Marsha Kline Pruett's research revolves around father involvement and strengthening family relationships in vulnerable circumstances ranging from the legal system to the child welfare system. As and endowed Chair in research at the Smith School for Social Work with an adjunct appointment in psychology, Dr. Pruett's work on Supporting Father Involvement in a randomized clinical trial that
has been found effective after testing with over 900 Caucasian, Hispanic and African American families. Originally carried out in five California Family Resource centers, the intervention research is also being conducted with teen parents in Hartford, Connecticut and in four sites in Alberta, California. She is is the process of developing a work-family extension of the project in California and with Maureen Perry-Jenkins at U Mass. She is also doing Parenting Coordination research with clinicians in Florida and in New Jersey to learn how this new practice on the edge of law and psychology is being implemented in various parts of the country. Finally, she is using new research on early brain development, early adverse experience, resilience, addictions, father involvement, and co-parenting to train clinicians in nursing, mental health, and legal fields in Canada.
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