Upcoming Events

Faculty, staff and National Faciilitators at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center represent a multi-disciplinary team of change agents, early child development educators, psychologists, pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, and other early child development and behavior experts, professional development trainers, project directors, program evaluators, statisticians, community engagement professionals, and more. Similarly, our Touchpoints Training sites hail from 33 states and over 100 communities, from urban to rural, and everything in between.

Katie Kao, PhD


PhD, Developmental Science, Boston University, Boston, MA

MA, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA

BA, Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY


Dr. Kao is a developmental psychologist with expertise in early child development, neuropsychological assessments, and psychophysiological impacts of early childhood adversity. She joined the Brazelton Touchpoints Center in 2018 where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in early childhood applied research and evaluation before joining the Research and Evaluation team as a full-time Project Director.

In her current role, she leads and supports several evaluation projects of ongoing intervention studies, community multi-level studies on implementation of a range of services in early care, health care, and other social and community organizations. Her studies focus on understanding how strengthening early care and education systems and the workforce can impact the social-emotional health and wellness of children and families

For nine years, Dr. Kao has worked in the field of early childhood research, presenting and publishing on biological and ecological frameworks that underlie socio-emotional outcomes and school readiness in young children.

Areas of Interest:

Emotion regulation
Executive functioning
Biological stress
Early Adversity
School readiness

Selected Publications:

Kao, K., Tuladhar, C.T., & Tarullo, A.R. (2020). Parental and family level socio-contextual correlates of emergent emotion regulation: Implications for early social competence. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29, 1630-1641. doi: 10.1007/s10826-020-01706-4

Kao, K., Tuladhar, C.T., Meyer, J.S., & Tarullo, A.R. (2019). Emotion regulation moderates the association between parent and child hair cortisol concentrations. Developmental Psychobiology, 61, 1064-1078. doi: 10.1002/dev.21850

Kao, K., Nayak, S., Doan, S.N., & Tarullo, A.R. (2018). Relations between parent EF and child EF: The role of socioeconomic status and caregiving on executive functioning in early childhood. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 4, 122-137 doi: 10.1037/tps0000154

Kao, K., Doan, S.N., St. John, A.M., Meyer, J.S., & Tarullo, A.R. (2018). Salivary cortisol reactivity in preschoolers is associated with hair cortisol and behavioral problems. Stress, 21, 28-35. doi: 10.1080/10253890.2017.1391210

Get Involved

Learn With Us

Babies and children, families and communities do the research on what it takes for them to flourish. Listen with us to what they’ve been learning. Watch a webinar. Check out the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center Learning Network. Join the conversation.

Picture of smiling boy