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 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


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.

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, CEIM, API Cofounder

Barbara Nicholson holds a master's degree in Education, specializing in learning disabilities. She taught school in the Texas school system before moving to Nashville, TN in 1980, where she became a Leader with La Leche League International, an educational and support organization for breastfeeding mothers. She led meetings and led parenting workshops for over 25 years. She is trained as a facilitator in the Nurturing Parenting Program and has spoken internationally about the relationship of societal violence and parenting practices. She is also a certified educator in Infant Massage (CEIM), through Infant Massage USA. Ms. Nicholson co-founded Attachment Parenting International in 1994 and served as the President of the Board for 15 years. She is the co-author with Lysa Parker of a new book, Attached at the Heart, 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children (HCI publishing, 2013) and a parenting curriculum of the same title based on the book.  She and Ms. Parker are conducting trainings for the parent education program around the U.S. She is the mother of four adult sons and lives with her husband in Nashville, TN 


Lysa Parker, MS, CFLE, CEIM

Lysa Parker (Lisa) received both her bachelor’s in education and her master’s degree in Human Environmental Sciences specializing in human development and family studies. She earned her designation of Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) from the National Council on Family Relations in 2004 and was the 2014 president for the Southeast Council on Family Relations. Lysa is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM). 

As cofounder of Attachment Parenting International (API), a nonprofit parent education & support organization, she served as the executive director for thirteen years. Prior to her involvement with API, she was a special education teacher helping children with multiple handicaps and learning difficulties for twenty years.

Lysa has dedicated her life to improving the way children are treated and is a recognized authority on parenting. She is the coauthor of a new book titled Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children (HCI, 2013) and the co-developer of a new curriculum based on her book. The first edition of Attached at the Heart won the 2009 Book of the Year Gold award from Foreword Magazine. She is a frequent guest on national, international, and local radio and TV programs. In 2014 Lysa was a presenter at a local TEDx event. Currently Lysa is a writer, speaker and parenting consultant in private practice at  She is the mother of two grown sons, a stepdaughter and is the grandmother of four grandchildren and lives with her husband in the Huntsville, Alabama area.            

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