Research Group

Attachment Parenting International's Research Group ensures that the organization's education and support materials are backed by the latest research.

Wendy Middlemiss, PhD

Co-chair

Wendy Middlemiss received a PhD in Educational Psychology from Syracuse University in 1992. Presently she teaches and completes research at the University of North Texas in the Department of Educational Psychology. She moved here from Penn State University, Shenango, where she had taught in the department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her research has included work in parenting styles and children's competencies, parent education, and infant and toddler sleep habits and their impact on family and children's development. She is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the National Council on Family Relations, and the American Psychological Association. She is the mother of one son.

Katherine Green, PhD

Co-chair

Katherine Green has a PhD from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in child development, an MS from Troy State in education, and a BS in psychology. She is currently teaching and doing research at Capella University in the School of Education. She has lived in many countries and U.S. states, including three years in the Middle East where she taught in an Arab university and did extensive research into Arabic child and family development. She has also done international research looking at families who practice Attachment Parenting. Her primary research interests and areas of specialization involve cross cultural parenting practices, especially those concerning pregnancy, birth, infant feeding, sleeping, and early education and play. She is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the International Society for Infant Studies, and the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology. She is the mother of four sons ages 21, 19, 13 and 6, and one 3-year-old girl.

Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith, PhD, CFLE

Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith received a PhD in Child Development/Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1991, a MS in Human Development from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas in 1981, and a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences from Baylor University, Waco, Texas in 1980. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in parenting and conducts research in the area of parental influences on children's peer aggression and social competence. She is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development and the National Council on Family Relations. She is a Certified Family Life Educator and a Core Faculty Member in the Center for the Prevention of Youth Behavior Problems at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several other peer-reviewed research journals. In addition, she serves on the advisory board of several national and local community organizations.

Ann D. Murray, PhD

Ann Murray received a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, in 1979, an MA in Psychology from Catholic University in 1969, and a BA from Hollins College in 1967. She is currently Associate Professor of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. She teaches courses in child development, infant mental health and development, and assessment of young children. Her research interests include infant crying, parent-infant interactions, attachment, early language development, and the development of high risk infants. She is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the International Society for Infant Studies, the American Psychological Association, and the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She is also actively involved in the Kansas Association for Infant Mental Health and maintains their website.

Lauren Porter is the founder and Co-Director of the New Zealand-based Centre for Attachment. She obtained her BA (East Asian Studies) in 1988 from UNC Chapel Hill and her Masters Degree in Social Work from New York University in 1995 and has since been dedicated to working with families, children, and adolescents in the field of mental health counseling and training. Lauren has worked in a wide range of settings and communities, including Germany, the United States, and New Zealand. Her experience has focused on families struggling with issues pertaining to conflict and trauma, including child sexual abuse. She is an Executive Committee member of the Infant Mental Health Association of Aotearoa New Zealand and a consultant for the 2006 and 2007 television series, Nought to Five (TVNZ/Homegrown Television), as well as a regular presenter on TVNZ's Good Morning. She provides regular training for various professional organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including NZ College of Midwives, Australian Lactation Consultants Association, New Zealand Lactation Consultants Association, Child Protective Services of Brisbane, Parents Centre NZ, NZ Neonatal Nurses Association, and Child and Family Welfare Australia. Her current professional focus is the merging of attachment theory with neuroscientific data, with an eye toward the practical applications of everyday life, including topics such as feeding and sleep. Lauren is the mother of two children, ages 4 and 8, and is married to Joel, a clinical psychologist.

Regine Schön, MA

Regine Schön received a MA in psychology from the University of Helsinki in Finland in 2000. She is currently a PhD student in psychology at the same university and is finalizing her Doctoral dissertation on the topic of Attachment Parenting. For more than a decade she has been interested in and researched traditional caregiving approaches, alongside with other research and teaching responsibilities at the University of Helsinki. The aim of her research has been to crystallize optimal caregiving practices for infants. In 2005-2006, Regine also coordinated a joint research project of the departments of Psychology and Applied Sciences of Education of the University of Helsinki, aimed at finding ways of aligning daycare arrangements more closely with inherent infant needs. Apart from her work in Finland, Regine has also lived and/or studied in Austria, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and Benin, West Africa, and her work has been influenced by her keen interest in cross-cultural matters.

Barbara Nicholson, MEd

Barbara Nicholson holds a master's degree in Education, specializing in learning disabilities. She has volunteered for over 20 years with La Leche League International, an educational and support organization for breastfeeding mothers. She is also trained as a facilitator in the Nurturing Parenting Program. Ms. Nicholson co-founded Attachment Parenting International in 1994.

She has spoken to a variety of groups -- including parent educators, psychology students, conference attendees, and juvenile probation officers -- about parenting as a prevention model for societal violence. Ms. Nicholson continues to work closely with API on fundraising and has served on the development committee for the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) Program at Vanderbilt University. Barbara is the mother of four adult sons and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lysa Parker, MS, CFLE

Lysa Parker has a master's degree in Human Development and Family Studies, is a Certified Family Life Educator (C.F.L.E.), and is a trained facilitator for the Nurturing Parenting Program. Ms. Parker is the co-founder of API and served as the Executive Director from 1994 to 2007. She managed program development and public relations and continues to speak to various groups and conferences about parenting as a prevention model for societal violence.

With a bachelor's degree in Education, specializing in special education, she taught in California, Tennessee, and Alabama during her 20-year career, working with children with multiple handicaps and/or learning disabilities. Other experience includes several years of volunteer work with La Leche League International, a nonprofit organization that provides breastfeeding education and support, and as an API Support Group Leader.

She is the mother of two adult sons and an adult stepdaughter and grandmother to twin grandsons. She lives with her husband in Madison, Alabama. Lysa Parker is available for private consultations, personal parent coaching sessions, workshops, and speaking engagements.

© 1994-2014 Attachment Parenting International. All Rights Reserved. API is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 


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