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Catherine Walker O'Neal

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Associate Research Scientist


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
B.S. Psychology The University of Georgia 2006
M.S. Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy Auburn University 2008
Ph.D. Child and Family Development The University of Georgia 2011


Broadly, Dr. O'Neal's research emphasizes the use of advanced statistical methods to examine change over time for families’ and individuals’ relational, physical, and mental health. A large portion of her research focuses on the contexts surrounding military families. Dr. O’Neal’s military research focuses on evaluating psychological well-being among military family members, particularly exploring relational and contextual effects, such as community connections, family functioning, and deployment and reintegration experiences. Her work examines protective factors that support military families, such as formal programming and informal networks of support. Recent publications can be found in American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Family Psychology, Military Medicine, Family Relations, and Child & Family Studies.

Current Research

My funded projects include both military- and health-focused grants. My military work includes ongoing evaluation planning efforts for Air Force family programs and research dissemination efforts with DoD through Military REACH to put research on military families into the hands of policymakers, helping professionals, and families themselves. Consistent with my broader research focus on contextual influences on mental, physical, and relational health, I am also a co-investigator on a 5-year longitudinal project funded by the National Institute on Aging (PI: K.A.S. Wickrama) following a cohort of older adult couples in their later years during their retirement transition.    

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