Megan Dolbin-MacNab


Megan Dolbin-MacNab

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

Phone:  540-231-6807
Office:  840 University City Blvd, Suite 1
Blacksburg, VA 24060

» Curriculum Vitae
» Google Scholar Profile

» Testimony, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging

About Megan:

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.

Selected Publications:

Blake, A. J., Infurna, F. J., Castro, S. A., Webster, B. A., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Smith, G. C., Crowley, D. M., & Musil, C. M. (2023). Intergenerational patterns of attachment in custodial grandfamilies. Journal of Family Psychology, 37(8), 1148-1158

Smith, G. C., Infurna, F. J., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Webster, B. A., Castro, S. A., Crowley, D. M., Musil, C. M., Hu, L., & Hancock, G. R. (2023). A randomized clinical trial of online social intelligence training with custodial grandmothers. The Gerontologist.

Infurna, F. J., Castro, S. A., Webster, B. A., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Smith, G. C., Crowley, D. M., & Musil, C. M. (2023). The dynamics of daily life in custodial grandmothers. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 78(3), 456-468

Smith, G. C., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Infurna, F., Webster, B., Musil, C., Castro, S., & Crowley, D. M. (2022). Self-reported adverse childhood experiences among custodial grandmothers: Prevalence, patterns, and correlates. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development.

Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Jeanblanc, A. B., Musil, C. M., Infurna, F. J., & Smith, G. C. (2022). Supporting grandchildren’s remote instruction during COVID-19: Experiences of custodial grandmothers. Psychology in the Schools.

Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Smith, G. C., & Hayslip, B. (2022). The role of social services in reunified custodial grandfamilies. Children and Youth Services Review, 132, 106339.

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.

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

Muruthi, J. R., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., & Jarrott, S. E. (2020). Social capital among Black South African grandmothers raising grandchildren. Journal of Applied Gerontology.