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. Her research is in the field of developmental psychopathology and broadly examines the phenomenology, etiology and course of depression from a developmental, lifespan perspective. She has three primary lines of research: (1) the phenomenology, etiology, pathophysiology, course, and measurement of youth irritability and mood dysregulation; (2) the role of early life stress and the body’s stress physiology in child neurodevelopment and risk for psychopathology, and (3) preschool mental health. Her research employs prospective longitudinal designs and a diverse range of methods to assess multiple levels of analysis to understand child psychopathology and functioning, including developmental neuroimaging, physiological markers of the body’s stress response system (salivary and hair cortisol), immune system function (C-reactive protein, CRP), behavioral observations, and cognitive assessments. Moreover, across these primary research domains, her research strives to understand children’s mental health within the context of the environment, including the parent-child relationship, family stress, and socioeconomic adversity.

Dr. Dougherty hopes to recruit a doctoral clinical student for the 2020-2021 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