College Directory

Karen

Lawrence

Assistant Professor
669 Patterson Office Tower
859-323-7407
karen.lawrence@uky.edu

Areas of Expertise

  • Effects of chronic traumatic stress (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder) on health, cognition, and psychosocial functioning (e.g., work and family functioning), within an aging- and gender-specific framework
  • Gender differences in mental health outcomes (e.g., PTSD and suicidal ideation) and underlying biopsychosocial mechanisms
  • Identification of modifiable individual and social risk and resilience factors to promote health and prevent negative mental health outcomes
  • Design and analysis using secondary data

Publications

  • Lawrence KA, Vogt D, Nigam S, Dugan AJ, Slade E, & Smith BN. (2021) Temporal Sequencing of Mental Health Symptom Severity and Suicidal Ideation in Post-9/11 Men and Women Veterans Who Recently Separated from the Military. Chronic Stress, 5, 24705470211061347.
  • Lawrence KA, Vogt DS, Dugan AJ, Nigam S, Slade E, & Smith, BN. (2021). Mental Health and Psychosocial Functioning in Recently Separated U.S. Women Veterans: Trajectories and Bi-directional Relationships. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(3), 935.
  • Lawrence KA, Pachner TM, Long MM, Henderson S, Schuman DL, Plassman BL. (2020). Risk and Protective Factors of Dementia Among Adults with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review Protocol. BMJ Open, 10(6), e035517.
  • Lawrence, KA, Matthieu MM, & Robertson-Blackmore E. (2019). Civic Service as an Intervention to Promote Psychosocial Health in Post-9/11/01 Era Women Veterans. Journal of Women’s Health, 28(8), 1133-1142.
  • Larsen, S, Bellmore, A, Gobin, R, Holens, P, Lawrence, KA, Pacella, M. A. (2019). Systematic Review of Residual Symptoms Following Completion of Empirically Supported Trauma-Focused Psychotherapeutic Treatment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 63, 26-35.

Current Projects

  • Using data collected by the VA Boston Healthcare System, Dr. Lawrence and collaborators at the Boston VA are investigating gender-specific prospective relationships between mental health symptomatology and psychosocial functioning in post-9/11 veterans who recently separated from the military.
  • Using data collected by Dr. Julie Cerel at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Lawrence is investigating relationships between PTSD and loneliness in National Guard Members.
  • Dr. Lawrence is seeking funding for original data collection to study PTSD and cognitive functioning within the context of aging.
  • In collaboration with the University of Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (UK-ADRC) in the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), Dr. Lawrence is leading a secondary data study to investigate the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and cognitive functioning trajectories in older adults. This will be followed by a validation study characterizing the SNP effect on plasma biomarker levels of target pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in a sample subset.

Alma Mater

  • Washington University, The Brown School of Social Work – Master of Social Work
  • Washington University Medical School – PhD in Neurosciences

Get to Know Dr. Lawrence

In her free time, Dr. Lawrence enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Merdle. She is a fan of post-punk, indie-pop, and new wave music, but opts to leave the house when her partner, Jon, plays the drums. When it comes to reading, Dr. Lawrence enjoys historical fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, dystopian fiction, postmodern/surrealist fiction, magic realism, tragicomedy, scientist biographies and autobiographies, and books on animal behavior.