Preston Britner, PhD

Professor, Human Development &

Family Sciences (Affiliate)

Philip E. Austin Chair in Social Sciences

Research Overview

Professor Britner explores: attachment-caregiving relationships; the application of developmental research to child welfare and primary prevention settings; and, research and social policy related to family-focused, community-based prevention programs and diversion approaches.

Prof. Britner previously served as a Co-PI (with Ross Buck, Stephanie Milan, & Merrill Singer) on an InCHIP project related to the study of a youth development model in Hartford.

He serves on the Editorial Boards for Advances in Child and Family Policy and Practice, the Journal of Behavioural Sciences, and the Journal of Child and Family Studies, and he is Editor Emeritus of The Journal of Primary Prevention.

Prof. Britner also has an appointment in the Department of Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow, winner of the 2011 UConn AAUP “Service Excellence” award, and the 2013-2016 Philip E. Austin Chair in the Social Sciences.


Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1996 (developmental psychology, community psychology)
M.A. University of Virginia, 1993 (developmental psychology)
B.A., University of Miami, 1990 (psychology)

Recent Publications


Featured Publications

Britner, P. A. (2012). Bringing public engagement into an academic plan and its assessment metrics. Special issue: The Research University Civic Engagement Network (TRUCEN). The Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(4), 61-77.

Bloom, M., & Britner, P. A. (2012). Client-centered evaluation: New models for helping professionals. Boston: Pearson Education/Allyn & Bacon.

Kearney, J., Britner, P. A., Farrell, A. F., & Robinson, J. (2011). Mothers’ resolution of their young children’s psychiatric diagnoses: Associations with child, parent, and relationship characteristics. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 42(3), 334-348.

Farrell, A. F., Britner, P. A., Guzzardo, M., & Goodrich, S. (2010). Supportive housing for families in child welfare: Client characteristics and their outcomes at discharge. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(2), 145-154.

Britner, P. A., & Kraimer-Rickaby, L. 2009). Mentoring and its role in promoting academic and social competency. In T. P. Gullotta, M. Bloom, C. F. Gullotta, & J. C. Messina (Eds.), A blueprint for promoting academic and social competence in after-school programs (pp. 79-100). New York: Springer.

O’Neil, J. M., & Britner, P. A. (2009). Training primary preventionists to make a difference in people’s lives. In M. E. Kenny, A. M. Horne, P. Orpinas, & L. E. Reese (Eds.), Realizing social justice: The challenge of preventive interventions (pp. 141-162). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Marvin, R. S., & Britner, P. A. (2008). Normative development: The ontogeny of attachment. In J. Cassidy & P. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment theory and research (2nd ed.) (pp. 269-294). New York: The Guilford Press.

Russell, B. S., Trudeau, J., & Britner, P. A. (2008). Intervention type matters in primary prevention of abusive head injury: Event history analysis results. Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, 32(10), 949-957.

Russell, B. S., Britner, P. A., & Woolard, J. L. (2007). The promise of primary prevention home visiting programs: A review of potential outcomes. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 34(1/2), 129-147.

Britner, P. A., Balcazar, F. E., Blechman, E. A., Blinn-Pike, L., & Larose, S. (2006). Mentoring special youth populations. Special issue: Youth mentoring–Bridging science with practice. Journal of Community Psychology, 34(6), 747-763.

Britner, P. A., Marvin, R. S., & Pianta, R. C. (2005). Development and preliminary validation of the caregiving behavior system: Association with child attachment classification in the preschool Strange Situation. Attachment & Human Development, 7(1), 83-102.

Britner, P. A., Morog, M. C., Pianta, R. C., & Marvin, R. S. (2003). Stress and coping: A comparison self-report measures of functioning in families of young children with cerebral palsy or no medical diagnosis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12(3), 335-348.

Britner, P. A., & Mossler, D. (2002). Professionals’ decision-making about out-of-home placements following instances of child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, 26(4), 317-332.

Britner, P. A., & Reppucci, N. D. (1997). Prevention of child maltreatment: Evaluation of a parent education program for teen mothers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 6(2), 165-175.

Reppucci, N. D., Britner, P. A., & Woolard, J. L. (1997). Preventing child abuse and neglect through parent education. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.


Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Human Development &
Family Studies
348 Mansfield Road, Unit 1058
Storrs, CT 06269-1058
Office LocationFamily Studies Building