Katie McLaughlin

Katie McLaughlin

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Katie McLaughlin Photo

Katie McLaughlin is a clinical psychologist with interests in how environmental experience influences brain and behavioral development in children and adolescents. She has a joint Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology from Yale University. Her research examines how adverse environmental experiences shape emotional, cognitive, and neurobiological development throughout childhood and adolescence. Specifically, McLaughlin’s work seeks to understand how experiences of stress, trauma, and social disadvantage in childhood alter developmental processes in ways that increase risk for psychopathology. Her research uncovers specific developmental processes that are disrupted by adverse environmental experiences early in life and determines how those disruptions increase risk for mental health problems in children and adolescents. Understanding these mechanisms is critical for the development of interventions to prevent the onset of psychopathology in children who experience adversity. McLaughlin’s overarching goal is to contribute to greater understanding of the role of environmental experience in shaping children’s development, so as to inform the creation of interventions, practices, and policies to promote adaptive development in society’s most vulnerable members.
McLaughlin's research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute on Aging, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation, the Charles H. Hood Foundation, the Brain and Behavior Foundation, the One Mind Institute, and the Raikes Foundation. She has received early career 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.

Key publications:

McLaughlin, K.A., Green, J.G., Gruber, M.J., Sampson, N.A., Zaslavsky, A.M., Kessler, R.C. (2012). Childhood adversities and first onset of psychiatric disorders in a national sample of adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 1151-1160.

McLaughlin, K.A., Sheridan, M.A., & Lambert, H.K. (2014). Childhood adversity and neural development: Deprivation and threat as distinct dimensions of early experience. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 47, 578-591.

McLaughlin, K.A., Sheridan, M.A., Tibu, F., Fox, N.A., Zeanah, C.Z., & Nelson, C.A. (2015). Causal effects of the early caregiving environment on development of stress response systems in children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 5637-5642.

McLaughlin, K.A., Peverill, M., Gold, A.L., Alves, S., & Sheridan, M.A. (2015). Child maltreatment and neural systems underlying emotion regulation. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54, 753-762.

McLaughlin, K.A., Sheridan, M.A. (2016). Beyond cumulative risk: A dimensional approach to childhood adversity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 239-245.

Lambert, H.K., Sheridan, M.A., Sambrook, K., Rosen, M., Askren, M.K., McLaughlin, K.A. (2017). Hippocampal contribution to context encoding across development is disrupted following early-life adversity. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 1925-1934.

McLaughlin, K.A., Sheridan, M.A., & Nelson, C.A (2017).  Neglect as a violation of species-expectant experience: Neurodevelopmental consequences. Biological Psychiatry, 82, 462-471.

Rosen, M.L., Sheridan, M.A., Sambrook, K., Meltzoff, A.N., & McLaughlin, K.A. (2018).  Socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement: A multi-modal investigation of neural mechanisms in children and adolescents. Neuroimage, 173, 298-310.