Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD

Associate Professor | Co-Director of Child Psychology Emphasis
UC Box 
HPC-2, Room 255

Roles and Interests

  • 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


Professional Memberships

  • 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 Recent Publications (*denotes student author)

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.

Selected Recent Presentations (*denotes student author)

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. 


Graduate Psychology Professor Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD was quoted in an article published by the Economist, "An English ruling on transgender teens could have global repercussions" (paywall).

Edwards-Leeper is an expert in gender identity issues and her research covers issues related to gender non-conformity and transgenderism."

Laura Edwards-Leeper, professor of psychology, was featured in an Economist article on gender dysphoria and the growing number of transgender children cases.

Laura Edwards-Leeper, professor of psychology, was recently featured in an article about gender dysphoria on The Economist. 

The Economist addresses a new push to ban transgender treatments for children, and cites Pacific's pioneering psychology professor.