Maggie Kerr headshot

Margaret Kerr

Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Studies Department and Major
Office 4109
818-890-4654
If we value our children, we must cherish their parents.
–John Bowlby

My work focuses on examining emotional experiences in the context of parenthood. More specifically, I explore factors that influence how adults perceive and experience parenting, including attachment, relationship quality, and socioeconomic status. I am particularly interested in understanding in-the-moment emotional experiences of parents and the impact those experiences have on children. I also work on brief interventions, such as relational savoring, that support parents’ well-being by helping them to identify and relish moments of positive connection with their children. My ultimate goal is to promote family resiliency through developing and implementing parent-focused interventions that improve parents’ experiences and parent-child relationships.

Download CV button

Education

PhD, Positive Developmental Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
MA, Positive Developmental Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
BS, Psychology, Michigan State University

Social Media

Twitter: @DrMaggieKerr

Affiliations

State Specialist in Vulnerable and Underserved Children, UW Division of Extension Institute of Human Development & Relationships
Affiliate, Institute for Research on Poverty
Affiliate, UW Center for Child & Family Well-Being

(For a full list of publications, see Dr. Kerr’s CV. Below are selected highlights.)

Kerr, M. L., Rasmussen, H. F., Smiley, P. A., Fanning, K. A.*, Buttitta, K. V., Benson, L. & Borelli, J. L. (in press). Within- and between-family differences in mothers’ guilt and shame: Caregiving, coparenting, and attachment. Journal of Family Psychology.

Kerr, M. L., Rasmussen, H. F., Borelli, J. L., Buttitta, K. V., & Smiley, P. A. (2020). Exploring the complexity of mothers’ real-time emotions while caregiving. Emotion. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000719

Kerr, M. L., Buttitta, K. V., Smiley, P. A., Rasmussen, H. F., & Borelli, J. L. (2019). Mothers’ real-time emotion as a function of attachment and proximity to their children.  Journal of Family Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000515

  • Attachment and Relationships Across the Lifespan (HDFS 818)
  • Family Theory (HDFS 865)