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Donald Wertlieb PhD

Donald Wertlieb, PhD, is Professor and former Chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, Tufts University, Medford, MA, and founding director of the Tufts University Center for Children and the Center for Applied Child Development. Internationally, Wertlieb’s work emphasizes collaboration and exchange in the development of mental health and integrated human services frameworks, with particular attention to fostering resiliency for children and families placed at risk.  Notable are partnership projects Haifa, Israel (Mercaz Gil Center for Learning) and in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (Educational Resource Center for Children with Disabilities).

Dr. Wertlieb is a pediatric psychologist whose major research interest has been in understanding the complex processes by which children and families cope with the stresses of marital separation and divorce.  A second focus is how children and families cope with chronic illness, with specific emphasis upon adaptation to insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus  Reports of his research have appeared in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Health Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, among others.  In addition, he is committed to dissemination of research to policy makers and the public, and works with the mass media on a regular basis.  He served on the steering group of the National Forum on the Future of Children and Families, a joint program of the National Academy of Science’s Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  Wertlieb was President of the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP) (1996-99), a professional membership organization of over 1000 scholars and practitioners committed to the improvement of health care research and services for children and families.  Most recently, with colleagues Francine Jacobs and Richard Lerner, Wertlieb edited the four-volume Handbook of Applied Developmental Science, as well as Applied Developmental Science: An Advanced Textbook. (Sage, 2005)

Dr. Wertlieb has been Interim-chairman of the Department of Education at Tufts, and a Lecturer, Department of Social Medicine and Health Policy, Harvard Medical School.  His undergraduate education and first master’s degree are from Tufts University.  He is a graduate of the Clinical and Community Psychology Program at Boston University.  Prior to joining the Tufts faculty, he served on the faculty of the Judge Baker Guidance Center.  He is active in organized psychology at the national, regional and state levels, including American Psychological Association, Division of Child, Youth and Family Services; Section on Clinical Child Psychology; Society for Pediatric Psychology; New England Psychological Association; and Massachusetts Psychological Association.  He provides mental health services to individuals and families as well as consultation to schools and human service agencies in his independent practice in Wellesley Hills, MA.