Betty Lai is an Associate Professor in Counseling Psychology at Boston College. Lai’s research focuses on the impacts of the climate crisis and disasters on children. Her work has examined children's mental health symptoms, physical health symptoms, and school functioning following large-scale disasters (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Charley). Her work also examines how advanced statistical modeling strategies may be applied to better understand how to minimize the effects of disasters on children’s functioning. Lai is dedicated to training the next generation of scholars. Lai’s book, The Grant Writing Guide: A Road Map for Scholars (Princeton University Press), includes strategies and insights gleaned from her interviews of scores of grant writing experts.
Lai's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Lai was a Fellow in the Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Researchers Program, a National Scholar for the Academy on Violence and Abuse, and an Early Career Research Fellow in the Gulf Research Program. Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Psychological Foundation.