image of Doug

Doug VanderLaan

Associate Professor

Area of Research

Gender and sexual orientation diversity; child and adolescent mental health; alloparenting; family and peer relationships; developmental psychology; cross-cultural psychology; evolutionary psychology; clinical psychology; neuroimaging


Dr. VanderLaan’s research examines gender expression across the lifespan and sexual orientation development. Much of this work focuses on questions surrounding same-sex sexual orientation, gender-nonconforming behaviour, and transgender identity to enhance our understanding of human diversity. Identifying factors associated with psychological well-being among individuals who are members of sexual orientation and gender minority groups is also a major focus, particularly as well-being relates to social experiences with family members and peers.

To provide a comprehensive understanding, Dr. VanderLaan’s research emphasizes biological, psychological, and socio-cultural processes and integrates developmental, cross-cultural, and evolutionary perspectives. In addition, his research program integrates a variety of methodological approaches, including lab-based experiments and behavioural observation, cross-cultural field research, clinical research, neuroimaging, survey and questionnaire studies, and archival studies.

Prospective undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in contacting Dr. VanderLaan to find out more about research opportunities in his lab are encouraged to email him at

In addition to being a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Dr. VanderLaan is also a Collaborator Scientist in Child and Youth Psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto. Prior to these appointments, he completed his graduate training at the University of Lethbridge and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Gender Identity Service of the Child, Youth and Family Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He is currently an Editorial Board member of Archives of Sexual Behavior, Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, and Evolutionary Psychological Science. He is also a section editor for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science and co-editor of a forthcoming book, Gender and Sexual Development: Contemporary Theory and Research.

B.A. (Hon.) (Psychology, McMaster University)
M.Sc. (Psychology, University of Lethbridge)
Ph.D. (Psychology, University of Lethbridge)


Current Courses
PSY210H5 - Introduction to Developmental Psychology; PSY321 - Cross Cultural Psychology; PSY317H5 - Gender and Sexuality Development