Marla R Brassard, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Education
Director of Clinical Training
PhD Program in School Psychology
Teachers College/Columbia University
New York, New York
Marla R. Brassard, Ph.D. is Professor and Director of Clinical Training for the APA-Approved PhD School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. For over 30 years her research and advocacy have focused on psychological maltreatment of children by parents, teachers, and peers– its assessment, the emotional/behavioral injuries that result, contextual factors that moderate the effect of maltreatment, prevention/treatment, and how schools and child welfare agencies, by embracing a child rights approach, can prevent violence and neglect before it occurs by valuing all children and creating environments and communities that promote their full development.
Her current research projects involve the a) refinement and further validation of an observational rating system to provide a baseline and feedback to parents of preschool children in high stress contexts on the quality of their parenting as observed during parent-child interaction when engaged in four common parenting tasks and b) relate the quality of observed parenting to parents’ reports of their self-care, co-parent/social support, mental health, temperament, and their child’s characteristics. The goal is to develop a school or agency-based mental health and parenting intervention to improve parental wellbeing and parenting quality in families with a child on the autistic spectrum (with TC colleagues Douglas Greer, Laudon Jahromi, and Jessica Dudek and PhD students) or fostering children in the child welfare system. In addition, c) she continues to follow 700+ students in the Columbia-Springfield study from 6th grade into adulthood with a particular focus on the developmental outcomes of those exposed to ongoing parental psychological abuse and peer victimization. She has supervised 47 completed PhD dissertations on these and related topics and co-sponsored 7 others.
Dr. Brassard has published four books, over 65 articles/chapters, co-chaired the task force that wrote Guidelines for the Psychosocial Evaluation of Suspected Psychological Maltreatment (APSAC, 1995; anticipated 2017, awaiting Board approval), and co-authored the observational Psychological Maltreatment Rating Scales (ASD version- Donnelly, Brassard, & Hart, 2014; Child welfare version -Brassard, Hart, & Hardy, 1993) and the self-report Comprehensive Assessment of Psychological Maltreatment (child and parent versions; Brassard, Hart, Rivelis & Diaz, 2011). She is an expert witness in capital and custody cases involving child abuse, particularly psychological maltreatment. She teaches a graduate course on Family as a Context for Child Development, which examines parenting and family contexts, among other topics, and their relationship to children’s developmental outcomes. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division of School Psychology), and past president of the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs (CDSPP).
In addition to psychological violence, Professor Brassard’s teaching, practice, and scholarship have also focused on psychological and educational assessment. For 35 years she has trained graduate students in individual psychological assessment and diagnosis. She is a licensed psychologist and has conducted and/or supervised hundreds of individual psychoeducational evaluations for individuals ages 2 to 50 and co-authored a graduate text on assessment, Brassard & Boehm (2007), Preschool Assessment: Perspective and Strategies. New York: Guilford Press. Since 1995 she has been a consultant for accreditation boards and testing agencies on applicant requests for accommodations on their exams for neurodevelopmental and mental health problems.