakeholders, namely caregivers and professionals who work with the autism community, interface with individuals with ASD to help them lead healthier and happier lives. 


2017, Ph.D. Psychology & Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine (Advisor: Dr. Wendy A. Goldberg)

2013, M.A. Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine

2009, B.A. Psychology (Minor: Applied Developmental Psychology), University of California, Los Angeles 


Prospective Students and Research Participants:

Visit our lab website to learn more about our research!

Autism, Family, & Community Lab

Relevant Media:

The Emotional Curriculum podcast - Martial Arts and Executive Functioning in Children with Autism (S04 E04)

This Grad Life - Meet Dr. Janice Phung, Guest of EP 3

Psychology Today - Martial Arts and Executive Function on the Autism Spectrum - Mixed martial arts training could help promote executive functioning in children with autism



In addition to my research interests, I am also passionate about instilling in students the skills to take different perspectives, think critically, and problem solve across different contexts. I primarily teach courses in the Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) major, which focuses on the developmental processes that occur from conception through adolescence. My teaching philosophy is student-centered and emphasizes knowledge linked to real world application, which helps prepare graduates for careers that emphasize developmental science, including family-serving agencies, mental and physical health facilities, educational settings, and developmentally-related public organizations.

CHAD 339: Exceptional Children & Adolescents

CHAD 370: Risk & Resiliency in Children and Adolescents

CHAD 496: Observation & Assessment Laboratory 

PSYC 552: Proseminar in Developmental Psychology




Wang, P., Tipton-Fisler, L. A., & Phung, J. N. (2022). College students' perceptions of peers with autism. Contemporary School Psychology.

Phung, J. N., & Goldberg, W. A. (2021). Mixed martial arts training improves social skills and lessens problem behaviors in boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 83, 101758.

Phung, J. N., & Goldberg, W. A. (2020). Executive Functioning and Martial Arts Training in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In Volkmar, F.R. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer, New York, NY.

Phung, J. N., & Goldberg, W. A. (2019). Promoting executive functioning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder through community-based mixed martial arts training. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 49(9), 3669-3684.

Phung, J. N., Abdullah, M. M., & Goldberg, W. A. (2019). Poor sleep quality among adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder is associated with depressive symptoms, problem behaviors, and conflicted family relationships. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 34(3), 173-182. 

Phung, J. N., & Goldberg, W. A. (2017). Poor sleep quality is associated with discordant peer relationships among adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 34, 10-18. 

Lukowski, A.F., Phung, J. N., & Milojevich, H. M. (2015). Language facilitates event memory in early childhood: child comprehension, adult-provided linguistic support and delayed recall at 16 months. Memory, 23(6), 848-863. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2014.931436

Phung, J. N., Milojevich, H. M., & Lukowski, A.F. (2014). Adult language use and infant comprehension of English: associations with encoding and generalization across cues at 20 months. Infant Behavior and Development, 37(4), 465-479. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2014.05.005


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Presentation Title: Using Virtual Observation Videos as a Learning Tool in Developmental Research Laboratory Courses

Authors: Janice N. Phung and Morgan C. Morrison

Please email me for Pedagogical Implementation Materials  

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Kayla DiLulloHi my name is Kayla DiLullo! I am a fourth year Psychology major at CSUSM. After I graduate, I hope to further my education in a graduate program. I know quite a few people who live with ASD, so I am eager to try to discover ways to make their lives easier. I dream about being able to help people enhance the quality of their physical and mental health in holistic ways in the future. For now, my free time includes beach trips and going to yoga! 


Jennie Kong - Hello! My name is Lakkana Jennie Kong! I go by Jennie! I recently graduated from CSUSM (Spring 2020) with a BA in Child & Adolescent Development. I have over 7 years of work experience with children across all ages. In the past, I spent 4 years working with adolescents at an after-school program. More recently, for the past 3 years I have worked as a preschool teacher part time. Over the years I have worked with many children with ASD, and have seen the challenges the family, friends, and child face. I am excited to be part of research that involves providing families and the community a beneficial way to better navigate Autism. At the moment, I am exploring my options and keeping an open mind to new ideas and any potential future graduate school plans. 


Evan Wiedele My name is Evan Weidele. I am a fourth year Psychology major at CSUSM. I am interested in the field of Psychology because I feel that it allows me to learn about people and ourselves as well as how we all interact with the world around us. Autism research is a spark in my eyes because I am interested in contributing to research which can help people with ASD and people who know others with ASD to be the best person they can be. My future goals are to go to graduate school and earn a Psy.D. to be a therapist. Another part of my goals is to be able to do non-profit work to help individuals who do have less time and/or resources to get the help they need. Being a part of the AFC lab is a privilege and I am excited to be a part of something bigger than myself.


Jacob Maga - Hello, my name is Jacob and I am excited to join Dr. Phung's research team at Cal State San Marcos! I am pursuing my Master's degree in Psychological Science and looking at Ph.D. programs for additional schooling options subsequently. I graduated in 2020 from Point Loma Nazarene with a B.A. in Psychology. I have used this schooling to lead research studies and begin my work in therapy. I have worked individually with kids with autism, and at a larger facility treating adults with a multitude of diagnoses. I found these experiences extremely rewarding, and the connections I have formed have shaped who I am and what I want to be. I also love sports, basketball in particular, which I have played from age 5 to college. I am ecstatic to explore physical activity as a way to promote cognitive growth in children with ASD. This research will give ASD families and caregivers more clarity concerning the activities which are most useful to the development of their children.

Prospective Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Interested Undergraduate Students (Dated: Spring, 2020): We are not currently accepting new applications for undergraduate research assistants. Please check back in Fall 2020.

Interested Graduate Students: Dr. Phung will be accepting M.A. students for Fall 2021. For more information, please visit the M.A. Program in Psychological Science webpage.