About Me

I am an Associate Professor of Counseling & Educational Psychology in the School of Education with dual appointments in Counseling Psychology and Human Development. I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2004, after which I completed a NIAAA-funded postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric genetic epidemiology at Washington University School of Medicine, where I maintain an adjunct appointment in Psychiatry.

My research interests include family formation and dissolution risks associated with substance use and substance use disorder (SU/D), with a focus on alcohol and alcoholism. Working from an intergenerational life course perspective, I examine how SU/D impacts timing and stability of reproductive (parenting) relationships. I also study risks for related outcomes in children (e.g., initiation of substance use, onset of sexual behavior and reproduction). Student projects under my mentorship include studies of: timing of first drink and of first sex and childbirth; childhood weight status and ages at first substance use and first sex; offspring outcomes associated with parental divorce or death and predictors of parental remarriage.

Note: I am currently accepting doctoral students in Counseling Psychology and Human Development. Students who are interested in research, and whose research interests align with mine, are encouraged to apply. In deciding whether the Counseling program is a good fit, students should consider the strengths of the program in light of their graduate training goals.