RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Clinical Psychology, Psychiatric Epidemiology
Area(s) of Expertise:
Childhood Adversity, Stress and Psychopathology
Katie McLaughlin is a child clinical psychologist and psychiatric epidemiologist with interests in the effects of the childhood social environment on brain and behavioral development in children and adolescents. She has a joint Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. McLaughlin's research seeks to identify psychological and neurobiological mechanisms linking childhood experiences of trauma, violence, and social disadvantage to the onset of child and adolescent mental disorders. She has identified a variety of neurodevelopmental mechanisms that underlie the relationship between exposure to adverse environments in childhood and the subsequent onset of psychiatric disorders, including elevated emotional and physiological reactivity to stress, poor emotion regulation skills, and disruptions in structural and functional brain development. Dr. McLaughlin’s current research includes several projects examining the impact of child maltreatment on the development of physiological stress response systems and the development of brain systems involved in emotional reactivity and emotion regulation.Dr. McLaughlin is also involved in the development and evaluation of interventions aimed at preventing the onset of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. She is currently working with the Boston Public Schools to develop a stress-reduction intervention aimed at preventing the onset of anxiety and mood disorders in high school students.