profile image

Erin Boyd-Soisson, Ph.D., CFLE

Professor of Human Development & Family Science



717-796-1800 ext. 2254


Visit my website

Interest and areas of expertise

Research Interests:

Understanding parenting issues from a cultural and family systems perspective

Service Interests:

Mentoring students in research and advising

  • University of Texas at Austin
Classes I teach
  • Child Development (HDFS 310)
  • Adult Development (HDFS 312)
  • Play & Development (HDFS 382)
  • Foundations of Marriage and Family (HDFS 101)
  • Infant, Toddlers, and Family (HDFS 396)

How I Found my Niche:

I started my undergraduate work studying aerospace engineering for 3 semesters, until I had taken some psychology and sociology courses. I became interested in studying children after hearing, what seemed to be, news story after news story of children committing horrible crimes. I changed my major to psychology in order to learn more about human behavior. After graduation, I worked as a counselor in a group home for delinquent and dependent female adolescents. At the facility, an emphasis was placed on not only helping the individual child, but the family of the child as well. It became apparent to me while working there, that children do not develop in isolation, rather all aspects of their environment, particularly their family, are important for their healthy development. Wanting to learn more about the family's role in children's development, I decided to return to school and learn more about human development and family science. I love learning about children and their families and engaging in discussions with students, in classes and out of classes, about their career interests in working with children and their families.


Playing with my family; Being outside; Scrapbooking with my sisters; Cooking/grilling; hiking


My husband Tim and I have been married for almost 11 years. We have two wonderful children, Shepard (8) and Faith (6).

Recent Publications

Select Recent Publications:

  • McFarland-Piazza, L., Hazen, N., Jacobvitz, D., & Boyd-Soisson, E.  (in press) The development of father-child Attachment:  Associations between adult attachment representations, recollections of childhood experiences and caregiving.  Early Child Development and Care.
  • Berke, D. L., Boyd-Soisson, E. F., Voorhees, A. N., & Reininga, E. (2010).  Advocacy as Service Learning.  Family Science Review 15 (1), 13-30. 
  • Hazen, N., McFarland, L., Jacobvitz, D., Boyd-Soisson, E.,  (2010).  Fathers’ frightening and sensitive infant caregiving: Relations with fathers’ attachment representations, father-infant attachment, and children’s later development of emotion regulation and attention problems.  In Early Child Development and Care Special Issue on Fathering and        Attachment in Context: Patterns Across the Lifespan 180 (1 & 2), 51-69. 
  • Boyd-Soisson, E. F., & Hamon, R. R.  (2009).  The Family Folklore Album: Using the Power of Stories to Engage Students in Family Science.  Family Science Review 14 (2), 61-73. 
  • Boyd-Soisson, E. & Hamon, R. R. (September, 2007).  Helping Family Science Students Make Themselves More Marketable:  Identifying and Developing the Skills Employers Want. National Council on Family Relations Report, 52 (3), 15-16.

Current Project(s):

Using family folklore as a teaching tool; Understanding breastfeeding from family systems and ecological perspectives; Amish Parenting