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Cathryn Booth-LaForce PhD, FAPS

Professor Emeritus
Affiliate, UW Center on Human Development and Disability
Affiliate, UW Barnard Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Cathryn Booth-LaForce is a developmental developmental scientist and professor in the Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing department at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on the social-emotional development of children, primarily from the perspective of attachment theory. In longitudinal projects spanning infancy to late adolescence, she investigates early experiences in various contexts to examine their current and ongoing impact on development and adaptive (or maladaptive) outcomes. Her areas of expertise include caregiver-child relationships, parenting, peer relationships, and friendships, as well as early preventive intervention programs for children and families at risk. She leads current NIH-funded research efforts to evaluate the impact of the Promoting First Relationships preventive intervention program on reservation-based Native communities.

Dr. Booth-LaForce was one of the principal investigators of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a 10-site longitudinal study of over 1300 families nationwide. She and her colleagues used an ecological model to examine the effects of various aspects of child care, the home environment, school, and the out-of-school environment on children’s development from birth through age 15 years; and then led a follow-up study of the sample at age 18 focusing on social-emotional outcomes and adult attachment. She is currently a Co-Investigator on Dr. Maria Bleil’s NIH grants to follow this national sample in their late 20’s and evaluate health risks and adult functioning in relation to earlier and ongoing experiences.

She also engages in research on yoga, mindfulness, and other complementary and integrative health (CIH) topics. She is the Program Director (with Dr. Yvonne Lin) on an NIH-funded T90 postdoctoral training program focusing on producing the next generation of CIH researchers who are well-prepared to engage in clinical and translational research while also understanding CIH clinical practice and modalities.

Awards and Accolades

  • Elected member (2012) and Board of Directors member (2015), Washington State Academy of Sciences
  • Excellence in Integrative Medicine Award (clinical category), European Society of Integrative Medicine (2012)
  • Reuben Hill Award, National Council on Family Relations (2014)


  • PhD, The Ohio State University, 1974

What classes do you teach?

None currently

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

I love the dedicated faculty.


Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing

Research Areas

  • Innovative Interventions
  • Symptom Science
  • Health Equity
  • Lifespan Health

Research Centers

Picture of  Cathryn Booth-LaForce
Main: 206-543-8074

UW Center on Human Development and Disability
106 South Building
Box 357920
Seattle, WA 98195-7920

Office: HSB T618C