Margaret KerrAssistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studiesshe/her/hers

My work focuses on examining emotional experiences in the context of parenthood. More specifically, I explore factors that influence how adults perceive and experience parenting, including attachment, parental burnout, and societal expectations. I am particularly interested in understanding in-the-moment emotional experiences of parents and their interactions with real-time contexts. I also study how to help white parents engage in anti-racist parenting practices. My ultimate goal is to promote family resiliency and social justice through developing and implementing parent-focused interventions that improve parents’ experiences, relationships with their children, and skills around raising equity-minded children.

Read my research profile

Selected Publications

Kerr, M. L., Fanning, K. A., Huynh, T., Botto, I., & Kim, C. N. (2021). Parents’ self-reported psychological impacts of COVID-19: Associations with parental burnout, child behavior, and income. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 46(10), 1162-1171.

Kerr, M. L., Fanning, K., Grendziak, A., Buttitta, K. V., Rasmussen, H. F., Smiley, P. A., & Borelli, J. L. (2021). Fathers’ emotional experiences while parenting toddlers: A qualitative exploration. Early Child Development and Care, 192(12), 1982-1997.

Kerr, M. L., Rasmussen, H. F., Fanning, K. A., & Braaten, S. M. (2021). Parenting during COVID-19: A study of parents’ experiences across gender and income levels. Family Relations, 70(5), 1327-1342.

Kerr, M. L., Rasmussen, H. F., Smiley, P. A, Buttitta, K. V., & Borelli, J. L. (2021). The development of toddlers’ emotion regulation within the family system: Associations with mothers’ and fathers’ observed parenting and interparental relationship satisfaction. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 57(4th Quarter 2021), 215-227.

Kerr, M. L., Rasmussen, H. F. , Smiley, P. A., Fanning, K. A., Buttitta, K. V., Benson, L., & Borelli, J. L. (2021). Within- and between-family differences in mothers’ guilt and shame: Caregiving, coparenting, and attachment. Journal of Family Psychology, 35(3), 265-275.

For a full list of publications, see Kerr’s CV.

Featured Media

See Also

A white woman smiling, with short purple hair, wearing a green shirt.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • BS Human Development & Family Studies
  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies



  • PhD and MA, Positive Developmental Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
  • BS, Psychology, Michigan State University


Office: 4109 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-890-4654



Social media: