Tricia Foster

A photo of Tricia Foster

Associate Professor, OT Program Director

Health Sciences

308 Marshall Building


[email protected]edu


  • 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.

Grants & Projects:

Co-Investigator, Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), Supporting Rural Montanan
Children via Family- Centered Early Intervention, 2019-2021.

Co-Investigator, Assessing the Efficacy of a Mindful Parenting Intervention for Young At-Risk
Mothers, 2019-2020

Principal Investigator, In-Home Observations of Early Intervention Services: Interactions Between
Providers and Families. State of Michigan Early On Faculty Grant, 2018-2019.

Early Intervention Faculty Community of Practice Member, Early On CCRESA Office of
Innovative Projects, Michigan, 2018-Present


Foster, T.D., Decker, K.B., Vaterlaus, J.M., Beleville, A. (2020) How early intervention providers describe family-centered practice: A collective broadening of the definition. Child: Care, Health, and Development.

Vallotton, C., Foster, T.D., Harewood, T., Cook, J.; Adekoya, A. (2020). Fathers and young children at
play: A scoping review of fathers’ play with sons and daughters from birth to preschool. In H.W.
Fitzgerald, K. von Klitzing, N. Cabrera, J Scarano de Mendonca, & Th. Skjothaug (Eds.), Handbook of
Fathers and Child Development: Prenatal to Preschool. Publisher.

Decker, K. B., Meldrum, J., Vaterlaus, J. M., & Foster, T. D. (2020). Parents’ Part C experiences in rural
areas: Alignment with recommended practices. Journal of Early Intervention, 10538151209

Foster, T.D. (November, 2019). In-Home observations of early intervention visits. Workshop presented at 2019 Early On Conference, Acme, Michigan.

Decker, K.B., & Foster, T.D (November, 2019). Defining family-centered practice: A Collective broadening of the definition. Workshop presented at 2019 Early On Conference, Acme, Michigan.

Skibbe, L., & Foster, T.D. (2019). Participation in the Imagination Library Book Distribution Program and its Relations to Children’s Language and Literacy Outcomes in Kindergarten. Reading Psychology, 1-21.

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. (2016). Toddlers take emotion regulation into their own hands with infant signs. Young Children.

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.

Scholarly/Research Interests

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