PhD, Social Work, University of Michigan
Cohort One Fellow


Academic Mentor
Richard Tolman
Professor, University of Michigan School of Social Work

Policy Mentor
Deborah Weatherston
Executive Director, Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health

Current Institutional Affiliation
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work: Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise
Fathers, Military Families, Infants and Toddlers


Dr. Tova Walsh is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prior to UWM, Dr. Walsh was an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work at Rutgers.  Her research focuses on understanding and improving health and well-being in multi-stressed families, with an emphasis on pregnancy and early parenting in contexts of risk. She examines the parenting support needs of underserved groups including new fathers and military-connected parents, and collaborates to develop and test parenting interventions to meet their needs. In her intervention work, she seeks to capitalize on existing technology or create new technology to more effectively reach the target population and address their specific needs.

In her current research, Dr. Walsh aims to identify effective strategies to support emerging competencies in early parenthood and promote nurturing parent-child relationships among parents who face barriers to initiating or maintaining positive involvement with their children. In one line of current research, Dr. Walsh is examining the prenatal experiences, psychological processes, and support needs of expectant fathers, with the aim of informing efforts to promote healthy pregnancies and positive partnering and parenting. In another line of research, she aims to better understand the special challenges of parenting across the deployment cycle for military families with young children, with the goal of informing the provision of support to military service members, veterans and their families. Walsh's research draws on her experience working in low-income communities as a home visitor to families with children ages 0 to three. This work inspires her continuing interest in efforts to prevent domestic violence and child maltreatment, and build protective factors that help buffer children and families from adverse experiences and stressful circumstances.

Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Institutes of Health.