Julie PoehlmannDorothy A. O’Brien Professor of Human Ecology

Dr. Poehlmann is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar on children with incarcerated parents. As a child clinical psychologist, she seeks to facilitate social justice for young children and their families and to understand and promote resilience processes while decreasing risk and trauma exposure. To do this, she studies the health and social, emotional, and cognitive development of high-risk infants and young children and their families, including children with incarcerated parents, children raised by their grandparents, and children born preterm, including examining the intergenerational transmission of risk, trauma, resilience, and healing. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in her work, especially observational methods that focus on young children and families in their natural contexts as well as physiological measures. She also designs and evaluates interventions for children and their parents, including interdisciplinary multimodal interventions that can be used in the criminal justice system and contemplative practices aimed at decreasing stress and increasing well-being in children and families.

Her current studies include the Healthy Brain and Child Development Study (HBCD) and the Enhanced Visits Program for children with incarcerated parents.

Selected Publications

Poehlmann‐Tynan, J. and Turney, K. (2020), A Developmental Perspective on Children With Incarcerated Parents. Child Dev Perspect.

Eddy, J. M., & Poehlmann-Tynan, J. (Eds.) (2019). Handbook on Children of Incarcerated Parents, 2nd edition. New York: Springer.

Poehlmann-Tynan, J., Engbretson, A., Vigna, A.B., Weymouth, L.A., Burnson, C. F., Zahn-Waxler, C., Gerstein, E., Fanning, K., & Raison, C. L. (2019). Cognitively-Based Compassion Training for parents reduces cortisol in infants and young children. Infant Mental Health Journal.

Poehlmann-Tynan, J., Burnson, C., Weymouth, L. A., & Runion, H. (2017). Attachment in young children with incarcerated fathers. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 389-404.

Poehlmann-Tynan, J., Gerstein, E., Burnson, C., Weymouth, L., Maleck, S., Bolt, D., & Schwichtenberg, A. J. (2015). Risk and resilience in children born preterm at age 6. Development and Psychopathology, 27(3), 843- 858.

Poehlmann, J., Dallaire, D., Loper, A. B., & Shear, L. D. (2010). Children’s contact with their incarcerated parents: Research findings and recommendations. American Psychologist, 65 (6), 575-598.

Poehlmann, J. (2005). Representations of attachment relationships in children of incarcerated mothers. Child Development, 76, 679-696.


Dr. Poehlmann has served as an advisor to Sesame Street on its Emmy-nominated initiative for children with incarcerated parents. She has served as a psychology supervisor in the Waisman Center’s Developmental Disabilities Clinic and teaches a community-based course in conjunction with campus and community early childhood education centers. Dr. Poehlmann has consulted with Wisconsin Public Television on an outreach effort for families struggling with methamphetamine addiction, worked with Madison Area Urban Ministry to evaluate their mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents, and evaluated Camp Reunite, a summer camp for children with imprisoned mothers. She is on the leadership teams of the International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents and the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health. Learn more about her public speaking opportunities with Badger Talks.

Classes Taught

  • Course number: HDFS 760: Course title: Infancy and the Family
  • Course number: HDFS 766: Course title: Incarceration and the Family
  • Course number: HDFS 853: Course title: Attachment Theory and Relationships Across the Lifespan
  • Course number: HDFS 766: Course title: Developmental Theory and Research: Prenatal to Middle Childhood
  • Course number: HDFS 663: Course title: Developmental and Family Assessment
  • Course number: HDFS 501: Course title: Children with Incarcerated Parents
  • Course number: HDFS 592: Course title: Research Experience
Portrait of Julie Poehlmann in Nancy Nicholas Hall.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development and Family Studies


  • American Psychological Association
  • Center for Healthy Minds
  • Institute for Research on Poverty
  • National Council on Family Relations
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Waisman Center, UW–Madison
  • PhD, MS, Clinical Psychology, Syracuse University
  • BA, Psychology and History, Marquette University
  • Marquette University Language Institute, Berlin, Germany


Office: 4130 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-262-1773



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