Joshua D. Sparrow, MD

Executive Director, Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston Children’s Hospital
President, Brazelton Touchpoints Foundation
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Part-time,  Harvard Medical School

Phone: 617-355-7639
Fax: 617-730-0060

Joshua Sparrow, MD, DFAACAP, is executive director of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he also holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a co-principal investigator for the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (Office of Head Start, Office of Child Care, ACF, HHS), and is part-time associate professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In 2010 he was appointed to the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Head Start Research and Evaluation Committee. He serves on the American Pediatric Association’s Child Poverty Task Force, and on the American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) Head Start Collaborative Advisory Council.

At the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, his work has focused on cultural adaptations of family support programs, organizational professional development, cross-sector collaboration, and aligning systems of care with community strengths and priorities. For the past 15 years, he has been deeply involved in shared learning and problem-solving projects that he has termed “collaborative consultations,” for example with the Harlem Children’s Zone and other place-based initiatives, and with American Indian/Alaskan Native Early Head Start/Head Start Programs, among many other organizations and communities around the country and internationally. He is also collaborating with the Center for the Study of Social Policy on an ambitious project to transform public and policymaker understanding of evidence, and to increase its relevance to the ever more complex challenges of raising children to their full potential across diverse contexts.


  • BA Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
  • MD Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Postdoctoral Training

  • Transitional Intern, Cambridge Hospital
  • General Psychiatry Resident, Cambridge Hospital
  • Child Psychiatry Fellow, McLean Hospital

Areas of Special Interest and Expertise

  • Culture and dynamic developmental systems theory in child, family, and community healing, recovery and development
  • Design, implementation, evaluation and adaptation of community-based preventive interventions based on culturally-grounded, developmental systems theory-informed approaches to child, family and community development

Selected Publications

  • Brazelton TB, Sparrow JD. Touchpoints Three to Six: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2001.
  • Sparrow JD, Brazelton, TB. A Developmental Approach to the Prevention of Common Behavioral Problems. In: McInerny TK, Adam HM, Campbell DE, Kamat DM, Kelleher KJ, eds. American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care 1st Ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2008.
  • Sparrow JD. Aligning Systems of Care with the Relational Imperative of Development: Building Community through Collaborative Consultation. In: Lester B, Sparrow JD, eds. Nurturing Young Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T.B. Brazelton. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Scientific; 2010.
  • Lester B, Sparrow JD. eds. Nurturing Young Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T.B. Brazelton. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Scientific; 2010
  • Sparrow JD, Brazelton TB. In: Zuckerman B, Parker S, Augustyn M, eds. Touchpoints for Anticipatory Guidance in Well Childcare Visits in the First Three Years. In: Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 3rd Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011.