Tova Walsh

Credentials: PhD, University of Michigan, 2013; MSW, University of Michigan, 2009; MS, University of Michigan, 2009; BA, Brandeis University, 2001

Position title: Associate Professor


Phone: (608) 265-7806

311 School of Social Work

Curriculum Vitae
Tova Walsh in social work school hallway

Tova Walsh’s research focuses on understanding and improving health and wellbeing in multi-stressed families, with an emphasis on pregnancy and early parenting in contexts of risk. She examines the parenting support needs of underserved groups including new fathers and military-connected parents, and collaborates to develop and test parenting interventions to meet their needs. In her intervention work, she seeks to capitalize on existing technology or create new technology to more effectively reach the target population and address their specific needs.

In her current research, Dr. Walsh aims to identify effective strategies to support emerging competencies in early parenthood and promote nurturing parent-child relationships among parents who face barriers to initiating or maintaining positive involvement with their children. In one line of current research, Dr. Walsh is examining men’s health behavior and relationships across the transition to fatherhood, with the aim of informing efforts to promote healthy pregnancies and positive partnering and parenting. In another line of research, she aims to better understand the special challenges of parenting across the deployment cycle for service members who are mothers of young children, with the goal of informing the provision of support to military service members, veterans and their families.

Dr. Walsh’s research draws on her experience working in low-income communities as a home visitor to families with children ages 0-3. This work inspires her continuing interest in efforts to prevent domestic violence and child maltreatment, and build protective factors that help buffer children and families from adverse experiences. Dr. Walsh’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Doris Duke Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Institutes of Health.

Research interests:
child & family wellbeing; relationship disruptions and repair; parenting interventions in early childhood; military families; fathers and fathering