Marsha Kline Pruett, M.S., Ph.D., M.S.L.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Maconda Brown O'Connor Professor

Marsha Pruett

Contact Information

Lilly Hall 310



B.A., University of Pennsylvania

M.S., University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

M.S.L., Yale School of Law


Marsha Kline Pruett’s current research looks at family dynamics and development, both normative and non-normative, with a specialization in the promotion of healthy child and family development during life transitions, particularly those transitions related to adverse events or circumstances. Her clinical research incorporates preventive interventions, consultation, program design and evaluation.

Another current area of research and intervention Kline Pruett is involved in concentrates on increasing father involvement with their children. The Supporting Father Involvement project aims to reduce child abuse and neglect and enhance family well-being through an intervention that encourages father involvement and couple co-parenting (among married and unmarried parents) in family resource centers.

Kline Pruett involves undergraduate and social work graduate students in every aspect of research and writing on various projects. Students learn research skills and publish book chapters and articles. Doctoral students also attend and present at conferences and seminars that Kline Pruett attends in the local or national community.

Kline Pruett is the recipient of numerous federal, state and private foundation grants and is known nationally for the development, implementation and evaluation of preventive interventions in schools and courts.


Selected Publications

Pruett, M.K., Cowan, C.P., Cowan, P.A. & Pruett, K.D. (in press). Enhancing father involvement in low-income families: A couples group approach to preventive interventionChild development: Special section, developmental research and translational science: Evidence-based interventions for at-risk youth and families

Researchers’ Roundtable* (2016). Convenient and inconvenient truths in family law: Preventing scholar-advocacy bias in the use of social science research for public policyFamily Court Review, 54(2), 150–166.
Pruett, M.K., Cowan, C.P., Cowan, P.A., Pradhan, L. & Robins, S. (2016). Supporting father involvement in the context of separation/divorce. In L. Drozd & Michael Saini (Eds.), Parenting plan evaluations: Applied research for the family court (2nd edition). Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.

Pruett, M.K., McIntosh, J.E. & Kelly, J.B. (2014). Parental separation and overnight care of young children Part I: Consensus through theoretical and empirical integrationFamily Court Review, 52(2), 256-262.

Austin, W. G., Pruett, M. K., Kirkpatrick, H. D., Flens, J. R., & Gould, J. W. (in press). Parental gatekeeping and child custody/child access evaluations: Part I: Conceptual framework, research, and application, Family Court Review.

Cowan, P.A., Cowan, C. P., Pruett, M.K., Pruett, K.D., & Gillette, P. (2012). A family systems approach to supporting fathers’ involvement in the care of their children. Special issue of Familiendynamik (Family Dynamics), (Väterliches Engagement bei der Betreuung ihrer Kinder stärken – ein familiensystemischer Ansatz) 37(2), 94-103.

Pruett, K.D. & Pruett, M. K. (2012). Sustaining parent-young child relationships during and after separation and divorce. Special issue: Parenting from a distance. Zero To Three Journal, 32-39.

Pruett, M.K. Ebling, R.E., & Cowan, P.A. (2011). Pathways from a U.S. co-parenting intervention to legal outcomes. International Journal of Law, Policy, and the Family, 25(1), 24-45.

Pruett, M.K. (2010). All parenting plans are not equal. Family Advocate, 33(1), 23-26.