Katie McLaughlin

Harvard University

Assistant Professor and the Director of the Stress and Development Lab


Dr. McLaughlin is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Her AIM-funded research assesses how stress, trauma, and social disadvantage may increase the risk for adolescent psychopathology.

Dr. Katie McLaughlin is an Associate Professor of Psychology and a researcher in the Stress and Development Lab at Harvard University.

Dr. McLaughlin’s AIM-funded research examines how adverse environmental experiences shape emotional, cognitive, and neurobiological development throughout childhood and adolescence. Specifically, her work seeks to understand how experiences of stress, trauma, and social disadvantage alter developmental processes in ways that increase the risk for mental health problems.

The project uses novel methods to study these pathways, including longitudinal MRI scans and information about emotions, physical activity, and social behavior gathered from mobile phones and wearable devices.

To date, the study has made tremendous progress toward these goals. Click here to read an update about Dr. McLaughlin’s research.

Dr. McLaughlin’s overarching goal is to contribute to greater understanding of the role of environmental experience in shaping children’s development, to inform the creation of interventions, practices, and policies to promote adaptive development in society’s most vulnerable members.

Dr. McLaughlin has received many early career awards, including the Rising Star Research Award from AIM for Mental Health, as well as awards from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Jacobs Foundation as well as the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association.

Education and Training


University of Virginia (2002)


Pennsylvania State University – Department of Psychology (2004)

MPhil + PhDs

Yale University, Department of Psychology and Department of Epidemiology & Public Health (2006)

Research Fellowship

Harvard School of Public Health

Postdoctoral + Clinical Fellowship

Harvard Medical School

“AIM is focused on youth because most of these mental health problems have their origins in childhood and adolescence. The vast majority of people who experience anxiety, depression, and problems with substance use first exhibited symptoms of a mental health problem in childhood. Given that mental health problems are often chronic and are associated with substantial individual and societal burden, these sobering figures highlight the critical need for research on the origins, prevention, and treatment of mental health problems in children and adolescents. Greater investment in clinical research on youth mental health is an urgent priority”

Katie McLaughlinHarvard