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. Within the Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral Program, I regularly teach MFT Research Methods, Clinical Supervision of MFT, and Practicum Supervision.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (in press). 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. Wiley.
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. (2019). Grandparenthood. In B. H. Fiese (Ed.), APA handbook of contemporary family psychology (pp. 557-574). American Psychological Association.
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(1), 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(e), e152-e163. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx106
Dolbin-MacNab. M. L. (2016). An exploration of the health of adolescents raised by grandparents. In M. Harrington Meyer & Y. Abdul-Malak (Eds.), Grandparenting in the US (pp. 161-183). Baywood.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Jarrott, S. E., Moore, L. E., O’Hora, K. A., De Chavonnes Vrugt, M., & Erasmus, M. (2016). Dumela Mma: An examination of resilience among South African grandmothers raising grandchildren. Ageing and Society, 36(10), 2182-2212. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X15001014
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2015). Critical self-reflection questions for professionals who work with grandfamilies. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 2(1), 139-159. https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol2/iss1/6
Hayslip, B., Maiden, R. J., Page, K. S., & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2015). Grandparenting. In P. A. Lichtenberg & B. T. Mast (Eds.), APA handbook of clinical geropsychology (pp. 497-512). American Psychological Association.
O’Hora, K. A., & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2015). Practice recommendations for mental health professionals: Perspectives from grandparents and their adolescent grandchildren. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 2(1), 97-137. https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol2/iss1/5
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Parra-Cardona, J. R., & Gale, J. (2014). Mixed methods clinical research with couples and families. In R. B. Miller & L. N. Johnson (Eds.), Advanced methods in family therapy research: A focus on validity and change (pp. 266-281). Routledge.
Gale, J. & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2014). Qualitative research for family therapy. In R. B. Miller & L. N. Johnson (Eds.), Advanced methods in family therapy research: A focus on validity and change (pp. 247-265). Routledge.
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Roberto, K. A., & Finney, J. W. (2013). Formal social support: Promoting resilience in grandparents parenting grandchildren. In B. Hayslip Jr. & G. C. Smith (Eds.), Resilient grandparent caregivers: A strengths-based perspective (pp. 134-151). Routledge.
Smith, G. C., & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2013). The role of negative and positive caregiving appraisals in key outcomes for custodial grandmothers and grandchildren. In B. Hayslip Jr. & G. C. Smith (Eds.), Resilient grandparent caregivers: A strengths-based perspective (pp. 3 -24). Routledge.
Wittenborn, A. K., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & Keiley, M. K. (2013). Dyadic research in marriage and family therapy: Methodological considerations. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(1), 5-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0606.201.00306.x
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & Keiley, M. K. (2009). Navigating interdependence: How adolescents raised solely by grandparents experience their family relationships. Family Relations, 58(2), 162-175. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2008.00544
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Rodgers, B. E., & Traylor, R. M. (2009). Bridging the generations: A retrospective examination of adults’ relationships with their kinship caregivers. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 7(2-3), 159-176. https://doi.org/10.1080/15350770902851197
Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2006). Just like raising your own? Grandmothers’ perceptions of parenting a second time around. Family Relations, 55(5), 564-575. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2006.00426.x