Dr. Laura McKee

Dr. McKee was born in North Carolina and studied English Literature at Duke. After graduation, she spent time in Atlanta working in a design firm and as the literary program coordinator for the Margaret Mitchell House. While volunteering as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), she discovered her passion for working with children and child advocacy, which prompted her to obtain her M.A. in Developmental Psychopathology at the Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Following a year of work on a research project with children and their mothers who were addicted to opioids, Dr. McKee attended the University of Vermont, where she worked under Dr. Rex Forehand both to learn Parent Management Training as a clinical tool and to develop her interest and expertise in research on families impacted by Major Depressive Disorder. Dr. McKee then spent several years at the University of North Carolina as a postdoctoral fellow studying African American single mother families with Dr. Deborah Jones. Dr. McKee was on the faculty at Clark University in Worcester, MA, and at the University of Georgia, in Athens, before joining Georgia State.

Dr. McKee is interested in how internalizing psychopathology (e.g., depression and anxiety) develops in at-risk children and adolescents. She has focused on the impact of parenting style and behaviors on the development of depression among African American youth from single mother headed families, youth with chronically ill mothers, and children of depressed caregivers. In addition, she is also committed to the translation of basic research findings into intervention and prevention programs and the dissemination of information to parents, teachers, community agencies, health care providers and policy makers. She has contributed to several family-based preventive interventions, including a prevention trial for children of depressed parents and an obesity-prevention program. More recent work includes developing and testing an intervention funded by the John Templeton Foundation that utilized research in Cognitive Bias Modification and Positive Psychology to enhance well-being among college students. Dr. McKee also recently tested a similar gratitude-based intervention funded by the Character Lab, Inc., in collaboration with a local high school. Professor McKee’s clinical interests range from working with parents and youth using traditional behavioral parent training programs to more recent mindfulness and emotion-focused approaches.

Things I Like: Fred Rogers, Popcorn, Flavia de Luce, the call of the red-winged blackbird, the Massachusetts farm coast.

Things I Dislike: Mint chocolate anything, ticks, horror flicks, mean-spiritedness.