Julie PoehlmannDorothy A. O'Brien Chair in Human Ecology | Professor of Human Development & Family Studiesshe/her/hers

I am a nationally and internationally recognized scholar on children with incarcerated parents. As a child clinical psychologist, I seek 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, I study 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. I use both quantitative and qualitative methods in my work, especially observational methods that focus on young children and families in their natural contexts, as well as physiological measures. I also design and evaluate 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.

I have served as an advisor to Sesame Street on its Emmy-nominated initiative for children with incarcerated parents. I have served as a psychology supervisor in the Waisman Center’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, and I teach a community-based course in conjunction with campus and community early childhood education centers. I have consulted with PBS Wisconsin on an outreach effort for families struggling with methamphetamine addiction, worked with JustDane (formerly 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. I am on the leadership teams of the International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents and the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health. Learn more about my public speaking opportunities through Badger Talks here.

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

Selected Publications

Cuthrell, H., Muenter, L., & Poehlmann, J. (2023). “When are you coming home?”: How young children cope when a parent goes to jail. Rutgers University Press.

Charles, P., Kerr, M., Jensen, S., Pritzl, K., & Poehlmann, J. (2023). Supported remote video visits for children with incarcerated parents in the United States. Current Issues in Criminal Justice. In press.

Poehlmann‐Tynan, J., & Turney, K. (2021). A Developmental Perspective on Children With Incarcerated Parents. Child Development Perspectives, 15(1), 3-11.

Poehlmann-Tynan, J., Engbretson, A., Vigna, A. B., Weymouth, L. A., Burnson, C. F., Zahn-Waxler, C., Gerstein, E., Fanning, K., & Raison, C. L. (2020). Cognitively-Based Compassion Training for parents reduces cortisol in infants and young children. Infant Mental Health Journal41(1), 126-144.

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

For a full list of publications, see Poehlmann’s CV.

Portrait of Julie Poehlmann in Nancy Nicholas Hall.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies



  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–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