Lucy McGoron


Lucy (Kathleen) McGoron, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor (Research) at the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute. She received a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of New Orleans in 2012. Her work primarily focuses on creating and evaluating programs for parents, particularly parents of young children (ages 2-5 years old). She is committed to finding practical ways to connect parents with research-information parenting strategies to promote positive development for young children and reduce parenting stress. Dr. McGoron is also interested in understanding variation in parenting practices, particularly within the context of adversity, and parents' mental health and well-being. Her work is informed by experiences working in child welfare, early childhood education, mental health services, and developmental psychopathology research. Using technology to deliver parenting content is a major focus of her developing program of work. Dr. McGoron's work is community-based and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in order to complete work that has applied value. 

Through funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. McGoron developed a technology-based program to detect and respond to disruptive behavior problems in early childhood. The program, called the Parenting Young Children Check-up, begins with parents completing a screener for disruptive behavior problems at a pediatric visit. If parents report elevated challenging behavior, they go through a brief tablet-based intervention to motivate use of a parent training website. Text messages further connect parents to the parent training website. Parents are able to then learn behavioral parenting strategies aimed at preventing and reducing disruptive behavior. Program creation was informed by parent participants and the needs of pediatric clinics. This program is currently being implemented and evaluated through funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. 


2012; Ph.D., Applied Developmental Psychology, University of New Orleans

2009; M.S., Applied Developmental Psychology, University of New Orleans

2006; B.S., Psychology, Eastern Michigan University 

Office Location

 71 E. Ferry Detroit, MI 48202


McGoron, L., O’Neal, T., Savastano, G.E., Roberts, K.L., Richardson, P.A., & Bocknek, E.L. (2022). Descriptive account of providing a tablet and text-based intervention to facilitate maternal-newborn bonding in low-income families during well-visits. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology.

McGoron, L., Wargo Aikins, J., Trentacosta, C., Gome, J., & Beeghly, M. (2021). School support, chaos, routines, and parents’ mental health during COVID-19 school closures. School Psychology.

Ratner, H.H., McGoron, L., Gray, K., Weathington, B., & Miller, A. (2021). Promoting sense of community in an early childhood education consortium. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

Bocknek, E.L., Lozada, F., Richardson, P., Brown, D., McGoron, L., & Rajagopalan, A. (2021). Paternal biopsychosocial resilience in triadic interactions among African American/Black families exposed to trauma and socioeconomic adversity. Developmental Psychobiology.

Fodor, M.C., Grekin, E.R., Beatty, J.R., McGoron, L., & Ondersma, S.J. (2020). Participant satisfaction with computer-delivered intervention components and its relation to alcohol outcomes. Substance Use & Misuse.

McGoron, L., Riley, M., R., & Scaramella, L.V. (2020). Cumulative socio-contextual risk and child abuse potential in parents of young children: Can social support buffer the impact? Journal of Child & Family Social Work.

Bocknek, E.L., Richardson, P., McGoron, L., Raveau, H., & Iruka, I. (2020). Adaptive parenting among low-income African American/Black mothers and toddlers’ regulation of distress. Child Development.

McGoron, L., Ratner, H.H., Knoff, K., Hvizdos, E., & Ondersma, S.J. (2019). Pragmatic internet intervention to promote positive parenting and school readiness in early childhood: Initial evidence of program use and satisfaction. JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, 2(2).

Grekin, E. R., Beatty, J. R., McGoron, L., Kugler, K. C., McClure, J. B., Pop, D. E., & Ondersma, S. J. (2019). Testing the efficacy of motivational strategies, empathic reflections, and lifelike features in a computerized intervention for alcohol use: A factorial trial. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 33(6), 511–519.

Richardson, P. A., Bocknek, E. L., McGoron, L., & Trentacosta, C. J. (2019). Fathering across contexts: The moderating role of respiratory sinus arrhythmia in predicting toddler emotion regulation. Developmental Psychobiology, 61(6), 903–919.

McGoron, L. Hohentanner, E., Bocknek, E.L, Montgomery, E. & Ondersma, S. J. (2018). Feasibility of internet-based parent training for low-income parents of young children. Children and Youth Services Review, 84, 198-205.

Fowles, T. R., Masse, J. J., McGoron, L., Beveridge, R. M., Williamson, A. A., Smith, M. A., & Parrish, B. P. (2018). Home-based vs Clinic-based parent–child interaction therapy: Comparative effectiveness in the context of dissemination and implementation. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27(4), 1115–1129.

Gray, J.G., Beatty, J.R., Svikis, D.S., Puder, K.S., Resnicow, K., Konkel, J., Rice, S.V., McGoron, L., & Ondermsa, S.J. (2017). Acceptability of electronic brief intervention and text messaging for marijuana use during pregnancy. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth;5(11):e172.

Ondersma, S.J., McGoron, L., & Beatty, J.R. (2017). An eco-developmental exploration of mediators between maltreatment in childhood and drug use during pregnancy. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 63(1), 135-154.

Ellis, J.D., Grekin, E.R., Ondersma S.J., Beatty, JR, McGoron, L., LaLiberte, B.V., Pop, D.E., & Kostecki, A.P. (2017). Effects of narrator empathy and participant personality on a computer delivered, brief intervention for alcohol use. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 61, 29-32.

Barry, T. D., Sturner, R. A., Seymour, K., Howard, B. H., McGoron, L., Bergmann, P., Kent, R., Sullivan, C., Tomeny, T. S., Pierce, J. S., Coln, K. L., Goodlad, J. K., & Werle, N. (2016). School-based screening to identify children at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Barriers and implications. Children’s Healthcare, 45(3), 241-265.

McGoron, L. & Ondersma, S.J. (2015). Pediatrician and parent-reported interested in technology-based positive parenting promotion. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3(4), 282-287.

McGoron, L. & Ondersma, S.J. (2015). Reviewing the need for technological and other expansions of evidence-based parent training for young children. Children and Youth Services Review, 59, 71-83.

Humphreys, K.L., McGoron, L., Sheridan, M.A., McLaughln, K.A., Fox, N.A., Nelson, C.A., & Zeanah, C.H. (2015). High quality foster care mitigates callous-unemotional traits following early deprivation: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(12), 977-983.

Beveridge, R.M., Fowles, T.R., Masse, J.J., McGoron, L., Smith, M.A., Parrish, B., Circo, G., Widdoes, N. (2015). Statewide dissemination and implementation of parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT): Application of theory. Children and Youth Services Review, 48, 38-48.

McGoron, L., Sturner, R., Howard, B., Barry, T., Seymour, K., Morrel, T., Tomney, T., Ellis, B., & Marks., D. (2014). Parents’ goals for ADHD care in a clinical pediatric sample. Clinical Pediatrics, 53(10), 949–959.

Riley, M. R., Scaramella, L. V., & McGoron, L. (2014). Disentangling the associations between contextual stress, sensitive parenting, and children's social development. Family Relations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 63(2), 287-299.

McGoron, L., Gleason, M. M., Smyke, A. T., Dury, S. S., Nelson, C. A., Fox, N. A., & Zeanah, C. H. (2012). Recovering from early deprivation: Attachment mediates effects of caregiving on psychopathology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(7), 683-693.

Barnett, M.A., Scaramella, L.V., McGoron, L. & Callahan, K.C. (2011). Co-parenting cooperation and child adjustment in low-income mother-grandmother and mother-father families. Family Science, 2(3), 159-170.

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