I was born in North Carolina and studied English Literature at Duke University. After graduation, I discovered my passion for working with children and child advocacy while volunteering as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), which prompted me to obtain an M.A. in Developmental Psychopathology at the Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Following a year of work on a research project with mothers addicted to opioids and their children, I attended the University of Vermont, where I earned my Ph.D. in clinical psychology under Dr. Rex Forehand, who taught me Parent Management Training as a clinical tool and developed my interest and expertise in research on families impacted by Major Depressive Disorder. I then spent several years at the University of North Carolina as a postdoctoral fellow studying African American single mother families with Dr. Deborah Jones. I served on the faculty at Clark University in Worcester, MA, and at the University of Georgia, in Athens, before joining Georgia State University.
My research program has focused on (a) exploring parenting behaviors associated with youth well-being and psychopathology, and (b) testing prevention and intervention programs designed to increase youth well-being across a number of populations.