LaRen Morton

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Doctoral Candidate & Graduate Research Assistant

114 Dawson Hall
305 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602

Curriculum Vitae


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Bachelor of Science Family Science University of Maryland, College Park 2019
Master of Science Human Development and Family Science University of Georgia 2022


My research interests encompass minoritized children’s educational outcomes and understanding what factors promote or inhibit their academic success. More specifically, I am interested in examining gender differences in educational contexts and the effects of the school environment on minoritized children's social, emotional, and academic development. 

Currently, I am a graduate research assistant working with Dr. Margaret Caughy and the team for the Dallas Project on Education Pathways (formally known as DPREP — the Dallas Preschool Readiness Project). The goal of this project is to understand the various cultural, familial, and contextual factors that impact the academic achievement and development of self-regulation in African American and Latinx children as they transition into middle school.

Prior Professional Positions

Organization Title Years of Service
Biology, Early Experiences, and Development Lab, University of Georgia Graduate Research Assistant 1


Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Black Caucus Student Poster Presentation, 2nd Place Society for Research on Child Development 2021
Virginia Wilbanks Kilgore Scholarship Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia 2021
FACS Fund for Excellence Family and Consumer Sciences 2021
Eleonora M. Costa Graduate Support Fund Department of Human Development and Family Science, University of Georgia 2019


Organization Title Year(s) Service Type
Chi Chapter of Phi Upsilon Omicron 2023-2024 Vice President
Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpa Alpha Alpha 2022-2023 President
Chi Chapter of Phi Upsilon Omicron 2022-2023 Secretary
Graduate Student Organization (GSO) 2020-2021 President
Society for Research in Human Development (SRHD) 2019 Conference Abstract Reviewer

Advisory Committee

Dr. Margaret Caughy - Major Professor

Dr. Kalsea Koss

Dr. Michael Barger

Journal Articles

Morton, L.*, Osborne, K. R.*, Anderson, L. A., & Caughy, M. O. (in press). “At the end of the day, someone done lost their child”: A mixed methods analysis of Black families’ experiences of the sociopolitical climate. Family Process. Advance Online Publication. [* = first authorship is shared]

Morton, L., Anderson, L.A., Caughy, M.O., Osborne, K., Suma, K., & Little, T.D. (2023). Changes in ethnic identity in middle childhood: Family and neighborhood determinants. Journal of Early Adolescence, Advance Online Publication.

Anderson, L.A., Morton, L., & Trejo, A. (2022). To be young, conscious and Black: The cumulative witnessing of racial violence for Black youth and families. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 14(1).

Working Papers

Morton, L., Caughy, M., & Koss, K. (under review). The effects of school racial composition on changes in Black children’s academic engagement and motivation during late elementary school.

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