Kristen McLean

Assistant Professor of International Studies

Address: 9 Glebe Street, room 202
Office Hours: Fall 2023: by appointment via Zoom (please email to set up an appointment)
Phone: 843-953-4884


Ph.D. in Anthropology, Yale University

M.P.H., Emory University

B.A., Emory University

Research Interests

Professor McLean is an anthropologist who specializes in medical anthropology and global health. Her research is concerned with issues related to youth, gender, violence, and mental health in post-conflict and humanitarian settings. Other interests include the role of local communities in responding to infectious disease epidemics (particularly Ebola). She works primarily in the West African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia.


“Fathers matter for peace, equity, and social inclusion. Policy brief. Conflict Resilience and Health Program” with C. Panter-Brick, Yale University & International Studies Program, College of Charleston (2022).

“Men’s experiences of pregnancy and childbirth in Sierra Leone: Reexamining definitions of ‘male partner involvement.’” Social Science & Medicine 265 (2020): 113479

“‘Post-Crisis Masculinities’ in Sierra Leone: Revisiting Masculinity Theory.” Gender, Place & Culture (2020): 1-20.

“Mental Health Problems among Children in Sierra Leone: Assessing Cultural Concepts of Distress” with E.J. Thulin, S. Sevalie, A. Akinsulure-Smith, and T. Betancourt, Transcultural Psychiatry (2020).

“Active Waithood: Youthmen, Fatherhood, and Men’s Educational Aspirations in Sierra Leone,” in Waithood: Gender, Education, and Global Delays in Marriage and Childbearing (2020).

“Caregiving in Crisis: Fatherhood Refashioned by Sierra Leone’s Ebola Epidemic.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2019): 227-242.

 “Parenting and Discipline in Post-conflict Sierra Leone” with S.S. Zuilowski, E.J. Thulin, T.M. Rogers, A. Akinsulure-Smith, and T.S. Betancourt, Child Abuse & Neglect 97 (2019): 104138. 

“When the Patient Comes Third: The Navigation of Moral and Practical Dilemmas in the Context of Pregnancy and Risk During the 2013-2015 Ebola Epidemic in Sierra Leone” with R. Henderson, Pregnant in the Time of Ebola—Women and their Children in the 2013-2015 West African Epidemic (2019).

“Community-based Reports of Morbidity, Mortality and Health-seeking Behaviors in Four Monrovia Communities during the West African Ebola Epidemic” with S.A. Abramowitz, J.D. Ball, J. Monger, K. Tehoungue, S.L. McKune, M. Fallah, and P.A. Omidian, Global Public Health 13, no. 5 (2018): 528-544.

“Violence, Structural and Interpersonal,” with C. Panter-Brick, International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. (2018).

 “Community-centered Responses to Ebola in Urban Liberia: The View from Below” with S.A. Abramowitz, S.L. McKune, K.L. Bardosh, M. Fallah, J. Monger, K. Tehoungue, and P.A. Omidian, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9, no. 5 (2015): e0003767.

“Task Sharing in Rural Haiti: Qualitative Assessment of a Brief, Structured Training with and without Apprenticeship Supervision for Community Health Workers” with B.N. Kaiser, A.K. Hagaman, B.H. Wagenaar, T. Therosme, and B.A. Kohrt, Intervention 13, no. 2 (2015): 135-155.

“Reflechi Twop—Thinking Too Much: Description of a Cultural Syndrome in Haiti’s Central Plateau” with B.N. Kaiser, B.A. Kohrt, A.K. Hagaman, B.H. Wagenaar, N.M. Khoury, and H.M. Keys, Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry 38, no. 3 (2014): 448-472.