Shy C. Porter

Assistant Professor


Department of Psychiatry
Georgetown University School of Medicine

2115 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20007

Phone: (202) 687.0100
Fax: (202) 687-0694 


Dr. Porter is a relationship scientist with expertise in couple relationships, perinatal mental health, and the intersection of the two. As a clinician, she specializes in work with couples; pregnant and postpartum women (alone or with their partners) contending with perinatal mental health concerns; and adolescent and adult individuals. As a researcher, she studies mental health conditions associated with the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods and works to develop clinical intervention strategies to bring psychological relief to women and their partners. She also studies romantic relationship development, maintenance, and dissolution processes for adolescents and adults. Race, culture, racial/ethnic health disparities, and the experiences of racial/ethnic minorities are central components of her research.

Dr. Porter is clinically trained as a marriage and family therapist and holds a PhD in Family Science (the study of close interpersonal relationships and all of the micro- and macro-level factors that influence them) with an emphasis in maternal and child health. 

Research Interests

Psychopathology, trauma, couple relationship processes, parenting, and co-parenting.
Perinatal mental health, maternal health, pregnancy outcomes, adverse reproductive health conditions, and issues related to preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum processes for adolescents, adult individuals, and couples.
Racial/ethnic health disparities in adolescent and adult sexual and reproductive health.

Research Projects and Publications



  • University of Maryland, College Park (May 2020)
  • Major in Family Science, Specialized Focus on Maternal & Child Health
  • Dissertation: “Examining Racism as a Risk Factor for Uterine Fibroids among African American Women”


  • University of Maryland, College Park (May 2016)
  • Major: Couple and Family Therapy
  • Thesis: “Preliminary Validation of the Plausibility of Intraracial Marriage Scale: A Study of Upwardly Mobile African American Women”


  • Syracuse University (May 2014)
  • Major: Psychology and Public Relations
  • Minor: Child and Family Studies
  • Distinctions: Renée Crown Honors Program; Phi Beta Kappa
  • Honors Capstone: “Exploring Student Perceptions of Resident Advisors”