Kaitlyn PritzlGraduate Student

I am interested in child development and well-being, and the influence of toxic stress on long-term development. More specifically, I am interested in parent-child interactions in the context of stress and the impact this may have on the developing child. I am currently involved in a research study exploring how to offer child-friendly visits for families who experience parental incarceration via remote video visits on tablets. I am also looking forward to working on the Healthy Brain and Child Development Study to better understand brain growth in the first few years of life.

I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology and Human Development & Family Studies with a minor in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. During my time as an undergraduate student, I volunteered with the Rape Crisis Center and listened to survivors share how trauma impacted their daily lives. After graduation, I learned the importance of foundational developmental skills by working with young children who have autism: I provided play-based therapy to enhance children’s social and communicative skills before starting kindergarten. These experiences motivated me to return to graduate school to study toxic stress and development with the goal of serving children and families in need of support. In the future, I aspire to continue researching children and families while also connecting research to real-world application through community outreach.

Awards and Recognition

  • Outstanding Graduating Senior Award, 2017
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School Fellowship, 2020-2021
  • School of Human Ecology Summer Time Academic Research (STAR) Award, 2021

Selected Publications and Presentations

Pritzl, K., Milavetz, Z., Cuthrell, H., Muentner, L., & Poehlmann-Tynan, J. (2022). Young Children’s Contact with their Parents in Jail and Child Behavior Problems. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 61(2), 88-105.

Poehlmann-Tynan, J., Muentner, L., Pritzl, K., Cuthrell, H., Hindt, L. A., Davis, L., & Shlafer, R. (2021). The Health and Development of Young Children Who Witnessed Their Parent’s Arrest Prior to Parental Jail Incarceration. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(9), 4512.

Poehlmann-Tynan, J., & Pritzl, K. (2019). Parent-child visits when parents are incarcerated in prison or jail. In J. M. Eddy & J. Poehlmann-Tynan (Eds.), Handbook on children with incarcerated parents: Research, policy, and practice (pp. 131-147). Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Professional photo of Kaitlyn Pritzl in front of 100 Women Wall.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies


  • BS, Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison