Betty Sao-Hou Lai is an assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Before joining GSU, she received her PhD in clinical psychology, with a specialization in children and families, from the University of Miami. She completed her clinical internship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Lai is a Next Generation of Hazard and Disasters Researchers Fellow, and she is also a National Scholar for the Academy on Violence and Abuse.
Her research focuses on how children and families respond to disasters and other traumatic stressors. Her recent work has focused on children’s mental health symptoms, physical health symptoms, and school functioning following large scale disasters (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Charley, bushfires in Australia). Her work also examines how advanced statistical modeling strategies may be applied to better understand how to minimize the effects of disasters on children’s functioning. Lai’s research has been recognized with an Early Career Award from Division 56, the Trauma Division of the American Psychological Association.