John F. Hornstein, EdD

Faculty, Brazelton Touchpoints Center
Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School

Phone: 857-218-4356
Fax: 617-730-0060

Dr. Hornstein is one of the founding faculty members at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC). His work at BTC has included translating the core concepts behind Dr. Brazelton’s Touchpoints model of development into effective professional development programs for providers across the service delivery spectrum.

After completing his Master’s degree from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study at Tufts University, he returned to his home state of Maine to assist with the creation of services for young children with special needs. He led state-wide efforts to create a coordinated interagency system, and directed the state’s largest early intervention agency, where he oversaw the transition from child-centered to family-focused practices and services.

His interest in emotional health in early childhood lead him to join the staff of the Muskie Institute at the University of Southern Maine. Here John directed the AIMS (Attachment, Interaction, Mastery, and Social Support) Project that developed a system of assessment and practice as well as promoted local and statewide systems change to support the emotional health of young children and their families. His research with the AIMS instrument was in establishing its psychometric properties and examining the construction of emotional health in children with special needs.

John pursued a doctorate degree at Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology, where his dissertation incorporated his professional experiences and observations on the emotional health among young children with special needs and typically developing children.

He served on the faculty at the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Education, where he taught early education, special education, and undergraduate honors programs for aspiring early childhood teachers. John continues as a program evaluator for the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Education Master’s program for early childhood educators, and serves on doctoral dissertation committees.

His academic interests and publications include work on creativity for early childhood classroom teachers, cross-cultural child study and program evaluation.


  • EdD Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University.
  • MEd Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study, Tufts University
  • BA Philosophy, Colby College

Areas of Special Interest and Expertise

  • Emotional development of infants and young children.
  • Cross-cultural child study.
  • Teacher preparation in early childhood education
  • Parent-professional partnerships.

Selected Publications

  • Hornstein J & Marsh J. Study of the AIMS System of Practice – Usability, Practitioner Change and Psychometrics. In Partridge S, Devine, D, Hornstein J, & Marsh J. Strengthening the Foundations of Emotional Health in Early Childhood: A Handbook for Practitioners. Portland ME: University of Southern Maine. October, 2001.
  • Mayo-Willis L & Hornstein J. Joining American Indian Systems of Care: The Complexities of Culturally Appropriate Practice. Zero to Three. (23) 5, May 2003.
  • Matlock, R. & Hornstein, J. Sometimes a Smudge is Just A Smudge, and Sometimes It’s a Saber-Toothed Tiger: Learning and the Arts through the Ages. In Spotlight on Young Children and the Creative Arts. D. Koraleck (Ed.) Washington D.C. NAEYC.2005.
  • Hornstein, J. Temperament. Parenting and Parent Involvement, Bruner, Attachment (with Ann Easterbrooks). Early Childhood Education: An International Encyclopedia. R. New & M. Cochran (Eds.) Greenwood Publishing. 2007.
  • Stadtler, A. & Hornstein, J. The Touchpoints Approach. In The Newborn as a Person: The Newborn as a Person: Enabling Healthy Infant Development Worldwide. J. Kevin Nugent, Bonnie Petrauskas, T. Berry Brazelton (Eds.) Wiley Publishing. 2009.