Molly Franz, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Contact Information:


Office:       Math/Psychology 307

Fax:           410.455.1055

Phone:      410-455-8161

Lab:           Sondheim 402/408

Lab Website: The Family Adversity Lab


Ph.D. – University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2019

Fall 2023 Office Hours:

2:00PM – 3:00 PM
3:30 AM – 4:30 PM in Clinic

Area of Study:

Clinical Psychology

Research Interests:

The overarching aims of Dr. Franz’s research are to (1) understand the effects of PTSD and trauma-related psychopathology on survivors’ family relationships, particularly intimate partner and parent-child relationships, and (2) reinforce and strengthen family support networks to aid in the prevention and treatment of trauma-related psychopathology and comorbid family dysfunction. Dr. Franz is particularly interested in examining physiological, emotional, and behavioral patterns as they unfold on a moment-to-moment basis among trauma-exposed families, with the ultimate goal of targeting these processes in interventions to help families thrive.

Courses Taught: 

Abnormal Psychology (Psyc 285)

Clinical Interventions II (PSYC 623)

Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 710)

Graduate Research and Training Opportunities:

Accepting Graduate Students?

Students with particular interests in trauma, PTSD, and family functioning, including couple relationships and/or parent-child relationships, are especially encouraged to apply. My goal is to provide a training experience that scaffolds students to become independent investigators. I integrate students into ongoing projects and provide opportunities to publish from existing datasets to hone critical analytic and writing skills. Additionally, I guide students in the development of their own programmatic lines of research, which involves mentorship across many different skills (e.g., study design and implementation, grant writing, graduate mentorship of undergraduates). We engage in collaborative discussions about professional development, healthy work-life balance, and emerging science on trauma and PTSD. I am passionate about mentorship and have published several articles related to research and training: Taking a gap year: A guide for prospective clinical psychology Ph.D. students and Mentorship matters: Graduate student mentorship of undergraduate mentees.

Interested graduate students should contact Dr. Franz directly via email.

Undergraduate Research and Training Opportunities:

YES: Undergraduate opportunities available

I mentor undergraduates across all aspects of research, including study conceptualization, project start up, data collection, coding and data analysis, interpretation of findings, and dissemination of results at conferences and in publications. I also structure lab activities to incorporate training and didactics related to the interests of our lab members, and mentor advanced undergraduates in conducting independent research projects. I devote time to discussing career goals and advising students wanting to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology or related fields.

Interested undergraduate students should contact Dr. Franz directly via email.

Graduate Program Affiliation(s):

Human Services Psychology

Selected Publications:

Franz, M.R., Sanders, W., Nillni, Y. I., Vogt, D., Matteo, R., Galovski, T. (2021). PTSD and parental functioning: The protective role of neighborhood cohesion among Black and White veterans. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication.

Franz, M. R., Kumar, S., Brock, R., Calvi, J., DiLillo, D. (2021). Parenting Behaviors of Mothers with PTSD: The Roles of Cortisol Reactivity and Negative Emotion. Journal of Family Psychology. Advance online publication.

Franz, M. R., Brock, R. L., & DiLillo, D. (2021). Trauma symptoms contribute to daily experiential avoidance: Does partner support mitigate risk? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38, 322-341.

Franz, M. R., Pless Kaiser, A., Phillips, R., Lee, L. O., Lawrence, A., Taft, C. T., Vasterling, J. J. (2020). Associations of Warzone Veteran Mental Health with Partner Mental Health and Family Functioning: Family Foundations Study. Depression and Anxiety, 37, 1068-1078.

Brock, R. L., Franz, M. R., & Ramsdell, E. R. (2020). An integrated relational framework of depressed mood and anhedonia during pregnancy. Journal of Marriage and Family, 82, 1056-1072. doi:10.1111/jomf.12611

Kumar, S., Franz, M. R., Brock, R. DiLillo, D. (2020). Posttraumatic stress and parenting behaviors: The mediating effect of emotion regulation. Journal of Family Violence, 35, 417-426. doi:10.1007/s10896-019-00124-5

Brock, R., Franz, M. R., O’Bleness, J., & Lawrence, E. (2019). The dynamic interplay between daily satisfaction with intimate relationship functioning and depressed mood in low SES outpatients. Family Process, 4, 891-907. doi:10.1111/famp.12402

Franz, M. R., Haikalis, M., Riemer, A. R., Parrott, D. J., Gervais, S. J., & DiLillo, D. (2018). Further validation of a laboratory analog sexual aggression task: Associations with novel risk factors for sexual violence. Violence and Victims, 33, 486-503. doi:10.1891/08866708.v33.i3.486