The Michigan Infant-Toddler Research Exchange

By Holly Brophy-Herb, PhD

Promoting Cross Collaborative Research Efforts and Implications for Excellence in Practice

Michigan Infant-Toddler Research Exchange

The Michigan Infant/Toddler Research Exchange (MITRE) is comprised of researchers from Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan whose research focuses on infants, toddlers, their families and caregivers.

MITRE faculty reflect diverse disciplinary backgrounds in human development, early childhood education, pediatrics, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and family therapy. Faculty utilize a variety of theoretical and conceptual frameworks in their studies, including infant mental health, attachment theory, transactional models of development and gene X environment models to better understand how intersections between biological, psychosocial, familial, cultural and community contexts influence children’s growth and development. Faculty study a range of topics including early social-emotional development, motor development, early obesity risk, family processes and functioning associated with infant/toddler development, parental and caregiver reflective functioning, and early language and communication skills in the context of parent-child relationships. MITRE researchers have strong interests in the implications of research for best practices in early intervention and support programs and in early education environments and they are involved in community-based research efforts working in collaboration with programs such as Early Head Start, Head Start, Community Mental Health, pediatric and family clinics, and local childcare and early education facilities. The goals of the MITRE are to provide a forum for Michigan researchers to (a) discuss key issues in applied research focused on infants, toddlers, families, and caregivers and to share resources and exchange ideas, (b) foster cross-university research, and (c) to serve as a resource for the state in research to practice initiatives.

To learn more about MITRE, visit

Over the coming year, MITRE will be contributing a series to the Infant Crier. The series topics include: attachment-based interventions, reflective functioning and mentalization, individual differences in development, fathers, emotion socialization, and families in trauma. We hope you enjoy the series.