Julie Poehlmann, PhD
Professor and Department Head, Human Development and Family Studies
Dr. Poehlmann's research focuses on the role of family relationships in the development of resilience in high risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. She is interested in how emerging relationships interact with biological and environmental vulnerabilities in shaping the cognitive and social emotional development of children who experience a range of risks. Dr. Poehlmann's research emphasizes how children and parents make contributions to their relationships with each other, rather than emphasizing parental characteristics like much of the existing attachment research. Her findings bridge attachment theory with ecologically-based transactional developmental theories. Dr. Poehlmann is studying two very different examples of children's development in the context of risk: 1) preterm infants and 2) young children whose parents are incarcerated. Her research with preterm infants is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and follows preterm or low birthweight infants from their hospital discharge until 3 years of age. Her research with children of incarcerated parents is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Department of Health and Human Services. Both lines of research focus on how young children's developing cognitive abilities, self-regulation, attachment relationships, and behavior problems relate to child, parental, and extended family characteristics. Variables of interest include maternal depression, infant temperament, quality of the home environment, contact with grandparents, and quality of affect and reciprocity during parent-child play, feeding, and problem solving interactions. Dr. Poehlmann also has a strong interest in the provision and effects of early intervention.