Skip to main content

Susan Spieker PhD

Professor Emerita
Kathryn Barnard Endowed Professor for Infant Mental Health

I began my career at UW as a postdoctoral fellow with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Network on the Transition from Infancy to Early Childhood. My scholarship has been focused on the development of infants and young children under conditions of adversity, and on refining and testing prevention and intervention programs to promote nurturing parent-child relationships in families experiencing adversity and/or coping with a child’s atypical development. My research experience spans projects on infant child care and attachment, adolescent childbearing and child and family development, and randomized trials on prevention and intervention in Early Head Start and child welfare. I have been an investigator or principal investigator on over twenty federal grants, three of them focused on Promoting First Relationship®. My current major study, funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Development, is Collaborative Perinatal Mental Health and Parenting Support in Primary Care, 2015-2020, is a randomized control trial studying the effectiveness of adding Promoting First Relationship® to perinatal mental health treatment for low income English and Spanish-speaking mothers.


  • PhD, Cornell University, 1982

What classes do you teach?

  • NSG 432        Infants and Young Children: Risk and resilience
  • NSG 537        Development and Psychopathology: Parents & Infants

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

I love that so many faculty, staff and students are deeply caring and supportive of each other during challenging times.




Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing

Research Areas

  • Health Equity
  • Lifespan Health

Research Centers

Picture of  Susan Spieker
Main: 206-543-8453

Box 357920
Barnard Center
CHDD South Building Suite 212
1701 NE Columbia Rd, Seattle, WA 98195-7920