Betty Lai

Buehler Sesquicentennial Assistant Professor, Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology


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 FoundationNational 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. Dr. Lai was a Next Generation of Hazard and Disasters Researchers Fellow, and a 2014 National Scholar for the Academy on Violence and Abuse.