Assistant Professor, Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology
Prior to joining the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, Betty Lai was an assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and families from the University of Miami. She completed her clinical internship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Lai was a Next Generation of Hazard and Disasters Researchers Fellow, and a 2014 National Scholar for the Academy on Violence and Abuse.
Dr. Lai's research focuses on how children and families respond to disasters and other traumatic stressors. Her recent work has focused on children's mental health symptoms, physical health symptoms, and school functioning following large scale disasters (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Charley, bushfires in Australia). 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.
Dr. 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. She is an Early Career Research Fellow in the Gulf Research Program. Her work has been recognized with an Early Career Award from Division 56, the Trauma Division of the American Psychological Association, an Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families, and the Diane J. Willis Early Career Award from the American Psychological Foundation/Division 37. In 2017, Dr. Lai received the Excellence in Instruction Award for Outstanding Achievement in Instruction from the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
Self-Brown, S., Osborne, M., & Lai, B.S. (2017, November). How can technology assist in the delivery of evidence-based parenting interventions targeting at-risk fathers? Presented at the annual American Public Health Association Conference. Atlanta, Georgia.
Lai, B.S. (2017, May). Faculty Teaching and Learning Communities. Presented at the Georgia State University Conference on Scholarly Teaching. Atlanta, Georgia.
Lai, B.S. (2017, March). Advanced Statistical Methods Workshop: Mixture models. Presented at the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference. Portland, Oregon.
Lai, B.S. (2017, March). Tenure track positions. Invited talk for the Professional Development Seminar for doctoral students at Georgia State University. Atlanta, Georgia.
Lai, B.S. (2016, July). Vulnerability Across the Life Course. Presented at the 2016 Annual Natural Hazards and Disasters Workshop. Broomfield, Colorado.
Cowart-Osborne, M., Self-Brown, S., & Lai, B.S. (2016, June). Dad2K: An adaptation of SafeCare® for fathers of young children. Presented at the 24th Annual American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Colloquium. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Lai, B.S. (2016, April). Trauma and child health. Presented at the 2016 Annual Society of Pediatric Psychology conference. Atlanta, Georgia.
Hayat, M., Lai, B., Luo, R., Weaver, S., & Masyn, K. (2016, March). Guidelines for the Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE): Extending GAISE into Public Health Education. Conference on Scholarly Teaching at Georgia State University. Atlanta, Georgia.
Lai, B.S. (2016, March). Children and Disasters. Presented to the Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health. Georgia State University. Atlanta, Georgia.
Diane J. Willis Early Career Award from the American Psychological Foundation/Division 37 (2018)
Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families, American Psychological Association (2017)
Excellence in Instruction Award for Outstanding Achievement in Instruction, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Inaugural Award Winner (2017)
National Scholar, Academy on Violence and Abuse (2014)
Early Career Award for Ethnic Minority Psychologists, Division 56, American Psychological Association (2014)
Mary Fran Myers Scholarship for Disaster Research and Practice, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado at Boulder (2014)