June 27, 2019

Erika Lawrence, Ph.D.

Erika Lawrence, Ph.D.

Director of Translational Science, The Family Institute

Northwestern University


Dr. Erika Lawrence is the Director of Translational Science at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and is a professor and licensed clinical psychologist. She received her B.A. in Psychology at Emory University, and conducted research under the direction of Professor K. Daniel O’Leary at SUNY Stony Brook. She went on to complete and her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at UCLA under the mentorship of Professors Thomas Bradbury and Andrew Christensen, and her clinical psychology internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital. Her past academic positions include tenure-track and tenured professorships at the University of Iowa and the University of Arizona, prior to joining The Family Institute. Her work has been funded by the DOJ, NIMH, NICHD and the CDC.

Title of Grant Funded:
Treating Adolescent-to-Parent Violence Among Boys with Mental Health Issues

Current Research Update: “Upcoming research based on IMHR-funded work: The Pima County Juvenile Court Center (where we conducted the IMHR-funded intervention research) invited us to apply for funds through them to continue offering this intervention to their adolescents. We are also in talks with administrators of juvenile detention in Cook County, IL (Chicago) and Ramsey County, MN to implement the intervention and replicate our findings so far. Assuming these collaborations move forward, we will submit a grant to fund a larger, multi-site clinical trial of the intervention through the Department of Justice, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, or the Centers for Disease Control (depending on their specific RFAs that year). Again, none of this research or the ability to apply for large federal grants would be an option if IMHR had not funded our feasibility and pilot studies.”

How IMHR Helped Facilitate This Work: “Professional success based on IMHR-funded work: IMHR’s funds to conduct our research afforded us the opportunity to achieve a unique level of professional success in terms of where we were able to publish our findings. We published one article based on our IMHR-funded work in American Psychologist, the official peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Psychological Association (APA) (Impact Factor of 4.856). We are preparing a second journal article based on the finding that adolescents who completed our 6-session intervention in detention demonstrated significantly fewer arrests or re-detainments in the year following release compared to adolescents receiving traditional care in detention at the same time. We will be sending this article to the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the top APA journal for the treatment and prevention of all areas of clinical psychology (Impact Factor 4.536). Finally, we published an article based on this work in Adolescent Research Review, a new journal that specifically targets clinical and researchers working with adolescents. Between these three publications (assuming the second one is accepted), we will reach an extremely broad audience across the country. We will also be presenting this work at several national professional conferences to reach multiple disciplines (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts which reaches lawyers, judges, mediators, psychologists, custody evaluators and court personnel), APA’s convention, and (pending acceptance) the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual convention. Thus, we have been able to achieve a level of professional visibility and success that would not have been achievable without IMHR’s support.”