Marcia Winter, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Developmental Psychology
808 W Franklin, rm 402
(804) 828-2053

Associate Professor (tenured)
Developmental Psychology

Ph.D. (2006), University of Rochester


Child and Family Perseverance Lab

Research Interests

My research focuses on mechanisms by which stress exposure influences child health. I am particularly interested in how children are affected emotionally, at the level of interpreting and making meaning of challenging situations, and physically, at the level of immune function and health outcomes. In addition, I examine how various parenting and family processes can be protective for children.

Currently, there are two main areas of investigation in my lab. The first focuses on individual differences in how children and their families respond and adapt in the context of chronic stress (e.g., poverty, chronic illness). The second examines stress and coping with a particularly threatening, abrupt stressor such as a cancer diagnosis. Ultimately, this work is intended to highlight processes of vulnerability and resilience within populations of at-risk children.

Select Publications

Winter, M. A., Greenlee, J., Al Ghriwati, N., Garr, K. N., Sahler, Olle Jane Z., & O’Connor, T. G. (2021). Children’s appraisals of threat in pediatric cancer. Social Science and MedicineMental Health, 1, 1-13.
Rohan, J. M., & Winter, M. A. (2021). Ethical considerations in pediatric chronic illness: The relationship between psychological factors, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews.
Sosnowski, D. W., Kliewer, W., Winter, MA, Amstadter, A. B., Valrie, C. R., & Serpell, Z. (2020). The association between diverse childhood experiences and child telomere length: Self-regulation as a behavioral mediator. Child Development, 92(2), 746-759.
Greenlee, J. L., Winter, M. A., Everhart, R. S., & Fiese, B. H. (2019). Parents’ child-related schemas: Associations with children’s asthma and mental health. Journal of Family Psychology, 33(3), 270-279.
Winter, M. A., Al Ghriwati, N., & Devine, K. A. (2019). Pediatric chronic health conditions: Adaptation within the family context. In B. H. Fiese, M. Celano, K. Deater-Deckard, E. N. Jouriles, & M. A. Whisman (Eds.), APA handbooks in psychology® series. APA handbook of contemporary family psychology: Applications and broad impact of family psychology (pp. 69-84). American Psychological Association.
Winter, M. A., Fiese, B. H., Spagnola, M., & Anbar, R. D. (2011). Asthma severity, child security, and child internalizing: Using story stem techniques to assess the meaning children make of family and disease-specific events. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 857-867.

Recent Grants

The Psychosocial Experiences and Supportive Care Needs of Patients with Hematologic Malignancies and their Caregiver: A Mixed Methods Study. Principal Investigator. January 2019 - December 2021. Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Tina L. Bachas Oncology Nursing Research Award

Families of Richmond, VA Study Extension (FoR-VA-X). Principal Investigator.  July 2016 - December 2017.  Virginia Commonwealth University Presidential Research Quest Fund (PeRQ) award.

Stress Exposure, Family Coping, and Child Immune Function in the Context of Pediatric Cancer. Principal Investigator. 2014-2018. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Development, K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award. R00HD070953.


  • University Excellence in Service-Learning Faculty Award, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Outstanding Community Engagement, Virginia Commonwealth University Psychology
  • Helen K. Nowlis Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Rochester

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