Dr. Margaret Caughy

Dr. Margaret Caughy’s research combines the unique perspectives of developmental science, epidemiology, and public health in studying the contexts of risk and resilience affecting young children. She is particularly interested in race/ethnic disparities in health and development and how these disparities can be understood within the unique ecological niches of ethnic minority families.

Dr. Caughy has been the principal investigator of several studies focused on how inequities in family and community processes affect the cognitive development, socioemotional functioning, and early academic achievement of young children in diverse race/ethnic groups. Another theme of her research has been methodological, specifically methods related to measuring neighborhood context and the utilization of these measures in models explaining child developmental competence using multilevel and structural equations modeling methods.

Please find Dr. Caughy's Curriculum Vitae here

Meet our Postdoctoral Research Associate -


Dr. Dawn Brinkley

Dr. Brinkley earned her MA and PhD in Psychological Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas where she served as a Senior Lecturer from 2014 – 2018. Dr. Brinkley’s teaching philosophy is student centered and efficacy focused. Her general research interests include the development of children’s academic skills and parental academic beliefs, such as beliefs in children’s self-efficacy and child preparedness for academic success, particularly among African American families. Other interests include parenting practices and child outcomes such as the role of mobile technology use in adolescents’ social and emotional development.

Her recent work centers on research that enhances the understanding of positive parenting practices and associated child outcomes, particularly among fathers of at-risk and low-income students with the intent of informing policy and intervention efforts aimed at reducing academic achievement disparities between low-income African American children and their majority peers.

Meet our Graduate and Undergraduate Students -  


Ashley Walsdorf

Ashley Walsdorf is a doctoral candidate in Human Development and Family Science and Marriage and Family Therapy. Her research focuses on the influence of socio-political climate, documentation status, and acculturative stress on Latino, immigrant children and families. She is a bilingual family therapist committed to addressing disparity within local immigrant communities through community work and advocacy.


Kimberly Osborne

Kimberly is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. She received her M.S. in Human Development and Family Science here at UGA, as part of the accelerated post-bachelor's program. Central to her academic interests are diversity and social justice issues. Her research currently focuses on how ethnic minority parents adapt their socialization strategies to promote resilience among youth in the face of changing and volatile sociopolitical factors.

Leslie Anderson.jpg

Leslie Anderson

Leslie A. Anderson is a doctoral candidate in the department of Human Development and Family Science and Marriage and Family Therapy. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Tougaloo College and her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her current research interests include ethnic-racial socialization processes in African American families and positive racial identity formation in children of this population. Her research is influenced by critical race theory, a firm commitment to social justice and racial empowerment.

Daisy Headshot.jpg

Daisy Gallegos

Daisy Gallegos received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia. Her previous research experience includes working with the Youth Development Institute. She is currently interested in researching the development of youth in Latino populations and the variations between different Latino communities. She is currently the Project Manager of the DADS project and plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Child Life Specialty.

LaRen Morton HDFS.jpg

LaRen Morton

LaRen is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Family Science. Her current research interests are broadly centered around minority children’s educational outcomes. She is specifically interested in researching how promotive factors within a child’s home can impact children’s academic success and be used to reduce disparities in school readiness.

Katie Suma HDFS.jpg

Katherine Suma

Katie Suma is a first year doctoral student in Human Development and Family Science. She holds a M.S. degree in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University and a B.S. in Child Development from Florida State University. She has been involved in numerous projects throughout her research career including adult and child literacy, communication development, joint engagement in typically developing and at risk toddlers, genetic expressions related to joint engagement, joint attention skills, community screening and evaluation of autism, access to intervention post early-diagnosis, and systematic observational ratings of dyadic interactions. Her current research interests involve furthering the use of systematic observational tools on diverse cultures.

SDCD Graduate Alumni - Where are they now?


Dr. Yolanda Machado

Dr. Machado is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at The University of North Florida.

Sihong Liu Photo new.jpg

Sihong Liu

Sihong is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. She is the 2019 UGA Dissertation Completion Award recipient.


Dr. Victoria King

Dr. King is the Project Coordinator for Protecting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) at the Center for Family Research in Athens, Georgia.


Chandler Townsend

Chandler is a practicing Child Life Specialist working at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.

SDCD Undergraduate Alumni