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University of Central Oklahoma


Alicia Limke-McLean, Ph.D., earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Southern Nazarene University in 2000 and her Master of Science in psychology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, in 2002. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (with a focus in Social-Personality Psychology) from the University of Oklahoma in 2005 (at the age of 26) under the direction of Dr. Carolin Showers. She recently returned to the student side of the classroom and completed a Master of Legal Studies from Arizona State in 2022 with certificate areas in Criminal Law and Conflict Resolution. 

Limke-McLean began her professional career as a Research Assistant/Statistical Research Specialist at the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Resource Center (OCJRC) where she worked from 1998 to 2002. During that time, she also served as an Interviewer/Assistant Site Coordinator for the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) project through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) from 2000 to 2002. From 2005 to 2007, Limke-McLean worked as an Associate Director in Special Education Services for the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE-SES). She left the OSDE-SES to pursue a full-time career in higher education in 2007.

Limke-McLean served as the director of research in the graduate programs in counseling at Southern Nazarene University from 2003 to 2014 and as an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling there from 2012 to 2014. In 2014, she returned as an associate professor to the University of Central Oklahoma (where she was an assistant professor from 2007 to 2012) and was promoted to professor in 2019. Since beginning her full-time career in academia, Limke-McLean has chaired dozens of thesis committees; sponsored numerous grants and research projects; published (on average) a manuscript each year; presented hundreds of projects at national, regional, and state conferences; and taught 12 to 18 hours each semester.


Classes Taught

Undergraduate Courses - General Psychology; Careers and Writing in Psychology; Writing for Psychology; Introduction to Personality; Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Advanced Statistics: SPSS (a.k.a. Computer-Packaged Statistics); Principles of Behavior and Conditioning; Biological Psychology; Psychology and Law; Behavior Forensics; Intimate Relationships (a.k.a. Close Relationships); Motivation and Emotion; Psychological Measurement; Psychology of Religion; Psychology in Film; and Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Graduate Courses - Statistics; Research Methods I; Research Methods II; Experimental Design; Psychology and Law; Behavior Forensics; Modern Learning Theories; Intimate Relationships; Psychology of Religion; Psychology in Film; Advanced Social Psychology; Theories of Personality




In general, Dr. Limke-McLean is interested in the crossroads of where intrapersonal and interpersonal processes meet. More specifically, she examines relationships (e.g., between adult children and their parents, romantic partners, adults and God, law enforcement and their loved ones, etc.), typically using an attachment framework. Although her work started in the area of the self-concept and relationships, current projects focus on the application of social psychology to religion (e.g., attachment to God) and to the legal field (e.g., perceptions of law enforcement).



Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

*Students’ names in boldface

Russell, T. D., & Limke-McLean, A. (in press). You can’t pick your family: Parental differential treatment and attachment. Journal of Scientific Psychology.

Schrantz, K. N., Nesmith, B. L., Limke-McLean, A., & Vanhoy, M. (2021). I’ll confess to be included: Social exclusion predicts likelihood of false confession. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

Limke-McLean, A. (2019). Writing as a research/academic psychologist. In J. M. Naylor-Tincknell & C. Patrick (eds.), Critical thinking and writing in psychology (pp. 7-12). Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

Durham, J. & Limke-McLean, A. (2019). Evaluative organization. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences. Springer International Publishing AG.

Schrantz, K. N., & Limke-McLean, A. (2019). Reflection (therapeutic behavior). In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences. Springer International Publishing AG.

Limke-McLean, A. (2018). The cost of war: Attachment and MMO gamers’ online and offline relationships. Journal of Relationships Research, 9, 1-9.

Limke-McLean, A. (2018). The cost of war: Attachment and MMO gamers’ online and offline relationships. Journal of Relationships Research, 9, 1-9.

Murunga, M. S., Limke, A., & Wright, R. W. (2017). Who’s your daddy? Family structure differences in attachment to God. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 45, 205-217.

Limke-McLean, A., Mayfield, P. B., & Presley, J. C. (2017). Roles, affective states, and the good/bad me: Self-aspect descriptions and the malleability of evaluative organization of self-knowledge. Journal of Scientific Psychology, 25-35.

Limke-McLean, A. (2017). Limke, Alicia. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences. Springer International Publishing AG.

Secor, S. P., Limke-McLean, A., & Wright, R. W. (2017). Whose support matters? Support of friends (but not family) may predict affect and well-being of adults faced with negative life events. Journal of Relationships Research, 8, 1-10.

Myers, T., Limke-McLean, A., & Jones, P. C. (2016). I’m secure but you’re not: Implications of attachment matches for conflict resolution and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Scientific Psychology, 39-48.

Squire, A. J., Limke, A., & Jones, P. C. (2013). Unequal treatment by mothers and fathers matters differently for daughters and sons. Marriage and Family Review, 49, 135-147.

Limke, A., & Mayfield, P. B. (2011). Attachment to God: Differentiating the contributions of fathers and mothers using the Experiences in Parental Relationships scale. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 39, 122-129.

Limke, A., Holloway, H., & Knight, M. (2011). To write is right: Implementation and evaluation of Writing for Psychology course. Journal of Scientific Psychology, 6-10.

Limke, A., & Showers, C. J. (2010). Organization of parent knowledge: Compartmentalization and integration in adult child-parent relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1225-1240.

Hart, J. T., Limke, A., & Budd, P. R. (2010). Attachment and faith development. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 38, 122-128.

Limke, A., Showers, C. J., & Zeigler-Hill, V.  (2010). Emotional and sexual maltreatment: Attachment mediates psychological adjustment. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29, 347-367.

Lowell, S., & Limke, A. (2009). Adult romantic attachment and types of perfectionism. Journal of Scientific Psychology, 18-23.

McDole, M., & Limke, A. (2008). Extended family social support: Making a difference in the attachment styles of adult children of divorce. Journal of Scientific Psychology, 17-24.

Showers, C. J., & Limke, A. (2006). Organization of partner knowledge: Implications for liking, loving, longevity, and change. In K. D. Vohs & E. J. Finkel (Eds.), Self and relationships: Connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal processes (pp. 177-192). Guilford Press.

Showers, C. J., Zeigler-Hill, V., & Limke, A. (2006). Self-structure and childhood maltreatment: Successful compartmentalization and the struggle of integration. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25, 473-507.

Showers, C. J., Limke, A., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2004). Self-structure and self-change: Applications to psychological treatment. Behavior Therapy, 35, 167-184.


Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Limke-McLean's primary goal as an instructor is to encourage enough interest in a topic that her students want to continue learning about the material beyond course requirements by making the material relevant to their lives. She includes examples from popular media (using the technology available in the classroom, including the desktop computer, DVD player, projector, and SMARTBoard) and her own personal experiences, enhancing discussions with Ted Talks, when appropriate. Her courses establish the foundation for students’ understanding of specific research, generating ongoing interest/discussion.

Her second goal in teaching is to encourage students to develop/apply critical thinking skills. She believes that students have the potential to evaluate existing knowledge and discover new knowledge. To promote critical thinking, she discusses the strengths/weaknesses of each theory and provide related research findings. She includes in-class activities that allow students to practice scientific writing and other skills. Her hope is that students understand the scientific basis of psychology and show interest in asking questions.

Finally, Dr. Limke-McLean believes that it is an important responsibility of the instructor to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. When this occurs, students are comfortable asking questions, proposing ideas, and critically evaluating information. She fosters respect through her extensive preparation for each class period (which requires continuous revision/modification of course materials and assignments, evidencing my willingness to stay current in the field) and her ability to foster an environment of safe self-disclosure.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Limke-McLean takes great pleasure in conducting research and supervising research assistants. She fully believes that the best way to teach is to do (which is the basic principle of transformative learning); thus, her students learn how to do research by engaging in the process—literature searches, project design, data collection, data analysis, and manuscript writing. She experiences incredible success in promoting students’ own research interests, which they demonstrate by their desire to publish  and to present at conferences.

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.