Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD

Phone Number: 

Roles and Interests

Core faculty, Child Psychology Track

Clinical supervisor for practicum students at the Pacific Psychology Clinic – Child Team

Supervise thesis and dissertation research

Clinical and research interests: gender identity issues, including issues related to gender non-conformity and transgenderism; disorders of sexual development; eating disorders and obesity with an emphasis on children and adolescents; prevention/early intervention of eating disorders and obesity, including focus on body image


PhD, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, 2004

Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, 2003

BA, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore., 1997

Pre-doctoral Internship, Montana State University, Bozeman & Crow/Northern Cheyenne Hospital, Crow Agency, Mont., 2003-2004

Postdoctoral Internship, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., 2004-2005

Previous Relevant Work Experience

Staff Psychologist, Seattle Children’s Hospital, 2011-2012

Staff Psychologist, Children’s Hospital Primary Care Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, 2005-2011

Staff Psychologist and founding member of the Gender Management Service (GeMS), Boston Children’s Hospital, 2007-2011

Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School, 2005-2011

Professional Memberships & Involvement

Member of American Psychological Association Task Force developing treatment guidelines for working with transgender individuals

World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), co-chair of Child/Adolescent Committee

APA, Division 44 (LGBT) and 54 (Pediatric Psychology)

Society for Pediatric Psychology

Selected Publications

Edwards-Leeper, L., & Spack, N. P. (2012). Psychological evaluation and medical treatment of transgender youth in an interdisciplinary “Gender Management Service” (GeMS) in a major pediatric center. Journal of Homosexuality, 59 (3), 321-336.

Spack, N. P., Edwards-Leeper, L., Feldman, H.A., Leibowitz, S., Mandel, F., Diamond, D.A., & Vance, S. R. (2012). Children and adolescents with gender identity disorder referred to a pediatric medical center. Pediatrics, 129 (3), 418-425. 

Spack, N. P., & Edwards-Leeper, L. (2011). Medical treatment of the transgender adolescent. In M. Fisher, E. Alderman, R. Kreipe, & W. Rosenfeld (Eds). American Academy of Pediatrics.

Edwards-Leeper, L., & Spack, N. P. (2011). Gender identity disorder. In M. Augustyn, B. Zuckerman, & E. B. Caronna (Eds.), The zuckerman parker handbook of developmental and behavioral pediatrics for primary care (3rd ed., pp. 229-233). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Holub, S. C., Musher-Eizenman, D. R., Persson, A. V., Edwards-Leeper, L. A., Goldstein, S. E., & Miller, A. B. (2005). Do preschool children understand what it means to 'diet,' and do they do it?” International Journal of Eating Disorders, 38, 91-93. 

Mahoney, A., Carels, R., Pargament, K., Wachholtz, A., Edwards-Leeper, L., Kaplar, M., & Frutchey, R. (2005). The sanctification of the body and behavioral health patterns of college students. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 15 (3), 221-238.

Musher-Eizenman, D. R., Holub, S. C., Miller, A. B., Goldstein, S. E., & Edwards-Leeper, L. (2004). Body size stigmatization in preschool children: The role of control attributions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29 (8), 613-620. 

Musher-Eizenman, D. R., Holub, S. C., Edwards-Leeper, L. A., Persson, A. V., & Goldstein, S. E. (2003). The narrow range of acceptable body types of preschoolers and their mothers. Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, 259-272. 

Boxer, P., Edwards-Leeper, L., Goldstein, S. E., Musher-Eizenman, D. R., & Dubow, E. F. (2003). Exposure to “low level” aggression in school: Associations with aggressive behavior, future expectations, and perceived safety. Violence and Victims, 18 (6), 691-705.

Selected Presentations

Edwards-Leeper, L. (2012, August). Assessing gender identity in adolescents for possible medical intervention. Gender Odyssey Professional Seminar, Seattle, Wash. 

Edwards-Leeper, L. (2012, March). Interdisciplinary collaboration with psychologists in providing recommended treatment for transgender adolescents seeking medical intervention. Pediatric Endocrinology Association for Research and Learning (PEARL), Tacoma, Wash.

Leibowitz, S., Spack, N., Edwards-Leeper, L., & Mandel, F. (2011, September). Gender-variant and transgender youth: A model for an interdisciplinary, collaborative treatment program in an academic children’s hospital. Panel presentation at the World Professional Association of Transgender Health Conference, Atlanta, Ga.

Edwards-Leeper, L., Coletti, K., Cella-Mowatt, A., Huntington, N., & Cox, J. E. (2011, May).Parent-child discordance surrounding psychosocial characteristics associated with childhood obesity. Poster presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Conference, Denver, Colo.

Edwards-Leeper, L., & Spack, N. P. (2010, August). Psychology's role in the new recommended treatment for transgender youth. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention, San Diego, Calif.

Edwards-Leeper, L., Cella-Mowatt, A., & Cox, J. (2010, May). Parents of overweight children: Common concerns other than weight. Poster presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Conference, Vancouver, Canada. 

Spack, N. P., & Edwards-Leeper, L. (2010, April). Creating a safe and supportive school environment for the gender dysphoric student: Counseling, testing, and medical interventions. Lesley University, Division of Counseling & Psychology Graduate School of Arts & Social Sciences, Cambridge, Mass.

Edwards-Leeper, L. (2010, February). Feminism meets medicine: Implementing an empowerment model for treating underserved overweight children in primary care. Paper presented at the Association for Women in Psychology (AWP) Conference, Portland, Ore. 

Edwards-Leeper, L., Cheng, J., Cella-Mowatt, A., & Cox, J. E. (2009, May). Preliminary evaluation of targeting lifestyle change (TLC), a family-based empowerment group for overweight children. Poster presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Conference, Baltimore, Md. 

Edwards-Leeper, L. (2008, October). Gender identity issues in children and youth. New England Child Life Professionals Conference. Boston, Mass.

Edwards-Leeper, L. (2008, May). Helping children & families make behavior change as it relates to weight. Obesity Grand Rounds, Children’s Hospital Boston. 

Edwards-Leeper, L., & Ludlow, V. (2008, February). Childhood obesity: A weighty matter for families. Full day workshop (6 CEU credits offered). Rhode Island Psychological Association Continuing Professional Education Committee, Warwick, R.I. 

Edwards-Leeper, L., & Knickmeyer, N. (2007, January). The beat of a different drum: Lessons lived and learned while working on the Crow reservation. Paper presented at the APA National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Seattle, Wash.

Edwards-Leeper, L. A. (2006, March). A longitudinal investigation of the psychological benefits of a wilderness program for adolescent girls. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), San Francisco, Calif.

Edwards-Leeper, L. A., Boxer, P., Phillips, K., & Dubow, E. (2003, April). Brief cognitive intervention for body image and interpersonal conflict concerns for young girls. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Conference (SRCD), Tampa, Fla.

Edwards-Leeper, L., & Allgeier, E. R. (2002, April). The relationship between disordered eating and gender role identity/egalitarianism in adolescent females and their parents. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA), New Orleans, La.

Office Location: 
Health Professions Building 2 255