MFT Program Director
Ph.D., Purdue University
M.S., Purdue University
B.S., The Pennsylvania State University
- Faculty Affiliate, Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology
- Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Clinical Fellow, American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT)
- AAMFT Approved Supervisor
- Virginia Board of Counseling Approved Supervisor
My research focuses on grandfamilies, or families in which grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Grandparents raising grandchildren have been described as an at-risk population due to the stressors (e.g., financial, legal, parenting) associated with raising grandchildren and the well-documented negative physical and mental health outcomes they experience. I employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods to generate knowledge related to the impact of family dynamics on grandparent and grandchild well-being, the effectiveness of family-based interventions for grandfamilies, and contextual and intersectional influences on custodial grandparents and their grandchildren. I am also committed to translating my research findings to policy and practice.
My clinical expertise relates to couple therapy, children in therapy, and in applications of family therapy to aging families. As a supervisor, I support students in developing their skills related to case management, theory-driven interventions, and use of process (vs. content) to facilitate change. At the doctoral level, I regularly teach MFT Research Methods, Clinical Supervision of MFT, Traditional Models in MFT, and Practicum Supervision.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & O’Connell, L. M. (2021). Grandfamilies and the opioid epidemic: A systemic perspective and future priorities. Clinical Child and Family Psychology, 24(2), 207-223. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-021-00343-7
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2020). Interventions to support grandfamilies. In K. S. Wampler & L. M. McWey (Eds.), The handbook of systemic family therapy: Vol 2. Systemic family therapy with children and adolescents (pp. 479-501). Wiley.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Smith, G. C., & Hayslip, B. (2020). Reunification in custodial grandfamilies: An examination of resilient family processes. Family Relations, 70(1), 225-245. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12487
Muruthi, J. R., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & Jarrott, S. E. (2020). Social capital among Black South African grandmothers raising grandchildren. Journal of Applied Gerontology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0733464820966474
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2019). Grandparenthood. In B. H. Fiese (Ed.), APA handbook of contemporary family psychology (pp. 557-574). American Psychological Association.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Stucki, B. D., Natwick, J. E. (2019). Grandparenthood: Clinical issues and interventions. In B. Hayslip, Jr. & C. A. Fruhauf (Eds.), Grandparenting: Influences on the dynamics of family relationships (pp. 217-232). Springer.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & Yancura, L. A. (2019). Global perspectives on grandparenting: A conceptual metaframework. In B. Hayslip, Jr. & C. A. Fruhauf (Eds.), Grandparenting: Influences on the dynamics of family relationships (pp. 347-364). Springer.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. & Few-Demo, A. L. (2018). Grandfamilies in the United States: An intersectional analysis. In V. Timonen (Ed.), Grandparenting practices around the world (pp. 189-208). Policy Press.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & Yancura, L. A. (2018). International perspectives on grandparents raising grandchildren: Contextual considerations for advancing global discourse. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 86(3), 3-33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0091415016689565
Hayslip, B., Fruhauf, C. A., & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2017). Grandparents raising grandchildren: What have we learned over the past decade? The Gerontologist, 59(3), e152-e163. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx124