Judith L. M. McCoyd (Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College- GSSWSR, 2003; MSSW, Columbia University- GSSW, 1985) is an associate professor at Rutgers University's School of Social Work. Her research lies at the intersection of perinatal health care, medical technologies, decision-making and bereavement. Specifically, Dr. McCoyd explores the decisions to use prenatal diagnostic technologies, the experience of high risk pregnancy, whether to continue a pregnancy affected by fetal anomalies, and the emotional responses to these events. Funding for the varied research projects came from the American Assn. of University Women, the Lois and Samuel Silberman Faculty Fund Grant and Rutgers University Research Council Grants.

Dr. McCoyd's research provides direct analysis, yet is also used to develop theory about social work practice, decision making and normative culture, and perinatal health care. She is a licensed clinical social worker (PA) who maintains a small clinical practice and serves in leadership roles with the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers.  She teaches in the Masters, Ph.D and DSW programs.

Courses Taught

Loss Across the Lifespan

Clinical Social Work Practice I & II

CSW: Health

Selected Recent Publications

McCoyd, J.L.M., Curran, L., & Munch, S. (On-line first, 2019). “They say, ‘If you don’t relax…you’re going to make something bad happen.’”: Women’s emotion management during medically high-risk pregnancy.  Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Munch, S., McCoyd, J.L.M., Curran, L. & Harmon, C. (On-line first,2019). Medically high-risk pregnancy: women’s perceptions of their relationships with health care providers. Social Work in Health Care.

Werner-Lin, A., McCoyd, J.L.M. & Bernhardt, B. (2019). Actions and uncertainty: How prenatally diagnosed variants of uncertain significance (VUS) become actionable for children, parents, and social life.  The Hastings Center Review, 49, S61-71.

McCoyd, J.L.M., Munch, S., & Curran, L. (2018). On being mother and patient: Dialectical struggles during medically high-risk pregnancy. Infant Mental Health Journal, 39(6), 674–686.   

Curran, L., McCoyd, J.L.M., Munch, S., & Wilkenfeld, B. (2017). Practicing maternal virtues prematurely: The phenomenology of maternal identity in medically high-risk pregnancy. Health Care for Women International, 38(8), 813–832. doi:10.1080/07399332.2017.1323904

Werner- Lin, A., McCoyd, J. L. M., & Bernhardt, B. A. (2016). Balancing genetics (science) and counseling (art) in prenatal Chromosomal Microarray Testing.  Journal of Genetic Counseling, 25, 855–867.doi: 10.1007/s10897-016-9966-5

McCoyd, J.L.M. (2010). Authoritative knowledge, the technological imperative and women’s responses to prenatal diagnostic technologies. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 34 (4), 590-614. doi: 10.10071511013-010-9189-4

McCoyd, J.L.M., Akincigil, A., Peak, E.H. (2010). Pediatric disability and caregiver separation. Journal of Family Social Work, 13 (3), 251-268. doi: 10.1080/10522151003716353.

McCoyd, J.L.M. (2010) Women in no man’s land: the U.S. abortion debate and women terminating desired pregnancies due to fetal anomaly.  British Journal of Social Work, 40, 133-53. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcn080

McCoyd, J.L.M. (2009). Discrepant feeling rules and unscripted emotion work: Women terminating desired pregnancies due to fetal anomaly (Lead Article). American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79 (4), 441-451. doi:10.1037/a0010483


McCoyd, J.L.M. & Walter, C. A. (2016). Grief and loss across the lifespan: A biopsychosocial approach (2nd edition). New York: Springer Publishing.

McCoyd, J.L.M., Kerson, T. S., (Eds.) & Associates. (2016). Social work in health settings (4th). London: Routledge.