Tricia Foster

A photo of Tricia Foster

Assistant Professor

Health Sciences

308 Marshall Building



  • BS Psychology, Michigan State University
  • MOT Occupational Therapy, Eastern Michigan University
  • Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies, Child Development Specialization, Michigan State University


My clinical and research interests address young children's early experiences and environments and how these contribute to their early development. I am especially committed to promoting family-centered practice in early intervention through building family capacity and supporting parents. I also have an interest in understanding and supporting young children's self-regulation in preschool as a foundation for educational participation, especially for at-risk populations. As an occupational therapy clinician, I provided early intervention services and school-based special education services, working together with children, parents, and teachers.


Foster, T.D., Decker, K.B., Jarvis, A., & Leverett, P. (October, 2016). Practitioners' views on building family capacity: A focus group discussion. Presented at The Division for Early Childhood Annual Conference, Louisville, Kentucky.

Decker, K.B., Foster, T.D., Leverett, P., Belleville, A. (October, 2016). Practitioners' Reports of Everyday Practice: Alignment with and Barriers to Recommended Practices. Presented at The Division for Early Childhood Annual Conference, Louisville, Kentucky.

Foster, T. D., Froyen, L. A., Decker, K. B., Skibbe, L. E., & Bowles, R. P. (2016). Fathers' and mothers' home learning environments and children's early academic outcomes. Reading and Writing, 1-19.

Vallotton, C.D.,Mastergeorge, A.M., Foster, T. D., Decker, K. B., & Ayoub, C. (2016). Parenting supports for early vocabulary development: Specific effects of sensitivity and stimulation through infancy. Infancy.

Karsten, A. E., Foster, T. D., Decker, K. E., & Vallotton, C. D. (in press). Toddlers take emotion regulation into their own hands with infant signs. Young Children.

Foster, T.D., Samples-Steele, C., & Skibbe, L.E. (2015). Imagination Library: Relations between child participation and performance on the PALS. Report prepared for Great Start Collaborative of Jackson County.

Gerde, H. K., & Foster, T. D., Skibbe, L. E. (2014). Beyond the Pencil: Expanding the Occupational Therapists' Role in Helping Young Children to Develop Writing Skills. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2(1).

Montroy, J. J., Skibbe, L. E., Bowles, R. P., & Foster, T. D. (2014). Social skills and problem behaviors as mediators in the relationship between behavioral self- regulation and academic achievement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(3), 298-309.

Foster, T. D. (October, 2012). Learning and Playing: Supports for Children with Special Needs. Presented to Capital Community Services, Head Start. Lansing, MI.

Scholarly/Research Interests

Interests: early intervention; family-centered practice; supporting children's self-regulation