Picture of Karen  Lawson

Karen Lawson PhD, CE Professor

Karen Lawson is a Professor of Psychology, and a core member of the Applied Social Psychology graduate program at the University of Saskatchewan

Research Area(s)

  • Repoductive Decision-Making; Sexuality and Relationships; Parenting; Program Evaluation

Karen completed her Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph, specializing in reproductive psychology. Her program of research focuses on intentions to parent, and the societal norms surrounding the use of reproductive technologies. Her research goal is to yield findings that are relevant for the design of appropriate medical protocols that enhance reproductive autonomy, and the development of informed socio-medical policy.  Karen also has a strong interest and extensive experience in program evaluation research, and has conducted many large-scale evaluation projects in the health care and higher education sector. She was one of the first academics to earn the professional designation of Credentialed Evaluator from the Canadian Evaluation Society. 

In her free time, Karen loves to travel to far away locations with her partner Jim. They have explored such places as Australia, Peru, Argentina, England, Scotland, Africa, Myanmar, Central America, Scandinavia, and Russia and have many more adventures planned! They also spend many hours hiking and exploring locations closer to home with their dog Cosmo.



KL Lawson (PI) & P Downe (2018 - 2021). Later baby! Psycho-social factors underlying the formation of intentions to delay motherhood. Insight Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

C Buchanan (PI), KL Lawson, D McCreary (2019 - 2021). Evaluating Prosocial Bystander Intervention Training with Undergraduate Students in Preventing Sexual Assaults. Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

A Crizzle (PI), KL Lawson, J McDavid (2019 - 2021). Evaluation of a Community Led Transportation Service in Rural Saskatchewan. Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


S Fletcher-Hildebrand, KL Lawson, P Downe & M Bayly. (in press). The role of motherhood schemas and life transitions in reproductive intention formation. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646838.2021.1892044

S Fletcher-Hildebrand, H Alimezelli, T Carr, KL Lawson, A Ali, & G Groot. (2021). Understanding the impact of a residential housing programme for people living with HIV/AIDS: a realist evaluation protocol. BMJ Open, 11(4), Article e044522. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044522

L Williamson & KL Lawson. (2020). Canadian support for IVF access and use. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 43(2), 175-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jogc.2020.09.020

L Williamson, M Bayly, E Poncelet, & KL Lawson. (2020). “It’s just one step in the right direction”: A qualitative exploration of undergraduate student perceptions of #MeToo. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 29(1), 11-24. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.2019-0036

KL Lawson, T Hunter, J McDavid (2020). Predicting Credentialed Evaluator status: Characteristics, comparisons, and implications for the CE Program. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 35, 53-73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3138/cjpe.61841

KN Duerksen, KL Lawson. (2017). “Not brain-washed, but heart-washed”. A qualitative analysis of benevolent sexism in the anti-choice stance. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (published on-line January 25, 2017). doi:10.1007/s12529-017-9633-8

S Sangster, K Loy, S Mills, KL Lawson. (2016). Engaging first-year university students in research: Promise, potentials, and pitfalls. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7(1), Article 3.

LEA Williamson, K Gibson,L M Heimlick, D Robertson, S Sangster, KL Lawson. (2016). Evaluate this! A case for developing evaluation competencies. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 31, 82-90.

JL Couture, S Sangster, LEA Williamson, KL Lawson. (2016). Endorsement of abortion: the differential impact of social perspective on women and men. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 34, 210-220.

S Sangster, KL Lawson. (2015). Is any press good press? The impact of media portrayals of infertility on young adults’ perceptions of infertility. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada: JOGC, 37(12), 1072-1078.

LEA Williamson, KL Lawson. (2015). Young women’s intention to delay childbearing: A test of the theory of planned behaviour. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33, 205-213.

S Sangster, KL Lawson. (2014) Falling down the rabbit hole: The construction of infertility by Canadian news media. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 32, 486-496.

LEA Williamson, KL Lawson, PJ Downe, RA Pierson. (2014). Informed reproductive decision-making: The impact of providing fertility information on fertility knowledge and intentions to delay childbearing. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 36, 400-405.

KL Lawson, M Bayly, & E. Cey. (2013) Judgements regarding the acceptability of childbearing and parental fitness made toward women living with HIV. AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 25, 676-679.

KL Lawson, K Carlson, & JM Shynkaruk (2012). The portrayal of Down syndrome in prenatal screening information pamphlets. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 34, 760-768.

KL Lawson & S Walls-Ingram. (2010). Selective abortion for Down syndrome: The relation between the quality of intergroup contact, parenting expectations and reproductive preferences. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40, 554-578.