Theresa Lafavor, PhD

Program Director | Associate Professor
UC Box 
HPC-2, Room 269

Dr. Theresa Lafavor


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology, 2014, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • PhD University of Minnesota, 2012, Child Clinical Psychology
  • BA Smith College, 2001, Major: Child Clinical Psychology

Selected Recent Publications (*denotes student author)

Lafavor, T., *Gimbel, B., *Olsen, A., *Travis, A., & Weber, R.C. (2022). The relationship of parent-rated and objectively evaluated executive function to symptoms of posttraumatic stress and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in homeless youth. Child Neuropsychology, 28(6), 768-790. DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2021.2016671

*Knowlton, C., & Lafavor, T. (2021) Attitudes Toward Evidence-Based Practices for Trauma-Impacted American Indian/Alaskan Native Populations: Does the Role of Culture Even Matter? Journal of Indigenous Research, 9.

Lafavor, T. *De Boer, D., & *Poole, M. (2020). Intergenerational Effects of Early Parental Adversity on Child Developmental Outcomes Among Families Living in Emergency Homeless Shelters. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 31(3), 1264-1280.

Lafavor, T., Langworthy, S.E., Persaud, S., & Kalstabakken, A.W. (2020). The relationship between parent and teacher perceptions and the academic success of homeless youth. Child and Youth Care Forum, 49, 449-468. Doi: 10.1007/s10566-019-09538-0

*Knowlton, C.,* Kryvanos, A., *Poole, M., Christopher, M., & Lafavor, T. (2019). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the treatment of chronic pain and co-existing depression: A Single Case Study. Clinical Case Studies, 1-16. Doi: 10.1177/1534650119839156

Lafavor, T. (2018). Predictors of academic success in 9 to 11 year old homeless children: The role of executive function, social competence, and emotional control. Journal of Early Adolescence, 38(9), 1236-1264.

Duvall, S.W., Erickson, S.J., MacLean, P., LaFavor, T., & Lowe, J.R. (2017). Multimodal Executive Function Measurement in Preschool Children Born Very Low Birth Weight and Full Term: Relationships Between Formal Lab-Based Measure Performance, Parent Report and Naturalistic Observational Coding. Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology, 3(3), 195-205.

Barnes, A., Lafavor, T.L., Cutuli, J.J., Zhang, L., Oberg, C.N., & Masten, A.S. (2017). Self-regulation and health in homeless and highly mobile children. Children, 4(8), 70.

Cutuli, J. J., Ahumada, S. M., Herbers, J. E., Lafavor, T. L., Masten, A. S., & Oberg, C. N. (2017). Adversity and children experiencing family homelessness: Implications for health. Journal of Children and Poverty, 1, 41-55.

Semrud-Clikeman, M., Lafavor, T.L., & Gross, A.C. (2016). Interventions for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions. In L. Theodore (Ed.) Handbook of applied interventions for children and adolescents. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Quevedo, K.M., Johnson, A.E., Loman, M.M., Lafavor, T.L., Moua, B., & Gunnar, M.R. (2015). The impact of early neglect on defensive and appetitive physiology during adolescence. Journal of Developmental Psychobiology, 57(3), 289-304.

Cutuli, J. J., Herbers, J. E., Lafavor, T. L., Ahumada, S. M., Masten, A. S., & Oberg, C. N. (2014). Asthma and functioning among homeless kindergarten-aged children in emergency housing. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 25(2), 717-30.

Loman, M. M., Johnson, A. E., Quevedo, K. M., Lafavor, T. L., & Gunnar, M. R. (2014). Risk taking and sensation seeking propensity in post-institutionalized early adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55(10), 1145-52.

Quevedo, K. M., Johnson, A. E., Loman, M. M, Lafavor, T. L., & Gunnar, M. R. (2012). The confluence of adverse early experience and puberty on the cortisol awakening response. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36(1), 19-28.

Herbers, J. E., Cutuli, J. J., Lafavor, T. L., Vrieze, D., Leibel, C., Obradovic, J., & Masten, A. S. (2011). Direct and indirect effects of parenting on academic functioning of young homeless children. Early Education and Development, 22(1), 77-104.

Masten, A. S., Herbers, J. E., Cutuli, J. J., & Lafavor, T. L. (2008). Promoting competence and resilience in the school context. Professional School Counseling, 12(2), 76-85.


  • Advanced Life Span Development
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Neuropsychological Assessment


Theresa Lafavor, PhD, LP, received her doctorate in Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science at the University of Minnesota in 2012.  She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Lafavor joined the Clinical Psychology PhD faculty in the School of Graduate Psychology in 2014. Her program of research examines the effect of risk and adversity on development across the lifespan. Specifically, she works to identify protective factors to improve functioning and promote resilience in vulnerable, marginalized, and underrepresented children, parents, and families. Dr. Lafavor has examined resilience in the context of acute, natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina, as well as in chronic conditions including poverty and homelessness. Dr. Lafavor uses neuropsychological assessment to examine the brain-behavior relationship across levels of functioning and informants in her research and clinical practice.

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • International Neuropsychological Society
  • Society for Research on Adolescence