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Marriage & Family Therapy PhD Program
 
 
 
 
 
megan
 
 
 Megan Dolbin-MacNab
  click photo for vita
 
 
 
 
 
Bio
Megan grew up on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania, where her grandmother helped care for her, and inspired her interest in grandparent-headed families.  Megan earned her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State, and went on to earn her master’s and doctorate in the MFT program at Purdue University.  While finishing her PhD, Megan worked as a full-time clinician at The Cabin: Counseling and Resource Center outside Indianapolis, and also worked with several reproductive medicine practices to provide therapy to clients coping with infertility.  In 2004, Megan joined the Virginia Tech MFT program, serving as the Internship Coordinator for 8 years.  She won tenure in 2011 and currently serves as our Clinical Training Director.  She has been recognized with the 2009-2010 College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Excellence in Graduate Student Advising Award, along with the 2007-2008 College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Certificate of Teaching Excellence.  She also co-authored the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy Best Article of 2013.  Megan and her husband live in Blacksburg with their two children.

 
 
Research Interests
Megan’s research focuses on families in which grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Using mixed methods and dyadic approaches to data collection, Megan has examined how factors within the family environment such as parenting stress, parental involvement, and caregiver coping, along with external issues like financial resources and social support influence the experiences and well-being of grandchildren and their custodial grandparents. She has also studied the delivery of effective community-based services for grandparent-headed families.  In one of her recent studies, a multi-year project funded by the Virginia Department of Health, she examined the delivery of the Virginia Women's, Infants, and Children program to young children being raised by grandparents. The results of this study have resulted in changes to make that program more accessible to grandparent-headed families.  Megan has also expanded her work to study coping and barriers to service utilization among South African grandmothers raising grandchildren.  Currently, Megan is engaged in research examining parenting practices within custodial grandfamilies, as well as a number of other projects.  
 
egan and grnadmothers in south africa
  Megan in Mafikeng, South Africa
 
 
 

Publications and Grants
Megan has obtained over $300,000 in funding for her research, and has authored or co-authored over 40 articles, book chapters, and other professional publications.

Student Research Teams
Megan has led research teams on a variety of topics including systemic approaches to therapy with families who are caring for a family member with dementia, relationship education for at-risk couples, the use of undergraduate internship programs as a means for introducing students to the field of MFT, and several projects related to grandparent-headed families.

Clinical Work
Megan has been a licensed family therapist since 2005, and an Approved Supervisor since 2008.  She has clinical experience with a range of issues and has worked in a community agency with individuals, couples, and families.  In her work, mentioned above, with a reproductive medicine practice she provided services around issues related to infertility such as pregnancy loss, in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption, surrogacy, and adoption.  Additionally, Megan also provided assessments and consultations for egg donors and known gamete donors and the intended parents.  As a supervisor, Megan has worked with many students who have gone on to prestigious internships and successful practices.

Mentoring
Students are frequently involved with Megan’s research and assist with study conceptualization and design, recruitment and data collection, and data analysis.  Her students are regular coauthors on her  publications and presentations, and are lead authors on their own publications and presentations as well.  Her advisees have also been successful in obtaining grants and scholarships to support their dissertation research.  

In addition to providing research training, Megan is also involved in training graduate students to teach at the college level. She provides intensive mentoring related to course and assignment development, course management, assessment, and classroom pedagogy.  She has experience mentoring students to teach both traditional and online classes.  Her protégés have opportunities to teach independently while at Virginia Tech, and have received excellent teaching evaluations.

Megan also has a number of publications on research methods, particularly with regard to mixed method and dyadic approaches – expertise that she brings to student research projects.

Other Professional Activities
Megan is serving as the Reviews Editor for JMFT, and is on the editorial boards ofJMFT, Family Relations, and Grandfamilies.  She serves on a number of regional and state boards related to the grandparent-headed families, and has assisted several community groups in developing and delivering services for custodial grandparents and their grandchildren.  Megan is also the Southwest Region Vice President for the Virginia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Recent Publications
Dolbin-MacNab. M. L. (in press). An exploration of the health of adolescents raised by grandparents. In M. Harrington Meyer &
      Y. Abdul-Malak (Eds.), Grandparenting in the US. Amityville, NY: Baywood.

Dolbin-MacNab, M.L., & Hayslip, B. (in press). Grandparent raising grandchildren. In J. A. Arditti (Ed.), Family problems: Stress,
     risk, and resilience.
New York, NY: Wiley.

Hayslip, B., Maiden, R. J., & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (in press). Relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren: An
      Applied Dyadic Perspective. In B. Kirkcaldy (Ed.), Promoting psychological wellbeing in children and families. London:
      Macmillan Palgrave.

Hayslip, B., Maiden, R. J., Page, K. S., & Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (in press). Grandparenting. In P. A. Lichtenberg & B. T. Mast
      (Eds.), APA handbook of clinical geropsychology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

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). New
     York, NY: 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). New York, NY: 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). New York: 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). New York: 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, 5-16.
 
 
Megan working with 2009 graduate Brandon Rodgers 
 
 
 
megan and brandon