Gwendolyn M. Lawson, PhD

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Gwendolyn M. Lawson, PhD, is a psychologist with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Disruptive behavior disorders
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

Education and Training


Clinical Psychology, School Mental Health Track - VA Maryland Health Care System/University of Maryland School of Medicine Psychology Internship Consortium, MD


T32 Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Pennsylvania, Center for Mental Health, Philadelphia, PA

Graduate Degree

PhD in Clinical Psychology - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
MA in Clinical Psychology - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Titles and Academic Titles


Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Departments and Services

Research Interests

Dr. Lawson's research program aims to increase the quality of services youth with or at-risk for mental health problems receive in schools, particularly within under-served communities.  Her current research focuses on developing and testing implementation strategies to promote teacher use of behavioral classroom interventions for students with symptoms of ADHD.




Cascio, C.N., Lauharatanahirun, N., Lawson, G.M., Farah, M. J., & Falk, E. B. (2022). Parental education is associated with differential engagement of neural pathways during inhibitory control. Scientific Reports, 12, 260.


Connors, E., Lawson, G., Wheatley-Rowe, D., & Hoover, S. (2021). Exploration, preparation and implementation of standardized assessment in a multi-agency school behavioral health network. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 48(3). 464-481.


Pellecchia, M., Beidas, R. S., Lawson, G., Williams, N., Seidman, M., Cannuscio, C.C., Kimberly, J. R., & Mandell, D. S. (2020). Does implementing a new intervention disrupt use of existing evidence-based Autism interventions? Autism. 24(7). 1713-1725. 

Lawson, G. M., Moore, T., Okamura, K., Becker-Haimes, E.M., & Beidas, R. (2020). Knowledge of Evidence-Based Services Questionnaire: Development and validation of a short form. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 47. 581-596.


Lawson, G. M., McKenzie, M. E., Becker, K. D., Selby, L., & Hoover, S. (2019). The core components of evidence-based social emotional learning programs. Prevention Science, 20(4). 457-467.

Nuske, H. J., Pellecchia, M., Lushin, V., Rump, K., Seidman, M., Ouellette, R. R., Cooney, D., Maddox, B., Lawson, G. M., Song, A., Reisinger, E. M., & Mandell, D. S. (2019). Do student characteristics affect teachers’ decisions to use 1:1 instruction? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(7). 2864-2872.

Locke, J., Lawson, G. M., Beidas, R. S., Aarons, G. A., Xie, M., Lyon, A. R., … Mandell, D. S. (2019). Individual and organizational factors that affect implementation of evidence-based practices for children with autism in public schools: a cross-sectional observational study. Implementation Science, 14(1), 29. doi:10.1186/s13012-019-0877-3


Last, B., Lawson, G.M., Breiner, K., Steinberg, L., & Farah, M. (2018). Childhood socioeconomic status and executive function in childhood and beyond. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202964.


Lawson, G. M., Nissley-Tsiopinis, J., Nahmias, A., McConaughy, S. H., & Eiraldi, R. (2017). Do parent and teacher report of ADHD symptoms in children differ by SES and racial status? Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 39(3), 426–440.

Lawson, GM., Camins JS., Wisse L., Wu J, Duda JT, et al. (2017) Childhood socioeconomic status and childhood maltreatment: Distinct associations with brain structure. PLOS ONE 12(4): e0175690.

Lawson, G. M., Hook, C. J., & Farah, M. J. (2017). A meta-analysis of the relationship between socioeconomic status and executive function performance among children. Developmental Science.

Lawson, G. M., & Farah, M. J. (2017). Executive function as a mediator between SES and academic achievement throughout childhood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41(1), 94–104.


Avants, B., Betancourt, L., Giannetta, J., Lawson, G., Gee, J., Farah, M., & Hurt, H. (2015). Relation of childhood home environment to cortical thickness in late adolescence: Specificity of experience and timing. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0138217. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138217


Lawson, G.M., Duda, J.T., Avants, B.B., Wu, J., & Farah, M.J. (2013). Associations between socioeconomic status and cortical thickness in prefrontal subregions. Developmental Science.     16(5), 641-652.

Posters and Presentations


Lawson, G. Rufe, S., Tavlin, S., Owens, J. S.,  & Power, T. (2022, February). Barriers and facilitators to teachers’ use of behavioral classroom interventions. Oral presentation at the National Association of School Psychology Convention. Boston, MA


Lawson, G., Mandell, D. Owens, J. S., Tavlin, S., Rufe, S., & Power, T. (2021, December). Malleable Determinants of Teachers’ Use of Evidence-Based Behavioral Interventions in the Classroom. Poster presentation at the 14th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health. Virtual.

Tavlin, S.,  Linn D., Power, T., & Lawson, G. (2021, November). Teacher perspectives on the student-teacher relationship with students with ADHD: Perceived impact on use of positive behavioral interventions. Poster presentation at the ADHD Research and Practice Exchange of the ABCT ADHD Special Interest Group. Virtual.

Lawson, G., (2021, October). Malleable Determinants of Teachers’ Use of Behavioral Classroom Interventions. Oral presentation at the School Mental Health Research Summit. Virtual.

Lawson, G., Diaz, K., DuBois, T., Suwak, K., & Fink, R. (2021, September). Teacher outcomes from a randomized experiment of a trauma-informed PBIS model.  In Fink, R. (Chair), Evaluating and Implementing a Trauma-Informed PBIS Model in Philadelphia.. Oral presentation at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Virtual.

Suwak. K.,  Lawson, G.M.,  DuBois, T., & Fink, R. (2021, September). Implementation outcomes from a randomized experiment of a trauma-informed PBIS model In Fink, R. (Chair), Evaluating and Implementing a Trauma-Informed PBIS Model in Philadelphia.. Oral presentation at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Virtual.


Lawson, G., Kumar, A, Hudash, E., & Eiraldi, R. (2020, December). Preparing to implement behavioral health interventions in schools: Context matters. Poster presentation at the 13th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health. Virtual.

Lawson, G., Fink, R., Suwak, K., Spillane, M., & Gray, A. What happens after the efficacy trial ends? Sustainment of intervention use. Oral presentation accepted at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Event cancelled. March 2020.

Awards and Honors

2009, Honors with Distinction, Stanford University
2009, Stanford University Undergraduate Advising and Research Major Grant, Stanford University
2009, Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford University
2009, Amgen Fellowship, Teach for America
2011-2016, Benjamin Franklin Fellowship for Graduate Studies, University of Pennsylvania
2012, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, University of Pennsylvania
2012-2015, Institute of Education (IES) Predoctoral Training Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania

Editorial and Academic Positions

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Advances in School Mental Health Promotion
Journal of Economic Psychology
Journal of School Psychology
Journal of School Mental Health
Journal of Child and Family Studies