Dr. Dougherty received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University. Dr. Dougherty is the Director of Clinical Training and the Director of the Child Stress and Emotions Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Dougherty’s research interests lie broadly in the examination of the etiology and course of depression from a developmental, life-span perspective. Within this domain, her research focuses on four areas: (1) an examination of the developmental origins of risk for depression, with a particular focus on neuroendocrine functioning, individual differences in affect and temperament/personality, and the early caregiving environment; (2) understanding the phenomenology of depression and mood dysregulation in preschoolers and establishing empirically-based assessment approaches for affective disorders in very young children; (3) understanding the etiology, phenomenology, course, associated characteristics and neurobiological basis of irritability in youth; and (4) investigating the effects of early experience and stress on brain development. 


Dr. Dougherty will not be recruiting a doctoral clinical student for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Areas of Interest

  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Developmental psychoneuroendocrinology
  • Early experience and brain development
  • Preschool Mental Health
  • Assessment
  • Mood dysregulation and risk for psychopathology

Doctoral Programs

  • Clinical


  • PhD
    PhD in Clinical Psychology, Stony Brook University

Current Students

Former Students

  • Student Name
    Marissa (Tolep) Kushner, Ph.D.
    Current Position
    Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice
  • Student Name
    Victoria C. Smith, Ph.D.
    Current Position
    Health Program Specialist, National Institute of Neurological Disorders
  • Student Name
    Sarah Blankenship, Ph.D.
    Current Position
    Policy Fellowship, AAAS and Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
  • Student Name
    Stephanie Merwin, Ph.D.
    Current Position
    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Children's National Medical Center
Lea R. Dougherty
3123D Biology Psychology Building (BPS)
Department of Psychology
ldougher [at] umd.edu
Office Hours
By Appointment